Each year on 10th of December, the world celebrates the Human Rights Day.
But why do we celebrate the Human Rights Day and why is it celebrated on 10th of December?
After the atrocities of the Second World War, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), principal organ of the back then newly established United Nations, adopted on 10 December 1948 at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
Even though the UDHR is not a legal binding document, its significance is of high importance. The UDHR marked the first time in human history as we know it when the necessity was globally conveyed to protect the human rights of all people equally and it has also been a great inspiration and basis for the adoption and implementation of many following human rights laws and treaties.
According to the United Nations (UN), “In 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.” Thus, the 10th of December was established to be the day that the world honours and celebrates the adoption of the UDHR and human rights globally.
Every 10th of December, human rights agencies, communities, groups and individuals celebrate the day by organising conferences and other communal and sociocultural events with aim to raise human rights awareness and spread the message of human rights’ values and ideals around the world.
This year’s theme is “Stand up for someone's rights”.
“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.”
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
“Human rights is a universal standard. It is a component of every religion and every civilization.”
“Free expression is the base of human rights, the root of human nature and the mother of truth. To kill free speech is to insult human rights, to stifle human nature and to suppress truth.”
“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”
“Where, after all, do universal rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerned citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”