Highlights

Take a closer look at some of the events and stories taking place across the world to celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Stories

Human Rights Day 2018

06 December 2018 — Human Rights Day this year celebrates the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The City of Geneva reaffirms the importance of the UDHR

05 December 2018 — The City of Geneva handed High Commissioner Bachelet a resolution on its commitment to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

© Stuart Franklin/Magnum Photos

Magnum Photos illustrates the UDHR

30 November 2018 — Discover a unique collection of pictures depicting the 30 articles of the Declaration.

© UN

30 Articles, 30 Documents: exploring the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70

28 November 2018 — To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the UDHR, the Dag Hammarskjöld Library has selected thirty key documents that have empowered people all over the world.

16-days of activism against Gender-Based Violence

22 November 2018 — Watch the videos of women human rights defenders, get inspired and take action.

Stand-Up For Migrants: International Migrants Day Celebration

22 November 2018 — Stand-Up For Migrants features prominent comedians sharing perspectives on migration and human rights, at Geneva’s historic Victoria Hall, 20 December 2018 at 8pm.

Competition in Geneva: My Human Rights in 180 seconds

12 November 2018 — Present your vision of human rights in a 180-second video!

Global women in music for human rights

5 November 2018 — A gala concert in Rome celebrated the 70 years of the UDHR.

More than 10,000 athletes run for human rights in New York

3 November 2018 — A total of 10,859 runners braved a cold and rainy Saturday morning and dashed through Midtown Manhattan to the Finish Line 5K race.

“Enlightened Universe” to celebrate 70 years UDHR

25 October 2018 — 70 figures joined hand-in-hand symbolizing global solidarity in an art piece in the heart of the European Quarter in Brussels

In Banjul, human rights activists reaffirmed their engagement for the Declaration

20 October 2018 — the 280 participants to the NGO forum stood up for human rights.

A movie to discuss human rights

18 October 2018 — A hundred students aged from 15 to 19 years attended the screening of ‘Matar A Jesús’ in the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The movie won the Youth Jury Award of the last International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH).

© Maurizio Fantini

T-shirts for human rights

17 October 2018 — BH Fashion Studio launched the Beating Hearts Collection, dedicated to the UDHR

International Day of Older Persons

1 October 2018 — The International Day on 1 October will celebrate older human rights champions.

© Spirou Magazine

Spirou Magazine's great talents of comics illustrate the Declaration

28 September 2018 — Spirou magazine joins efforts for the 70th Anniversary with a special issue on human rights.

Summer School students reflect on UDHR's relevance 70 years on

24 September 2018 — This year's edition of the Russian Summer School on Human Rights focuses on the UDHR's legacy and emerging challenges for the rights protection of vulnerable groups.

Human Rights; a Pathway to Sustaining Peace in Nigeria

21 September 2018 — On the International Day of Peace, the theme of an event in Nigeria was ‘Right to Peace: Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70.‘

An exhibition about the history of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

24 October 2018 — The exhibition celebrates the 70 years of the Declaration.

Cartoons to illustrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

21 September 2018 — Vote for your favorite cartoon until 20 October.

The Mobile Film Festival celebrates human rights

19 September 2018 — The Mobile Film Festival’s theme for its 14th edition is #standup4humanrights.

Turning human rights into art: woodcuts on the Universal Declaration are exhibited in Brazil

16 August 2018 — During August, the UN in Brazil will hold an exhibition in Rio de Janeiro with artworks by Brazilian artist Otávio Roth.

Gilmore: push back by speaking out and standing up for human rights

15 August 2018 — UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore urged activists to continue to fight for human rights amid ever-shrinking ability to do so in a speech in Pretoria, South Africa.

Empowering youth to become agents of change

13 August 2018 — From 27 -31 August, participants from 18 countries will gather at the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland on the occasion of the 8th edition of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA)’s Human Rights in Action program.

World record: most words on a postage stamp

9 August 2018 — With its Universal Declaration of Human Rights set, the United Nations Postal Administration holds the Guinness World Record for the most words on a postage stamp.

Meet Claudia Iron Hawk

10 August 2018 — 18-year-old Claudia is one of the few remaining speakers of Lakota, a critically endangered language in the U.S. Her generation believes that saving the Lakota language is vital to their cultural identity and human rights.

