The 20th Anniversary of OHCHR – Open House Day at Palais Wilson Geneva
The UN Human Rights Office opened its Geneva headquarters, Palais Wilson, to the public on Saturday 14 September, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event was co-hosted by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, with the kind support of the City and Canton of Geneva.
The day celebrated the 20th anniversary of the creation of the UN Human Rights Office. It was also dedicated to the efforts of human rights defenders, civil society actors and staff around the world who work to fulfill the ideals of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Open House Day featured activities for the younger and older public.
Please see the programme in English: and in French:
Human rights experts participated in two panel discussions on:
- Women human rights defenders, and
- Reprisals against people or groups that cooperate with the United Nations to denounce human rights abuses.
Visitors were given an opportunity to ask them their most burning questions.
Palais Wilson hosts a number of artistic works by artists from around the world that were donated to the UN Human Rights Office over the years and displayed around the building.
During the Open House Day, visitors discovered reproductions of old pictures of Palais Wilson dating from the beginning of last century.
Palais Wilson is one of the historic architectural staples of Geneva. It was also the first home of the League of Nations. A local historian guided visitors around Palais Wilson and reveal its many secrets.
What are human rights and what does the United Nations do to promote and protect them? Visitors could find out by watching a number of short and feature length documentaries, as well as works of fiction by renowned international directors.
Poets and spoken-word artists gave their interpretation of human rights.
How do you explain human rights to children? We asked a puppeteer to try. An interactive computer game for children between 8-12 made children experts in human rights. How do we know that? Because they had a diploma they could take home with them!
Palais Wilson was lit by a special light show every night during the fortnight leading-up to the Open House Day.