Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The formal inception of Human Rights Day dates from 1950, after the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V) inviting all States and interested organizations to adopt 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.
When the General Assembly adopted the Declaration, with 48 states in favor and eight abstentions, it was proclaimed as a “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations”, towards which individuals and societies should “strive by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance”. Although the Declaration with its broad range of political, civil, social, cultural and economic rights is not a binding document, it inspired more than 60 human rights instruments which together constitute an international standard of human rights. Today the general consent of all United Nations Member States on the basic Human Rights laid down in the Declaration makes it even stronger and emphasizes the relevance of Human Rights in our daily lives.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights, as the main United Nations rights official, and his Office play a major role in coordinating efforts for the yearly observation of Human Rights Day.
Photo: Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, (United States) holding a Declaration of Human Rights
© UN Photo