Human rights Day 2009embrace diversity, end discrimination

Help end discrimination, celebrate Human Rights Day 2009… and beyond

Here are ideas and tools that will help you develop campaigns against discrimination. This is just the start. You can think of activities and materials that suit your local community. Launch your own initiative to mark Human Rights Day 2009. Be creative and schedule activities aimed at ending discrimination throughout 2010.

First of all, join us and use our visual designs: you can choose from a Human Rights Day design, a tagline (Embrace diversity, End discrimination), and a combination of both. Here, you can find the designs in English, French and Spanish. You can also translate them into your own language.

You can download from our website information on discrimination, feature stories and other materials.

Let us know what you achieve. Submit your stories, activities, and creative content using the visual designs. Contact us at

See below for ideas that may help you plan for Human Rights Day and 2010.

General Activities

Visual designs. You can use the Human Rights Day 2009 design, the tagline, or both. Send your request following the guidelines and stamp your public information materials, publications, website, banners, tee shirts, pins, postage stamps, etc.

About non-discrimination. Use the content in our web page to develop your own flyers, brochures, information notes, etc. and translate it into the language of your community.

Symbolic action. Plan a specific date and time to honour Human Rights Day or to advocate against discrimination. Let citizens in your community unite in a common symbolic action (e.g., lighting of candles, raising of flag, half-an-hour human rights programmes at schools, concerts for children).

"Discrimination-free communities": Encourage communities or sectors of all sizes (e.g., a village, a school, a university, a workplace, a senior citizens' centre) to declare themselves to be "discrimination-free". As such they will promote the observance of and respect for human rights, non-discrimination and diversity.

Twinnings: Organize twinnings between countries/cities or sectors which will contribute to raising the profile of non-discrimination activities in the respective countries in order to share ideas and to provide mutual support for twinned entities.

Sports. Organize sports competitions around a non-discrimination theme .

International Days. Benefit from existing events and observances to draw attention to discrimination issues.

Fund-raising: Fund-raise for national/international human rights organizations.

Civil society  

Information. Produce information and educational materials on discrimination (e.g., publicity posters, fliers, pictures, calendars about non-discrimination) for constituencies.

Events. Organize campaigns, events, conferences and seminars or introduce courses on discrimination.

Integration. Organize programmes aimed at integrating "discriminated persons" into the mainstream of society.

Cinema. Host a film screening and discussion or coordinate a film festival highlighting discrimination issues.

Youth activities. Train young people to integrate non-discrimination in their work with youth organizations, younger children in schools, volunteer work, on the streets and the population in general. For instance, organize a "youth caravan" or cross-country walk where young people will make presentations on discrimination for both children and adults.

Popular activities. Organize street theatre, dance, local festivals and other popular presentations relating to non-discrimination and human rights for a variety of audiences.

Texting. Organize an SMS/text message initiative on discrimination.

Governments, local authorities and national human rights institutions

Action plans. Adopt national plans of action for combating discrimination and promote non-discrimination policies.

Events. Host a national/ international event – workshop, lecture, conference, parliamentary debates – on the issue of discrimination.

Infrastructure development. Strengthen national infrastructures to combat discrimination. Create cross-sectoral coordinating committees to work on non-discrimination.

Legislative review. Ratify international human rights treaties and review national legislation so that it conforms with international human rights law.

Awards. Inaugurate an annual award for national/local human rights defenders combating discrimination.

Publications. Set up a special stand in libraries to highlight available books relating to discrimination issues.

Schools, universities and cultural institutions

Art competitions.  Sponsor school art, music, writing, design, drawing and web-based material competitions on non discrimination with the winners' work being published, printed, or otherwise widely distributed.

Human rights education. Use literacy programmes as a means to educate about non-discrimination and human rights.

Debates. Organize lecture series, film series, book discussions, workshops, seminars,  debates and symposia on discrimination and human rights.

Prizes. Promote a national discrimination / human rights research award/prize.

Seminars. Organize conferences, seminars, pre-service and in-service training for teachers and educators on discrimination.

Books. Display books and magazines on non-discrimination.

Bookmarks. Distribute bookmarks recommending books on non-discrimination for both young and adult readers.

Special transport. Organize a "Discrimination-free bus" to travel through rural areas bringing information, training, materials and speakers on discrimination.

Commission artworks. Commission works of art on non-discrimination and provide a setting for their presentation.

Exhibitions. Ask local artists to create a piece on discrimination and organize an exhibit to show the work.

Human rights stand. Organize a discrimination and human rights stand at international/national/local book fairs.

Private and Business Community

Advertising. Introduce non-discrimination messages in publicity and advertising (e.g. on food products, soda cans, cereal boxes, etc.).

Grants. Establish a foundation to combat discrimination and give grants for non-discrimination projects.

High profile functions. Organize high profile functions with a non-discrimination theme (may be fundraising functions, presentations of awards, etc.).

Financial support. Offer financial support for non-discrimination initiatives at the community and local levels.

Non-discrimination courses. Hold conferences and seminars or introduce courses on non-discrimination.

Awareness-raising. Raise awareness of discrimination issues among users of the services rendered by the profession (e.g., distribution of accessible information materials to users; holding workshops and public education sessions on various discrimination issues).

UN Global Compact. Join the UN Global Compact. The Compact asks participating companies to support and enact 10 principles relating to human rights, labour standards, the environment and discrimination, among others.

Develop standards. Implement plans to uphold non-discrimination standards within your company.

Education campaigns. Develop non-discrimination education campaigns within your business for your own employees.

For Media

Stress discrimination issues. Highlight discrimination situations in your area of coverage.

Commission op-eds. Set aside a dedicated space once a week or once a month for publishing stories/opinion articles on discrimination.

Editorial emphasis. Run stories or conduct interviews on discrimination. Produce a compilation of real-life stories of people affected by discrimination.

Competitions. Organize a competition for the best published article/s on human rights throughout the year .