The UDHR for children and youth research guide is now available

26 July 2018 — A new child-friendly resource by UN Human Rights to learn about the UDHR.

Standing Up for Human Rights - a photo exhibition

03 July 2018 — A photo exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland, brings to life the relevance of the Universal Declaration in people’s lives.

Students stand up for human rights

13 July 2018 — Forty-seven graduate students from 32 countries participated in Geneva in the Graduate Study Programme around the theme “Human rights at a crossroads: where we stand in 2018”.

Community Center for Integrated Development in Cameroon launches ‘Youth Partnership’ network

06 June 2018 — A seminar on "Transforming the Future of Human Rights in Cameroon: Role of Young People" kicked off the ‘Youth Partnership’ network with over 50 participants.

Kids for Human Rights Drawing Competition

Global drawing competition celebrates Universal Declaration of Human Rights anniversary and prompts youth to action

06 June 2018 — The Gabarrón Foundation is teaming up with the United Nations to stand up for rights.

South African wrestler Madi Mpho is UWW’s first Human Rights Champion

United World Wrestling supports the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

28 May 2018 — United World Wrestling is committed to improving its anti-discrimination efforts, advancing gender equality and promoting fair play within the sport of wrestling.

Open Day at Palais Wilson

More than 2,500 visitors at the UN Human Rights Office Open Day

18 June 2018 — The UN Human Rights Office opened its Geneva headquarters, Palais Wilson, to the public on Saturday 16 June.

Encounter with Stradivari

Encounter with Stradivari: a concert for human rights on 16 June

08 May 2018 — The Nippon Foundation and UN Human Rights are co-organizing a free concert (registration mandatory) of world-renowned musicians playing seven Stradivarius on June 16th.

Training to guarantee access to human rights

17 May 2018 — The Ombudsman of the Province of Buenos Aires in Argentina is holding a series of workshops on the UDHR and human rights.

Genève Aéroport celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

14 May 2018 — Genève Aéroport participates in this Jubilee and joins the global campaign launched by the UN Human Rights Office.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights stamps

United Nations Postal Administration issues Universal Declaration of Human Rights stamps

3 May 2018 — The Universal Declaration of Human Rights celebrates its 70th anniversary this year and the United Nations Postal Administration issued a US$2.50 definitive stamp to honour this special occasion.

UNA-USA members at the Leadership Summit in Washington DC in June 2017.

UNA - USA to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights throughout 2018

23 April 2018 — The United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA - USA) will be promoting the anniversary campaign all throughout its chapters until the end of 2018.

Children stand up for human rights.

Fondation Eduki awarded a Human Rights Prize during the ceremony of the Eduki 2017/2018 competition

20 April 2018 — More than 800 students from across Switzerland stood up for human rights in Geneva.

Global Women in Music for Human Rights

Global Women in Music for Human Rights

12 April 2018 — To celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the signing of the UDHR, Italian based international non-profit Fondazione Adkins Chiti: Donne in Musica is organising a “Global Call for New Music” reaching out to women composers of all ages, nationalities and musical backgrounds.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights with the mayor of Geneva and mayors of several cities. © Magali Girardin

Cities stand up for cultural rights

26 March 2018 — Protection of Human Rights and Cultural Heritage: several cities across the world sign the Geneva Declaration.

Unity, human dignity, equality and non-discrimination

21 March 2018 — 21 March marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Tendayi Achiume, UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, says this day calls for unity in the affirmation of the principles of human dignity, substantive equality and non-discrimination.

Values of racial equality and non-discrimination

21 March 2018 — On the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, we remember the 69 protesters who were killed on 21 March 1960 in Sharpeville, South Africa, while demonstrating against the racist ideologies of apartheid. On this day, the world is reminded of the values of racial equality and non-discrimination first enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 70 years ago.

© FIFDH

Geneva film festivalgoers add their voice

9 March 2018 — The UN Human Rights Office was a partner of the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights that took place from 9-17 March in Geneva.

©FIA

Road safety is a human rights issue

7 March 2018 — UN Human Rights Chief Zeid and FIA President Jean Todt promoting road safety as a fundamental human right at the Geneva Motor Show.

