Human Rights Day
Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December – the day on which the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all. The principles enshrined in the Declaration are as relevant today as they were in 1948. We need to stand up for our own rights and those of others. We can take action in our own daily lives, to uphold the rights that protect us all and thereby promote the kinship of all human beings.
In December 1948, UNESCO was the first United Nations agency to place the Universal Declaration at the heart of all its action, to promote it across the world through education and the media.
Human rights gain new meaning when they become a reality in the daily life of every single person in the world. Bringing human rights home is at the core of UNESCO’s mission in all its fields of competence – education, science, culture and communication. In the context of the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), UNESCO brings to the fore the centrality of human rights protection in the history and the mandate of the Organization.
MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL
"Nelson Mandela, a leading advocate of the “common ideal” defined by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, stated that “to deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.” As we celebrate Human Rights Day, these words resonate more strongly at this difficult time for the international community."
— Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO
Join UNESCO’s #RightToEducation campaign
Education is a fundamental human right of every woman, man and child. Yet this right is still not a reality for millions and is violated every single day. This is unacceptable!
Join UNESCO’s #RightToEducation campaign and help spread the messages about this key human right with the power to transform lives around the world!
- UNESCO adopts the first United Nations international treaty on higher education
- UNESCO and OHCHR strengthen cooperation to advance human rights
- UNESCO joins forces with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to advance freedom of expression
- Indigenous peoples’ right to education: Overview of measures reported by Member States
- Resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly
- Resolution adopted by the UNESCO General Conference
- International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024)
- International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013—2022)
- Memory of the World - Human Rights Day
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
- Fidelio - in this short animation, Leonore braves a thousand dangers to free her imprisoned lover (OperaVision and Belgian artist collective WALPURGI)
- UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence
- Human Rights: a thorny path, The UNESCO Courier, 2008
- Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights
- Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights
- Selection of UNESCO publications on Human rights and related themes
- UN website about this day
- All Commemorations