Human Rights Day, 10 December 2006 - Fighting poverty a matter of obligation not charity
Today, poverty prevails as the gravest human rights
challenge in the world. Combating poverty, deprivation and
exclusion is not a matter of charity, and it does not depend
on how rich a country is.
By tackling poverty as a matter of human rights obligation,
the world will have a better chance of abolishing this
scourge in our lifetime...
Poverty eradication is an achievable goal.

Louise Arbour
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights



OHCHR NY Offices and UN HQ :

Human Rights week (6-10 December)

  • Wednesday, 6 December
    Civil Society Forum:Human Rights and Poverty: Voices from Affected Groups
  • Thursday, 7 December
    Film: Punam: a moving short film about the life of a Nepalese family living in poverty
  • Friday, 8 December, Annual Human Rights Day Feature Event
    Expert Panel Discussion : Beyond Charity: Rights, Power and Poverty: Webcast: 
  • All Week
    Art exhibit:Drawing it Out: 300 cartoons on HIV/AIDS by artists from around the world.  

9 th Annual UN Student Conference: Migration and Development: Challenges for Human Rights: UN International School ( Manhattan ) and UN Headquarters, Webcast:

  OHCHR Field presences and the UN system

Abkhazia, Georgia

Sukhumi – 10 December: Opening of the Human Rights Centre at the Sukhumi University combined with the observance of the 10th anniversary of the UN Human Rights Office in Abkhazia, Georgia (established on 10 December 1996); the Human Rights Centre at the Sukhumi University was established under a Human Rights Office in Abkhazia, Georgia- HROAG-implemented, OSCE-funded project.


7 to 8 December - Ceremony held at the National Assembly to mark the occasion, with a two-day workshop on “Human Rights and Poverty” organized by OHCHR Angola focusing on the local human rights situation and the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals in Angola, where one fourth of the population lives in extreme poverty.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo – 11 December: Launch of a brochure which brings together recommendations intended to give practical advice on further steps to implement human rights in BiH. The launch took place at the Joint Institutions Building with the presence of the Prime Minister, Mr. Adnan Terzic, the UN Resident Coordinator and the OHCHR BiH Officer in Charge.


Phnom Penh – 10 December
OHCHR Cambodia: The Office issued an information note on human rights and poverty in the country.

Central Africa Regional Centre

Cameroon -- 10 to 13 December

OHCHR’s Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa organized an official ceremony, and four well-attended human rights conferences on gender, the role of NGOs, good governance and corruption, and human rights in rural areas, to commemorate Human Rights Day 2006. The Dec.12 ceremony, opened by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was attended by some 200 government, diplomatic and civil society representatives. The events were widely covered by the local and regional media.

Colombia :

Bogota - 12 December: Celebration at the National Museum with messages by Human Rights dignitaries, the resident coordinator, music groups and artists. A video portraying Colombian artists will be shown.

OHCHR Colombia is producing a 2007 calendar and agenda displaying works by local artists and a booklet on poverty and human rights.

Ethiopia :

Addis Ababa – 25 November to 10 December

16 days of Activism to end Violence, Poverty, Exploitation and Discrimination is an event integrating different activities in the country in collaboration with the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the UN system, including OHCHR Ethiopia.

Ethiopia - 10 December 2006 Ethiopia - 10 December 2006 Ethiopia - 10 December 2006
Ethiopia - 10 December 2006 Ethiopia - 10 December 2006  

UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE)

Asmara – 8 December
UNMEE organized ceremonies which included the presence of dignataries, UN and diplomatic representatives accredited to Eritrea. The audience of nearly 200 people included UNMEE personnel, the Asmara Choir and students and teachers from six Asmara based high schools of Keih Bahri, Semaetat, Barka, Gulolimo Marconi, Denden and Asmara Complex, that have collaborated to produce the day’s programme. A students’ contest was organized on the 2006 Human Rights Day theme “Fighting Poverty, A Matter of Obligation Not Charity”. Other events were organized at Mekelle University campus and at Adigrat, by the Sinseta Mariam Secondary School.

Human Rights Day Human Rights Day Human Rights Day

Latin America and Caribbean Regional Office

Santiago, Chile – 11 December
An event was organized by the Regional Office in collaboration with the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Representatives from both organisms and Chile’s Minister of the Presidency, Paulina Veloso, participated in the event.


