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 the rights of youth with youth

7 December 2018, Johannesburg

UDHR Article 2 commits to extending “all the rights and freedoms” to everyone” without distinction of any kind”.

The 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.

7 December 2018 – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and the President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa marked the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by highlighting youth human rights activists in a commemorative event in Johannesburg.

"A shared river of history runs between us," the High Commissioner said, citing Nelson Mandela and Albertine Sisulu during her opening statement in a High Level Panel discussion entitled “Nelson Mandela, Albertina Sisulu and 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: From Struggle Icon to Human Rights Activist to Hope for South Africa and the World”.

As South Africa celebrates the centenary of Mandela and Sisulu and the 22 years of its Constitution, the audience listened to Michelle Bachelet on the legacy, inheritance and succession of human rights in South Africa.

“Because of the courage and the struggle of human rights defenders, much progress towards the common standard laid out in the Universal Declaration has been achieved” added Michele Bachelet.

This intergenerational high-level panel discussion brought together inspirational and esteemed thought leaders, youth, artists, sports personalities, civil society representatives, and human rights defenders in an interactive conversation on what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights meant to South Africa.

The location of Constitution Hill was a highly symbolic venue, as it tells the story of South Africa’s journey to democracy – a former prison and military fort which once saw the incarceration of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu and, today, is home to the country’s Constitutional Court, the highest court of the Republic. Constitution Hill is also a place of contrasts: of injustice and justice, of oppression and liberation. The precinct is testament to the importance of preserving sites of atrocity for posterity, and to recreating them so that they can serve the purposes of the present and mould the future.

The event was a collaboration with the Constitutional Rights Education Working Group (CREWG), an initiative of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development in partnership with the Foundation for Human Rights (FHR), other key Government departments, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and civil society groups.

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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

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