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


Stand-Up for Migrants -Top comedians share their perspectives on migration, identity and human rights

20 December 2018

The United Nations Human Rights Office and the city of Geneva, will host a public event in celebration of International Migrants Day, featuring top comedians performing stand-up comedy in French and English on Thursday, 20 December at 8 PM in Geneva’s historic Victoria Hall (Rue du Général-Dufour 14, 1204 Genève).

The event, Stand-Up For Migrants, will be opened by Geneva Mayor Sami Kanaan, the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations and the United Nations Human Rights Office. It will feature a range of comedians from diverse countries and backgrounds who will discuss issues of migration, identity and human rights and share their experiences through their stand-up comedy sets.

The event will include an episode of the award-winning podcast The Guilty Feminist live from Geneva, co-hosted by US-based comedian Hari Kondabolu, an ongoing partner of the United Nations Human Rights Office’s Stand up for Migrants initiative. Hari Kondabolu was recently recognized by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for his “ability to unite people of all backgrounds and belief in laughter while raising awareness about important matters of justice and equality.”

Stand-Up For Migrants will feature Swiss comedians Thomas Wiesel, Charles Nouveau, Bruno Peki and international comedians Deborah Frances-White, Evelyn Mok and Noman Hosni. Hari Kondabolu will be joined on stage by his mother Uma Kondabolu, who emigrated from India to the United States and together they will reflect on their own experiences of migration.

Migrants are often the first to be singled out when the fortunes of a society are shaken and an easy scapegoat is needed. Anti-migrant discourse can be used for cheap gains at a time of rising xenophobia across the globe. Indeed, listening to much of the charged public discourse on migrants and migration, it can seem as if migrants have no rights at all. The United Nations Human Rights Office believes we need to focus on what unites us, not what divides us. Stand-Up For Migrants creates a space for a broad audience to come together in shared creativity, discussion and laughter in order to celebrate migrants and the communities that welcome them, to build a narrative on migration which is based on our shared values and common humanity. The event is part of the UN Human Rights Office’s commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UDHR is based on a foundation of equality and dignity for all people everywhere. All migrants have human rights, and the United Nations Human Rights Office is celebrating International Migrants Day this year by asking every one of us to Stand Up For Migrants.

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets will be distributed on a first come, first served basis at the entrance of Victoria Hall. You can also download a ticket in advance of the event.

Stand-Up for Migrants is taking place in collaboration and with the support of the City of Geneva, the Federal Department for Foreign Affairs of Switzerland and Amnesty International.

For social media messaging, please use: #StandUp4Migrants, #StandUp4HumanRights, and #InternationalMigrantsDay.

For more information on the event, please contact Genevieve Sauberli, Human Rights Officer, United Nations, at gsauberli@ohchr.org.

  • 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.

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