10 December - Human Rights and Protection Section (HRPS) of the UN Mission in Liberia, together with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Rescue Committee, and the Human Rights Protection Forum, organized commemorative events focusing on human rights and poverty in seven counties, with the participation of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Minister for Justice Frances Johnson Morris in an event at Monrovia City Hall.


Skopje - 13 December
A public discussion on the topic “Fighting Poverty: a Matter of Obligation not Charity” was organized jointly by the UN Country Team and Government of Macedonia to mark the Human Rights Day 2006. The event also offered an opportunity for the Government to present the concluding observations of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on Macedonia.

Middle East Regional Office

Beirut - 7 December
An event was organized in collaboration with the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). Fateh Azzam, Regional Representative, delivered a speech on human rights based approach to fighting poverty. ESCWA presented a power point on social development policies focusing on equity and rights concepts. The event was well attended by representatives of the Lebanese Parliament and BAR Association, UN agencies, Embassies of the Middle East Region, NGOs’, journalists and other individuals.


4 December - Launch of national public information joint campaign by OHCHR, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on “Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) – the right to return”

9 and 10 December - OHCHR officers in Nepal represented the Office at a number of events, such as two large civil society gatherings, one organized by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

10 December- Lena Sundh, the Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal delivered the keynote address on the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) at a high civil society event organized by the International Commission of Jurists.

Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)

10 December - OHCHR OPT organized workshops in Gaza and Ramallah in partnership with the National Coalition for the Global Call for Action against Poverty – Palestine.

Workshops in Gaza Workshops in Gaza

The UN Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) opened an exhibition in Ramallah of art works produced by young Palestinian artists in cooperation with the Young Artist Forum, under the Human Rights Day theme.

OHCHR and the World Health Organization (WHO) co-hosted a viewing in Ramallah of three short documentary films entitled “Stories from the Middle East” produced by two Palestinian directors and one Israeli director exposing the realities of poverty and promoting the right to health.

Russian Federation

Moscow – 11 December
The UN Information Center organized a series of lectures, briefings and meetings in Saint Petersburg University with the Director of the Moscow Institute of European Law, Mark Entin, on human rights and poverty and on the latest developments in the field of human rights.

Sierra Leone

10 December - Inauguration of the National Human Rights Commission on Human Rights Day 2006; the swearing-in ceremony of its commissioners was attended by members of civil society, human rights NGOs, the Bar Association, government officials, and members of the diplomatic community, with the Minister of Justice highlighting the Commission’s crucial role in following up on the implementation of recommendations by the Truth and Reconciliation Committee.

Southern Africa Regional Office

8 December
In collaboration with the South African Human Rights Commission and other national institutions, OHCHR’s Regional Office for Southern Africa organized a lecture on the theme: Fighting poverty: a matter of obligation, not charity. Celebrating 10 years of South Africa's Constitution.

Sri Lanka :

Colombo - 10 December

OHCHR will participate to the HRD informational street fair organized in Colombo by the Ministry of Human Rights.

Thailand :

Bangkok – 11 December

An event by OHCHR South-East Asia will be organized in collaboration with UNESCAP at the United Nations Conference Center. This will include the special messages from the UN Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Thai Prime Minister, and the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand. This will be followed by a panel discussion on the above-mentioned theme together with an exhibition and a human rights film screening in collaboration with the United Nations Country Team and selected NGOs and government agencies.


Lomé - 13 December
OHCHR Togo organized a gathering with 60 civil society organizations on the theme “Fighting Poverty: A Matter of Obligation, not Charity”.


5 to 10 December
A series of inter-active events were organized or facilitated by OHCHR Uganda’s six field offices and Kampala Headquarters during Human Rights Week in Uganda. Some of the most popular activities included dramas focused on various human rights issues by local actors in Gulu and Kitgum districts, which were played in several camps for internally displaced persons, followed by public discussions, and aired as a recording on local radio stations.

Uganda - Human Rights Day Uganda - Human Rights Day

This year also marked the first celebration of Human Rights Day in Teso-sub region (Soroti), in Karamoja sub-region (Moroto) and in Pader (Acholiland).


Hanoi – 10 December
The UN Country Team produced and issued a press release, in English and Vietnamese, on human rights and poverty in the country.

OHCHR Partners


Various Indonesian cities - 10 December 2006

Various events organised by the International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID) will take place in Jakarta , Kupang, Jember, Klaten, Lampung, and Klaten. These include panel discussions, concerts and shows.