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


Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day

23 November 2017

On 10 December, UN Human Rights will observe Human Rights Day by kicking-off a campaign to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The year-long initiative will provide an opportunity to promote, engage with and reflect on the Declaration and its relevance in everyday life.

Human Rights Day is celebrated by the global human rights community, including the whole United Nations family. Here is a snapshot of some of the activities planned:

Activities in Paris, Geneva and New York

Paris – Official launch of the campaign - 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.

Geneva – Highlighting Human Rights – The façade of UN Human Rights headquarters Palais Wilson will be showing the messages of the campaign while the iconic Jet d’Eau will be symbolically lighted in blue on 10 December.

New York – Discussion with ‘Eleanor Roosevelt’ - On 11 December, the UN Secretary-General will launch the campaign in presence of two former UN High Commissioners for Human Rights, Navi Pillay and Louise Arbour. As a special guest Eleonor Roosevelt, portrayed by actress Susan Marie Frontczak, will speak about the ground-breaking and eventually triumphant development of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and respond to questions from the audience.

Snapshot of activities elsewhere in the world

Armenia - Universal Human Rights Award ceremony: This event will highlight the work of civil society organizations, human rights defenders and Government figures by recognizing them as champions of human rights.

Australia - UN Free & Equal: This campaign will see Australian celebrities and others voice their support for human rights via social media and video.

Iran - UDHR anniversary: Around 2,000 participants are expected in this event in Tehran and Isfahan, which focuses on people and children with disabilities.

Panama – Cards for human rights day: This campaign will promote the principles of the UDHR through multi-purpose cards disseminated through social media, schools and among the general public.

Senegal - Mobile TV studio: The Senegalese public can record their own versions of the UDHR in a mobile studio.

Statement of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

PDF: Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Spanish | Russian

Statement by the UN Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council


Video Message of the UN Secretary-General

  • 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.

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