Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day - Tuesday, December 10, 2024

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Human Rights Day on December 10 remembers the day the General Assembly of the UN adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. It is the most translated document around the world and is available in over 500 languages. It has inspired countries and people alike to start treating every person with the right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. On Human Rights Day we acknowledge the importance of this document and the importance of human rights.

Every so often a thing comes to pass that is of such astounding importance that we must stand up and recognize it. We must place this thing on the pedestal it deserves, and ensure that the precepts and policies put in place by it are adhered to, appreciated, and spread as far as the human voice will carry. Such is the sort of message sent by Human Rights Day.

History of Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day was established in 1948, and ever since that auspicious day it has stood as the first major stride forward in ensuring that the rights of every human across the globe are protected. From the most basic human needs such as food, shelter, and water, all the way up to access to free and uncensored information, such has been the goals and ambitions laid out that day.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was a shout across the world by the leading countries in the world, stating loud and clear that no matter where we live, what we believe, or how we love, we are each individually deserving of the most basic fundaments of human needs. Every year Human Rights Day marks conferences around the world dedicated to ensuring that these ideals are pursued, and that the basic Human Rights of every person is made a priority in the global theater.

How to Celebrate Human Rights Day

The first and foremost way to celebrate Human Rights Day is to take some time to appreciate the effect that this resolution has had on your world and life. Look around your neighborhood and see the effects on a local scale, the charitable works being done to promote the health and well-being of those who are less fortunate.

The next step is to get out there and make a difference, whether it’s simply making a donation to one of the dozens of organizations that work towards this global purpose, or organizing a donation drive of your own to help out those organizations fighting the good fight.

Don’t think that your gestures have to be grand, simply gathering enough to put together a bunch of care packages of simple needs and necessities and handing them out amongst your local homeless can go a long way to helping to support this cause. The need is large, but is made of limitless minor actions that can lead to a world-wide change in quality of life.

History of Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day is the anniversary of the day  in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The day’s popularity is perhaps best demonstrated by the commemorative stamp that was issued by the United Nations Postal Administration in 1952, which received over 200,000 advanced orders. 

The aim of the Declaration of Human Rights is to establish a common standard of living for all people across the planet that everyone is entitled to, and to in turn encourage all UN member states to strive towards the said standard of living for the people in their nation. 

Although the rights are seen as more declarative than legally binding, they are commonly acknowledged to have had an impact on how human rights are perceived and to be a force for good. 

Nowadays a different theme is selected for Human Rights Day each year. In 2014 the theme was “Every Day is Human Rights Day” and in 2016 it was “Stand up for someone’s rights today.” We should remember our human rights every day, but on December 10 we should remember them just a little bit more and embrace everyone around us as equals.

Human Rights Day timeline


Finland passed the Non-Discrimination Act, a requirement for businesses to promote equality and prevent discrimination of employees.

December 1948

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted.

1941 to 1945

The Holocaust was a truly horrific period in history and caused the death of 11 million people (and many more tormented), whose lives had been deemed ‘Unimportant’ by Hitler, and Nazi Germany.


Slavery was abolished in the United States, following Britain, and France.

Human Rights Day FAQs

Why is Human Rights Day celebrated?

This day was chosen to honor the founding of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. 

When is Human Rights Day?

December 10 

What is the theme of Human Rights Day 2020?

The theme has not been decided yet.


  1. Leading by Example

    King Cyrus II of Persia, also known as King Cyrus the Great, the founder of the first Persian Empire, freed slaves, established racial equality, and gave the right to religious choice.

  2. Know your rights

    Everyone has a right to leisure and holiday, with pay thanks to Article 24 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  3. Think of the children

    There are approximately 250,000 child soldiers in the world today spread across 20 countries. About 40% of these are girls who are often used as sex slaves and taken as "wives" by male fighters.

  4. A Long Battle

    The women’s suffrage movement lasted 17 years. To gain the right to vote, women protested (Led by Susan B. Anthony and others), and governments slowly allowed it, from 1894 and 1911, before it became federally regulated in 1902.

  5. A Global Problem

    It is estimated that 12 million girls are married in childhood (under the age of 16-18) each year, according to the latest prevalence and population figures collected by UNICEF.

How to Observe Human Rights Day

  1. Donate to your favorite Human Rights charity.

    Is there a charity championing human rights that really strikes a chord with you? Maybe today is the day to remember them and make a donation.

  2. Attend a human rights event.

    There are political conferences, meetings, exhibitions, cultural events, and debates held on this day. Why not attend one and be part of the community?

  3. Show your support for human rights.

    Show your support for human rights by posting online or getting involved in online discussions.

Why Human Rights Day is Important

  1. People deserve to be treated fairly, with dignity, and respect.

    We are all born equal and should be treated as such. Every person deserves a set of rights by which they can live their life as they choose, and without being oppressed, suppressed or owned by someone else.

  2. It reminds us how far we have come.

    Whilst there is still definitely a long way to go, we should take a moment to acknowledge that progress is being made, and the world is a better and fairer place for more people than it was a few hundred years ago. Let’s acknowledge that and then crack on with the improvements that still need to be made.

  3. It promotes unity

    The Declaration of Human Rights was agreed upon by 48 member states when it was first created. That’s 48 countries sharing a common belief that life should be and can be better for everyone.

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