When is International Human Rights Day?

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR is a milestone document that proclaims the inalienable rights which 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. Available in more than 500 languages, it is the most translated document in the world.

History of Human Rights Day

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 10th, 1948, was the result of the experience of the second world war. It is considered a milestone document in the history of human rights.

After the end of the war, and the creation of the United Nations, the international community vowed never again to allow atrocities like those of that conflict happen again.

The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cover a wide range of issues that effectively mirror the human rights framework with many individual SDGs relating closely to economic, social, and political rights.

We have put together a list of 7 Interesting Facts related to Human Rights, which you might not have known.

1. Claudette Colvin was the first person arrested for resisting bus segregation, 9 months before Rosa Parks, but was not used as a figurehead for the civil rights movement because she was an unmarried, pregnant teenager.

2. In 2014 more than 1/3 of governments around the world, 62 out of 160 locked up prisoners of conscience – people who were simply exercising their rights and freedoms.

3. Frank Sinatra  was a big activist within the civil rights movement, refusing to stay at hotels that didn’t enable “blacks”. He used his mafia ties to help get labour unions behind John F. Kennedy because he knew they shared similar opinions on equal rights.

4. In 1994, a man in UK won the right to a retrial for a murder because it was found that the members of the jury used a Ouija board to contact the victims, before returning the verdicts.

5. The film Lord of War (2005) was officially endorsed by the human rights group Amnesty International for highlighting the arms trafficking by the international arms industry.

6. Afghanistan has attempted to reintroduce public stoning for adulterers while women are forced to undergo vaginal examinations to prove virginity.

7. Violence against women and girls is the most pervasive violation of human rights in the world today with 603 million women living in countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime.

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