International Day For Tolerance

International Day For Tolerance - Saturday, November 16, 2024

Cause Awareness Friendship
International Day of Tolerance on November 16 is a great opportunity for you to think back and recall the last time you had a different perspective than one of your friends? When’s the last time you’ve had to learn something about someone else’s culture? We’re betting it wasn’t that long ago. Look and learn the date that celebrates open-mindedness and listening.

This day was created to encourage mindfulness and faith in human rights – in order to encourage equality and diversity across the world, the UN introduced The International Day for Tolerance in 1996. It followed the United Nations Year for Tolerance, which was 1995, in order to observe its teachings annually.

There’s no doubt that a world free of tolerance would not be a good place to be. It is the belief of those supporting this day that such a world should never exist – and that everyone has a right to their expression, religion, and their conscience without fear of bias or ridicule. In addition, it teaches that a persons racial or religious background is inconsequential to the potential for tolerance and friendship between them.

The UN defines tolerance as respect, appreciate and acceptance of the diversity of the world’s cultures and all the ways that we are human. It is a human right to receive, and should be expected to be practiced by not just individuals, but groups and states. Human rights is the core of this thought – as such, it supports the notion that humanity has the right to live in peace.

The International Day for Tolerance supports the notion that education is a key factor in preventing intolerance across the human race.  On this day, we are encouraged to educate and learn how to practice solidarity between ethnic, social and cultural groups.

History of International Day For Tolerance

It was started by the UN General Assembly, with the goal of getting educational institutions and the general public to see tolerance as a staple of society. And it came after the United Nations declared a Year for Tolerance in 1995. 

In 1995, UNESCO created the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance as a way to define and provide awareness of tolerance for any and all governing and participating bodies. That day in 1995 was November 16. Now, as an anniversary of that Declaration, we celebrate the International Day for Tolerance every November 16 to help spread tolerance and raise awareness of any intolerance that may still be prevalent in the world today. Although we should be tolerant every day, it’s always good to have one occasion to remind us just how important tolerance is.  

Additionally, UNESCO created an award to recognize those with great achievements in promoting the spirit of tolerance or non-violence in fields such as science, culture, and the arts. The UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize and the UNESCO International Day for Tolerance both recognize that tolerance is a universal human right.

International Day For Tolerance timeline


The birth of a day

The International Day of Tolerance is created as a way to commemorate the passing of The Declaration of Principles on Tolerance.


The Civil Rights Act is Enacted

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, is established.


A dream is born

Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous "I Have A Dream" speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.


A human rights icon returns

Gandhi returns to India from South Africa to help his homeland fight for freedom through non-violence and tolerance.

International Day For Tolerance FAQs

Why is the International Day for Tolerance important?

Because it helps spread awareness of intolerance and educates how to be more tolerant. A few things the world could really use more of right now.

How do you celebrate tolerance day?

By learning more about tolerance and intolerance and celebrating the differences between cultures. Start a conversation with someone with a differing viewpoint, you’ll likely find you have more in common than you expected.

Where can I learn more about tolerance day?

The United Nations portal is a great place to start reading up and learn about the history of this day.

Which date has been declared as World Tolerance Day by the Unesco?

November 16 is the International Day of Tolerance. It has been this day since its inception by the United Nations in 1995. 

5 Facts About Hate Crimes

  1. It affects a lot of people regularly

    On average, eight black people, three white people, three gay people, three Jewish people, and one Latino person become hate crime victims daily.

  2. A lot is committed by young people

    50 percent of all the hate crimes in the U.S. are committed by people between the ages of 15 and 24.

  3. It’s frequent.

    Every hour in the United States somebody commits a hate crime

  4. Race is the largest reason.

    Race is the main motive in most hate crimes reported, followed by sexual orientation and religion.

  5. No one is born with inherent hate.

    Hate crimes stem from a learned behavior of hatred or one’s self-taught bias.

How to Observe International Day For Tolerance

  1. Read About Different Cultures

    Reading about different cultures or nationalities is one of the best ways to help break down your intolerances that you may not know you have, as well as help increase your awareness of other intolerances throughout the world. In order to celebrate tolerance, you may often need to first make yourself aware of intolerance.

  2. Listen to Neighbors Who Have Different Viewpoints

    Listening to others is a great way to open your perspective and take a better look at the world and how you perceive it. Tolerance and intolerance can only be identified by listening more to those who may have suffered at the hands of intolerance and hearing what they have to say.

  3. Participate in Events of Remembrance or Advocacy

    If you want to truly help celebrate International Day of Tolerance the best thing to do is go out and participate. Whether it's a candlelight vigil for the victims of intolerance or a lecture from an esteemed activist or thought leader, getting out there and getting involved will only help you grow.

Why International Day For Tolerance is Important

  1. It's educational

    International Day for Tolerance is a great educational resource to help learn about how to be a more tolerant person but also the intolerances that may still be happening around the world.

  2. It brings us together

    Inherently based on the idea that humans should come together rather than be divided, International Day for Tolerance is a day to celebrate the differences between cultures and creeds and appreciate what they bring to our lives.

  3. It reminds us it’s a constant effort

    International Day of Tolerance is important because, although great strides have been made, more work needs to be done to eradicate intolerance throughout the world. By increasing awareness and spreading education on days such as this, it helps play an active role in the elimination of intolerance.

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