Human Rights Day is observed each year on 10 December. The day is marked by the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): a milestone document proclaiming the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Available in more than 500 languages, it is the most translated document in the world.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all. The principles enshrined in the Declaration are as relevant today as they were in 1948. We need to stand up for our own rights and those of others. We can act in our own daily lives, to uphold the rights that protect us all and thereby promote the kinship of all human beings.
History of Human Rights Day
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was drafted between January 1947 and December 1948. The aim is to form a basis for human rights all over the world and represented a significant change of direction from events during World War II and the continuing colonialism that was rife in the world at the time. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is considered as the most translated document in modern history. It is available in more than 360 languages and new translations are still being added.
The UN General Assembly adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France, on the December 10, 1948. All states and interested organizations were invited to mark December 10 as Human Rights Day at a UN meeting on December 4, 1950. It was first observed on December 10 that year and has been observed each year on the same date. Each year Human Rights Day has a theme. Some of these themes have focused on people knowing their human rights or the importance of human rights education.
In December 1948, UNESCO was the first United Nations agency to place the Universal Declaration at the heart of all its action, to promote it across the world through education and the media.