Shine Your Light for Human Rights

A series of 14 events across seven time zones spotlighting the centrality of rights to the daily lives of people everywhere.


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

16 November 2018, Suva

UDHR Article 25 affirms the right of everyone to “a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being”.

A healthy environment is central to the realisation of rights. This event shines 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.

16 November 2018 – An enthusiastic crowd gathered for a sunrise ceremony to mark seven decades of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and to look forward to the next 70 years in a world facing new challenges, including the impacts of climate change.

The Sunrise Initiative on the southern shore of Fiji was organized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Regional Office for the Pacific, in partnership with the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF), Alliance for Future Generations, University of the South Pacific and the Pacific Conference of Churches.

"The UDHR has provided hope and protection for untold numbers of vulnerable people and communities for seven decades,” said OHCHR Pacific Representative Chitralekha Massey. "As we in the Pacific begin to experience the all too real impacts of climate change, we will continue looking to the laws that the UDHR has inspired to protect the people who suffer most, yet contribute the least, to this global phenomenon."

Also speaking at the event was PIDF Secretary General François Martel, who noted that there couldn’t be genuine development without the protections afforded by human rights. "PIDF’s focus on sustainable development requires the organization to also focus on environmental, economic and social rights as we work towards a model of development that leaves no-one behind," he said.

Climate change and small changes in sea level are having a dramatic impact on small island developing States and their efforts to achieve sustainable development. In some cases these phenomena represent the gravest threat to States’ survival and viability. Indeed, a rise in sea levels endangers States’ territorial integrity, freshwater resources, infrastructure, and their physical and cultural survival.

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  • 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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