Take a closer look at some of the events and stories taking place across the world to stand up for human rights.


Youth Stand up for Human Rights

Youth Stand Up for Human Rights

10 December 2019

This year, we celebrate the contribution and promise of young people who change the world for the better.

With 1.2 billion people aged 15-24 years old globally, young people account for one out of every six people. There are more adolescents and young adults alive today than at any other time in human history and they are generally better educated, healthier and have greater access to technology and information that can be leveraged to stand up for human rights.

Young people have always been major drivers of political, economic and social change. In the last few years, they have been at the forefront of grassroots mobilizations for change. Youth participation is essential to achieve sustainable development for all. Empowering youth to better know and claim their rights will generate global benefits.

This Human Rights Day, we highlight the role of young people and their participation in social movements to stand up for human rights and bring change.

Discover our social media campaign and spread the word. Find all our materials


Education is essential to empowerment of young people.

Meet Arizza Nocum who is standing up for the right to education for all:

Climate Change

Our planet is our future and young people are at the forefront of climate action and climate justice.

Climate change threatens our basic human rights. Watch this video to find out how Arshak Makichyan took to the streets every week to take action on the climate crisis.


Everyone has the right to be heard and young people are seeking out new ways to participate in decisions that have a direct or indirect impact on their wellbeing.

Young People must have the right to participate in decisions that affect them. Watch this video to find out how Gina Martin used the power of social media to make upskirting a criminal offence in her country. Youth voices must be heard.


Young people across the globe are pushing the message of tolerance and acceptance across boundaries.

Many LGBTI young people face discrimination in their everyday lives. Meet Bianka Rodriguez who is standing up for the equal rights and fair treatment. Human rights are for everyone – no matter who you are or whom you love.

Fight Racism

Racism stops with you and me. Young people are finding ways to #fightracism.

Fight Racism - Unite against racism

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Gender equality

Gender as a superpower? When it comes to showing strength, and pushing for equality, girls run the world, or at least push and promote their rights.

Gender Equality - Gender = Equality

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Gender Equality - I’m a girl. What’s your superpower?

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Standing as a friend against bullying is crucial for youth activists.

Meet Yuya who is standing up to bullying.

Stand Up for human rights and join the global movement for a better future. #Standup4humanrights

Worldwide Activities

Here is a snapshot of activities taking place to celebrate Human Rights Day.

Activities in Geneva and New York

Geneva – A new generation of young women and girl activists will be celebrated and heard during the inaugural Young Activists Summit: Women and Girls Driving Progress. The event takes place on Human Rights Day in Palais des Nations.

New York – On 10 December, a live audience at NYHQ will take an interactive quiz and test their knowledge of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This will be followed by a panel discussion focusing on youth standing up for human rights. In addition, the Top 10 finalists' photos of the Photography 4 Humanity Global prize will be exhibited at the NYHQ.

The whole of the 70+ UN Human Rights field presences will mobilise around 10 December, joining forces with UN Information centres and the whole UN family.

UN Human rights also partners with EU delegations globally to illustrate how youth can be a power of positive change.

Statement of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish

Video statement of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

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

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

UN Secretary-General's message on Human Rights Day

  • 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