The international community every year on 10 December observes Human Rights Day.
It was initiated in 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly and marks adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The formal declaration of 10th Dec as world human rights day however dates back to 1950.
In 1950 he United Nations General Assembly passed resolution 423 (V) and invited all States and interested organizations to adopt 10 December as an annual day of human rights. Till date this day is celebrated worldwide to mark the importance of Human Rights in our daily lives. This day is holds high sociopolitical importance and is marked by high level of political conferences and social events supporting the basic human right.
The history of human rights day also includes the life UDHR. UDHR is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which interestingly holds the world record as the most translated document after Bible. The 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights occurred on 10 December 2008, where the UN Secretary-General launched a year-long campaign leading up to this anniversary.
In 1950 when the General Assembly adopted the Declaration, 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, is the main United Nations rights official, and her Office play a major role in coordinating efforts for the yearly observation of Human Rights Day. Each year marked a different annual agenda for the human rights day and celebrations are done eccentric to that.
The year 2008, saw not only the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also some major inclusions in the human rights field. In this year Gay rights activists in the U.S. state of California urged people to support equal rights by “calling in ‘gay'” to work in response to the renewed ban on gay marriage when Proposition 8 passed earlier in the year. Proposition 8 known informally as Prop 8 was a state constitutional amendment passed in the November 2008 California state elections to ban same sex marriages
In the same year 2008 many people in china were detained when they 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. Almost 300 people participated and signed this campaign. Hence, marking a public resolute in the field of Human rights for China.
This was not all and apart from US and China , Australia also saw an special event when 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.
This effort was appreciated and noted world wide.
Paris, France has also been witness to the gran 60th anniversary celebration of the Human Rights Day. Amnesty International organized a large event in Paris, France, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the UN resolution.
The year saw not only developed but also developing nations like Cambodia celebrating the spirit of human rights when Celebrations took place in Phnom Penh and around Cambodia, including a march by 5000 people, and a further 1000 people releasing balloons, organized by NGOs. While other events took place in Russia and INDIA.
In 2013, twenty years working for your rights was the theme of the 2013 Human Rights Day celebration, when the world celebrated the creation of the position of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was established which empowered an official, independent voice to speak worldwide for human rights.
In an interesting coincidence, former Chilean 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.
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.
And hence, the Human Rights Day marks the annual celebrations of basic human rights and unites all the nations worldwide under the common agenda of equal rights to all.