Human Rights Day

“After all, where do universal human rights begin? 

They begin close to home, in places so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world (…) 

If rights are meaningless in these places, they will be meaningless elsewhere. 

If everyone does not show the civic-mindedness necessary to ensure that they are respected in their own environment, we cannot expect progress on a global scale.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt, Chairperson of the UN Commission on Human Rights in its early days | Excerpt from her speech – March 27, 1958 – 10th anniversary of the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

As the year-long campaign to mark 75 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 2023 begins, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk says, “When it comes to human rights, we need everyone on board.”

The latter reminds us of the importance in the current context of reclaiming the universality of human rights, that they cannot be divided, and of finding a way to engage the activism of youth around the world. A founding document containing some thirty articles, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes that “fundamental rights and freedoms are inherent in every human being, that they are inalienable and apply equally to all, that we are all born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

Under the theme “Dignity, Freedom and Justice for All”, the campaign will run throughout the year. Its mission is to promote a better understanding of the Declaration’s universality, to grasp its scope and the activism it has inspired, and to encourage collective action to address the considerable challenges of climate change, pandemics, conflict and growing inequality.

Read about the articles of the Declaration in this illustrated version. Why not discover the women who contributed to the drafting of the Declaration?