Chimanada Ngozi Adichie. © EPA-EFE/Marta Perez

Interview with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie : author, essayist, feminist

8 March 2018 — To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to mark International Women’s Day, Chimamanda had a conversation with the UN Human Rights Office.

A time to pay tribute to women

8 March 2018 — Melissa Upreti reads from a statement made for International Women's Day 2018 on behalf of the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice. Established in 2010, the Working Group's main focus is to identify, promote, and exchange views with States and other stakeholders, views on good practices related to the elimination of laws that discriminate against women.

A poster for the UDHR.

Organize your own exhibition with 40 posters

23 February 2018 — Forty posters were designed in collaboration with our partner NGO Poster for Tomorrow for the launch of the UDHR 70 campaign. The posters are now available for you to organize your own exhibition.

Street art by Aya Tarek. © Olivier Michel

Street art in Geneva to celebrate human rights

3 February 2018 — An Egyptian street artist has made her own stand for human rights, with a mural to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the city of Geneva.

The President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo launched the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the margins of the 30th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa. © OHCHR

Human rights, the bedrock of Africa’s development and prosperity

29 January 2018 — The President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo launched the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the margins of the 30th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa.

Students invited to stand up for human rights

24 January 2018 — 450 students stand up for human rights during the opening session of the 65th edition of the Students’ United Nations General Assembly in Geneva.

Paris launches UDHR70 campaign

11 December 2017 — The Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and UN Human Rights Chief Zeid kick-off the UDHR70 campaign in Paris, the Universal Declaration’s birthplace.

Celebrating human rights through music

11 December 2017 — The High Note Music Prize will be awarded next year to a major recording artist to recognize the outstanding contributions to humanity and the promotion of human rights through music.

Add Your voice!

23 November 2017 — Help us promote the Declaration by reading and sharing an article in your native language.

Human Rights Day 2017

23 November 2017 — Join the global human rights community to celebrate Human Rights Day everywhere in the world!

Did you know?

23 November 2017 — With more than 500 translations available, the Declaration is the most translated document in the world.

Take Action now

23 November 2017 — Join us in promoting and defending human rights.

Global activities

Running for Human Rights

The City of Geneva is joining forces with UN Human Rights and the Escalade Race to organize the first Escalade Relay on Saturday 1 December. This relay race invites Geneva's population and international Geneva to meet and share a moment around these common values by transmitting symbolically the relay of the UDHR. The relay race is accessible to all. Please do not hesitate to run or simply encourage participants! Register for the relay race

"Harmonizing Religion and Human Rights’’ at The Carter Center

On 5 December, The Carter Center in Atlanta will host a panel discussion titled "Harmonizing Religion and Human Rights" featuring President Carter, Rabbi Jill Jacobs, and Imam Omar Suleiman. They will discuss how their respective religions align with the tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The discussion will be livestreamed and on Facebook. More information

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: a Women’s Take

On 23 November, the UN Library in Geneva hosted a panel discussion on “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: a Women’s Take”. Seventy years after the Declaration's adoption, this discussion highlighted the contribution of women to the historic document and what it means to women in their daily lives. The panel included the Deputy High Commissioner of Human Rights, Kate Gilmore; the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, François Ngarambe and Senior Lecturer from Stockholm University and Author of “Women and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, Rebecca Adami. Copies of her book were on sale at the event. More information

The 2018 Human Rights Week

The 2018 Human Rights Week will take place in Geneva on 13-17 November. The event is organized by the University of Geneva with the support of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Republic and Canton of Geneva. The 2018 edition will notably focus on the protection of human rights in the digital age. Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, will discuss the complex daily challenges the world is facing in a public lecture on ‘Human rights in a new era’, on Wednesday, 14 November. The lecture will be preceded on Tuesday, 13 November by an opening roundtable on ‘Being a Human Rights Defender in 2018’ where Deputy High Commissioner Kate Gilmore will participate in. See the full programme

International Humanitarian Law in the Work of United Nations Human Rights Bodies

On 2 November, the Geneva Academy hosted an academic discussion on human rights and international humanitarian law. The panel ‘International Humanitarian Law in the Work of United Nations Human Rights Bodies’ focused on the practicalities of how international humanitarian law is used and the role it plays in the work of the UN human rights machinery. The Swiss Government, the Chair of the Human Rights Committee and OHCHR participated at this event, which touched upon human rights in armed conflict and the 70 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Watch the video

