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Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on 10 December.

The date was chosen to honour the United NationsGeneral Assembly's adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights. The formal establishment of Human Rights Day occurred at the 317th Plentary Meeting of the General Assembly on 4 December 1950, when the General Assembly declared resolution 423(V), inviting all member states and any other interested organizations to celebrate the day as they saw fit.

The day is a high point in the calendar of UN headquarters in New York Citymarker, United Statesmarker, and is normally marked by both high-level political conferences and meetings and by cultural events and exhibitions dealing with human rights issues. In addition, it is traditionally on 10 December that the five-yearly United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights and Nobel Peace Prize are awarded. Many governmental and nongovernmental organizations active in the human rights field also schedule special events to commemorate the day, as do many civil and social-cause organisations.

The theme for 2006 was the struggle against poverty, taking it as a human rights issue. Several statements were released on that occasion, including the one issued by 37 United Nations Special Procedures mandate holders

The 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights occurs on December 10, 2008, and the UN Secretary-General has launched a year-long campaign to lead up to this anniversary. Because the UDHR holds the world record as the most translated document (with more than 360 language versions available), organizations around the globe will be able to use the year to focus on helping people everywhere learn about their rights.

Past Observances

1979



2004



2006

  • In an irony of fate, former Chilean president/dictator Augusto Pinochet, known for human rights violations committed during his authoritarian rule, died of a heart attack on 10 December 2006, at the age of 91.


2008

  • California gay rights activists urged people to support equal rights by "calling in 'gay'" to work. This was in response to the renewed ban on gay marriage when Proposition 8 passed earlier in the year.


  • Several people were detained in Chinamarker after around 300 people signed an online petition titled Charter 08 for the government to improve human rights in the country. In Beijing, a small protest was broken up that took place outside the foreign ministry.


  • UNYA Australia celebrated Human Rights Day with the write4rights campaign, asking young people to contribute a message about human rights by phone or on a website for display in Australian State capital cities.




  • Celebrations took place in Phnom Penhmarker and around Cambodiamarker, including a march by 5000 people, and a further 1000 people releasing balloons, organised by NGOs.


  • Other celebrations and events took place in Russiamarker and Indiamarker.


Date variance



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