Why is today Human Rights Day and what is this year’s theme?

The Houses Of Parliament lit up this year to mark Human Rights Day (Picture: Getty Images)

Today, December 10, is International Human Rights Day – which as usual will be marked by events across the world.

The day usually sees high-level political conferences and meetings, as well as exhibitions and cultural events taking place – while governments often organise their own events to commemorate the day.

This year’s kicks off celebrations leading to next year’s 75th anniversary of the events which led to the inception of Human Rights Day.

It’s also, traditionally, the day on which the annual Nobel Peace Prize is awarded.

But why has December 10 been chosen to mark the occasion – and what is the theme of Human Rights Day this year?

Why is today Human Rights Day?

Today has been chosen as Human Rights Day as it marks the anniversary of the day, in 1948, that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights.

The document, according to the UN website, proclaims the inalienable rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status’.

It has since been made available in over 500 languages, and is the most translated document in the world.

Human Rights Day was formally adopted in 1950, after the Assembly passed Resolution 423, which invited all organisations and interested states to mark the day on December 10.

The United Nations Postal Administration went on to issue a commemorative stamp of the day in 1952, which received over 200,000 advance orders – showing just how popular the idea was.

What is the theme of Human Rights Day this year?

The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights is turning 75 in 2023 (Picture: Getty Images)

This year the theme of Human Rights Day is Dignity, Freedom and Justice For All.

With the declaration turning 75 next year, the 2022 day will mark the start of a year-long campaign to showcase the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by focusing on its legacy, activism and relevance.

‘As the world faces challenges new and ongoing – pandemics, conflicts, exploding inequalities, morally bankrupt global financial system, racism, climate change – the values, and rights enshrined in the UDHR provide guideposts for our collective actions that do not leave anyone behind,’ the UN says on its website.

‘The year-long campaign seeks to shift the needle of understanding and action towards greater knowledge of the universality of the UDHR and the activism associated with it.’


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