Human Rights Day is observed every year on December 10. It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe December 10 of each year as Human Rights Day.
What is the focus of Human Rights Day this year?
This year Human Rights Day highlights ‘freedoms,’ recalling the four freedoms that underlie the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and two major human rights covenants, and first articulated in 1941 by President Franklin D Roosevelt in his “four freedoms speech” to the US Congress. The two Covenants are legally binding treaties for the States that are parties. Today is devoted to the launch of a year-long campaign for the 50thanniversary of the two International Covenants on Human Rights: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
What is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?
It is a milestone document in the history of human rights, the most translated in the world. It was proclaimed “a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations,” and sets out fundamental human rights to be universally protected. It consists of a preamble and 30 articles.
What are the two Human Rights Covenants?
They are: The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights were both adopted on December 16, 1966. The preambles and articles 1, 3 and 5 of the two International Covenants are almost identical. The two Covenants, together with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, form the International Bill of Human Rights, setting out the civil, political, cultural, economic, and social rights that are the birth right of all human beings. One hundred sixty-eight States are party to the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights today, while 164 are party to the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
This year’s theme, “Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always.” aims to promote and raise awareness of the two Covenants on their 50th anniversary. The year-long campaign revolves around the theme of rights and freedoms – freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear – which underpin the International Bill of Human Rights.