Shine Your Light for Human Rights

Leading up to the 10th December 2018 – the actual date of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration – OHCHR is launching a month of activation, across the world’s regions, to spotlight the centrality of rights to the daily lives of people everywhere. Our aim is to engage diverse audiences around the world, calling on them to #Stand Up for the Declaration’s enduring universal principles.

This month of “activation” starts mid-November and will carry through to the final major event to be held in Geneva with the High Commissioner on 13th December. Each event will be accompanied by a social media campaign featuring global and local iconic public figures standing up for human rights and accompanied by a media promotion of each of the Declaration’s thirty articles.

Very much appreciating the wide range of activities our Offices and partners around the world are undertaking for 10th December, the core of the month’s activities centers on 14 spotlight events to take place across seven time zones, from the global South East to the global South West via the Global North too. Each event is distinct, being tied to a specific theme of relevance to the event’s location and priorities identified in the OMP but all are designed to share a common emphasis on highlighting how human rights contribute and celebrating those who stand up.

Shine Your Light Events


Shine your light for people’s right to a healthy planet

Suva, 16 November 2018 A healthy environment is central to the realisation of rights. This event will shine a light on the interplay between the “natural” environment and rights, and in celebration of the role of women and girls in standing up for that right.

Shine your light for the rights of people on the move

Bangkok, 28 November 2018 People’s rights do not fade when they are on the move, whether within or across borders; whether by choice or under force. This event will shine a light on how best to protect the rights of people on the move and will celebrate the work of those who stand up for the rights of people in flight.

Middle East

Shine your light for our right to peace

Doha, 6 December 2018 Rights and freedoms don’t diminish according to where you live nor because of the circumstances in which you live; even at times of crisis or conflict rights endure. This event will shine a light on what it means to promote human rights in times of conflict, including as a means for conflict prevention and in promotion of sustainable peace. It will celebrate the courageous work of those who stand up for rights in conflict settings.


Shine your light for the rights of youth with youth

Johannesburg, 7 December 2018The promotion and protection of young people’s rights and their engagement too as human rights leaders – today and tomorrow (given the unprecedented size of the world’s youth population) - is the bridge to a future where human rights are respected and upheld. Shining a light also on the centenary anniversaries of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu, this event will spotlight young people as leaders for rights and will celebrate the example and contribution of young people as they stand up for human rights.

Shine your light for accountability when people’s rights are violated

Dakar, 30 November 2018 This event will spotlight what accountability means for victims of human rights violations citing too regional developments where new openings for more robust systems for accountable are evident. It will celebrate those who courageously stand up for justice and for accountability.

Shine your light for the rights of migrants

Marrakesh, 10 December 2018 The signing of Global Compact on Migration on Human Rights Day marks a watershed moment for global protection of migrants. The High Commissioner will lead a unique celebratory event in the context of the global conference convened to finalise the Compact.


Shine your light for social cohesion

Manchester, 12 November 2018 In the setting of Manchester as the UK’s most diverse city, this event will shine a light on the role that human rights in building and sustaining social inclusion and cohesion.

Shine your light for the Universal Declaration

Paris, 4 December 2018 — Paris was the city where the UDHR was adopted in 1948. Through the Mobile Film Festival, who dedicates its 14th edition to human rights, we will shine a light on and celebrate the enduring universal and indivisible principles of UDHR – their contribution over seven decades and their relevance for the decades to come.

Shine your light for the future we all want

Geneva, 13 December 2018 To be headlined by the High Commissioner, this uniquely “inter-generational” event, will be held in the HRC chamber, and take the form of a discussion with and for children to spotlight what human rights means for them today and in their future. We will also celebrate to the part that children play as human rights defenders.

North America

Human Rights Awards

New York, 18 December 2018 — This event presented the winners of the Human Rights Day Awards.

Shine your light for human rights in the city

Los Angeles, 10 December 2018 For the first time in human history, more people are living in cities than in rural settings and a growing number of cities have populations larger in size than whole countries. This event hosted by the LA city authorities will shine a light on the role of cities in realisation of rights and celebrate cities and mayors too that are standing up for rights.

Latin America

Shine your light for Human Rights Defenders

Mexico City, 6 December 2018 This event will shine a light on the un-paralleled contribution that human rights defenders and civil society broadly make for rights everyday everywhere and will celebrate the courage of those who stand up for rights in this way.

Shine your light for the dignity of children

Panama City, 10 December 2018 In this unique event we will shine a light on the human rights of children with a particular emphasis on how child labour undermines the rights and dignity of children and we will celebrate the contribution of those who stand up for children.

Shine your light for women’s rights

Santiago, 10 December 2018 This event will shine a light on the contribution that women human rights defenders bring to the elaboration of rights for all and we will celebrate champions of women’s rights standing up from Chile and from the broader region.

  • 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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