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

06 December 2018

Human Rights Day this year celebrates the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Activities across the world, from Suva to Johannesburg, Mexico to Los Angeles, provide an opportunity to promote, engage and reflect on the Declaration and its relevance in everyday life.

For the past year, the global human rights community, including the entire United Nations family, has celebrated Human Rights Day and the Declaration, with a launch of the festivities in Paris on 10 December 2017. In the run up to Human Rights Day 2018, there are a number of activities taking place across the globe, including Shine your Light for Human Rights, a series of 14 events, taking place in cities across the globe, focusing on specific human rights issues.

Here are a snapshot of other activities taking place to celebrate human rights around the world:

Activities in Geneva and New York

Geneva – The competition ‘My Human Rights in 180 seconds’ takes place at the Palais des Nations, where children have been asked to explain human rights in a 3-minute video. The City of Geneva has joined forces with UN Human Rights Office and the Escalade Race to organize the first Escalade Relay on 1 December. On 5 December, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet will be on hand when the Municipal Council adopts a resolution reaffirming the city’s commitment to human rights. Other activities include the distribution of a copy of the Declaration to all households in Geneva, the lightning of the iconic Jet d’Eau in UN blue and the display of posters depicting human rights throughout the city.

New York – On 10 December, there will be a panel discussion on the relevance of the UDHR held at the UN HQ. In addition, the award ceremony for the 2018 UN Prize in the Field of Human Rights and a General Assembly meeting on 70th anniversary of the UDHR will take place on 18 December. An exhibition on the 30 articles of the UDHR will also be on display.

Activities elsewhere in the world

Statement of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish

Video message of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

View the video in: French | Spanish
(For subtitles in other languages click the YouTube settings button)

Download text version (PDF): Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish

UN Secretary-General's message on Human Rights Day

View the video in: Arabic | Chinese | French | Russian | Spanish

View the text version in: Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish

  • 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