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70 - the responsibility of the legal profession

The International Bar Association (IBA) held its Annual Conference in Rome on 7-12 October. The conference featured a panel on the 70th anniversary of the UDHR, which examined the development, current status and relevance of the Universal Declaration in the 21st century. In particular, it considered the responsibility of the legal profession in this regard. Watch the video

Launch of the Human Rights 70 website

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Office in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has created a new website called Human Rights 70. The objective is to illustrate how the UN system promotes human rights in its daily operations, with each of the articles of the Declaration being illustrated with a story provided by a UN agency. The site was launched on 1 October and is available in English, French and Spanish, with contributions from across the UN system. Visit Human Rights 70

Seminar on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Peng Chun Chang

On October 24 2018, Columbia University will be hosting a seminar on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the importance of Peng Chun Chang (1892–1957), a Chinese diplomat and philosopher whose contribution has been the focus of growing attention in recent years. The speakers will include Hans Ingvar Roth, Professor of Human Rights at Stockholm University who has recently published a book on Chang, Karima E. Bennoune, Professor from the University of California at Davis and UN Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights for the United Nations, and Professor Andrew Nathan from the Department of Politics at Columbia University. Read more about the event and view the final article on RightsViews, a human rights blog published by the Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR) at Columbia University.

Geneva Book Fair and human rights

The Geneva Book Fair took place from 25 to 29 April. A number of UN organizations, including the UN Human Rights Office, exhibited at the ‘Genève Internationale’ stand. Visitors went home with a number of promotional materials on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which turns 70 this year. In addition to that, they took pictures with a selfie box branded for the occasion. More information

A conversation with Amal Clooney at Columbia Law School

Amal Clooney, Visiting Professor at Columbia Law School, moderated a discussion with Columbia Law Students and the United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner Zeid. During the conversation, Zeid and Clooney also discussed the serious problem of the lack of fair trials around the world. Clooney mentioned her Foundation and OHCHR are collaborating on a project for developing training in international human rights standards. More information

Casablanca Book Fair

The Moroccan National Human Rights Council (Conseil national des droits de l’homme- CNDH) and the UN Information Centre in Rabat kicked-off a joint yearlong commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration at the Casablanca Book Fair in February. The CNDH stand at the Fair was fully dedicated to the UDHR and visitors went home with a number of promotional materials on the Declaration. This was the first in a series of activities planned by CDNH, which has created a special Facebook page to keep the public updated on future events. More information

Human Rights Film Tour

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights in Geneva (FIFDH), in collaboration with the Swiss Confederation and the United Nations Human Rights Office, organises a series of film screenings followed by debates with local NGOs, journalists, students and activists. The international tour spreads over 45 countries including Zimbabwe, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Nigeria, Brazil, Cuba and Guatemala. More information

Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition

The 10th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition will be held at Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland from 15 to 20 July 2018. It will bring together up to 150 participants from universities all around the globe to debate burning contemporary human rights issues on the basis of a common UN human rights system, influenced by national and regional perspectives and experiences. Registration deadline is Monday 16 April 2018. More information

United Nations Human Rights Prize 2018

The United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights is an honorary award given to individuals and organizations in recognition of outstanding achievement in human rights. Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1966, the Prize is awarded every five years. The next edition will take place in 2018 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. More information

Paris stands up for human rights

On 10 December, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Mayor of Paris will launch the campaign at a public conference at Palais Chaillot, the exact place where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948. From 29 November, the City of Paris will also host an exhibition on human rights.

Conversation with E. Roosevelt in New York

On 11 December, the UN Secretary-General, will celebrate Human Rights Day at UNHQ in New York. Eleonor Roosevelt, portrayed by an actress, will appear as a special guest and speak about the ground-breaking and eventually triumphant development of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  • I will respect your rights regardless of who you are. I will uphold your rights even when I disagree with you
  • When anyone’s human rights are denied, everyone's rights are undermined, so I will stand up
  • I will raise my voice. I will take action. I will use my rights to stand up for your rights.

people have stood up for human rights

We can all be Human Rights Champions

Tweet, Instagram or YouTube your action using the hashtag #Standup4humanrights.

Spread the word

#Standup4humanrights