Human Rights Day History
Human Rights Day commemorates the day on which the United Nations issued the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), a document drafted by representatives from all regions of the world, which outlined fundamental human rights to be universally protected. The Declaration contains 30 articles that touch on rights to freedom, justice, peace, dignity, education and health care, amongst other rights.
On December 10, 1948, the United Nations proclaimed the UDHR in an effort to help define equal rights that all humans on the planet deserve and can help the world achieve lasting freedom, justice and peace. Human Rights Day was officially declared by the United Nations in 1950. It is celebrated on December 10th each year and is marked by speeches and activities designed to bring attention to the issues surrounding the most pressing Human Rights issues worldwide.
Facts about Human Rights Day
- The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights was one of their first declarations and came about after the atrocities perpetrated upon humans during World War II were brought to light.
- Over the past decade, armed conflict has killed 2 million children, disabled another 4-5 million, left 12 million homeless and orphaned another million.
Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally. - Abraham Lincoln
America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense... human rights invented America. - Jimmy Carter
I have cherished the ideal a democratic and free society... it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die. - Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa, who was imprisoned from 1964-1990.
Human Rights Day Top Events and Things to Do
- Educate yourself on current human rights fights such as genocide by terrorist groups, slavery and trafficking and child labor around the world.
- Get involved with a local human rights organization.
- Hold a candlelight vigil for those who have had their human rights violated.
- Watch a documentary about human rights issues and violations. Some recommendations: Invisible Children (2006), Girl Rising(2013) and Nefarious (2011).
- Attend an Amnesty International Human Rights Event near you to support the battle to uphold human rights throughout the world.