Human Rights Day 2010

The theme for Human Rights Day 10 December 2010 is human rights defenders who act to end discrimination.

Human rights defenders acting against discrimination, often at great personal risk to both themselves and their families, are being recognized and acclaimed on this day.

Human rights defenders speak out against abuse and violations including discrimination, exclusion, oppression and violence.  They advocate justice and seek to protect the victims of human rights violations.  They demand accountability for perpetrators and transparency in government action.  In so doing, they are often putting at risk their own safety, and that of their families.

Some human rights defenders are famous, but most are not. They are active in every part of the world, working alone and in groups, in local communities, in national politics and internationally.

Human Rights Day 2010 will highlight and promote the achievements of human rights defenders and it will again emphasize the primary responsibility Governments have to enable and protect their role. The Day is also intended to inspire a new generation of defenders to speak up and take action to end discrimination in all of its forms whenever and wherever it is manifested.

The story does not end after 10 December 2010.  The focus on the work of human rights defenders will continue through all of 2011.

The UN Human Rights office can assist you build your own campaigns for 10 December and the year to follow.

Geneva Event
The High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay will lead a special event to celebrate Human Rights Day 2010 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. A number of grassroots human rights defenders and UN experts from different countries will talk about their experiences. 

Statements and messages
Statements by the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.

Visual designs
The visual designs in all six official UN languages come in vivid colors or black and white and in different shapes and sizes for adaption to all situations. They can be downloaded for use on your promotional materials.

Promotional materials
We have available a range of downloadable promotional materials. On this page you will find Information Notes, posters and stickers for additional visibility and broad appeal. 

Inspirational stories about human rights defenders, their lives and their work are often featured on the website of the UN Human Rights office.  Those features and the most recent interviews with human rights defenders especially organised for 10 December can be found on the stories page.

A number of human rights defenders have been interviewed for a special video tribute which explains their work and their motivations. A statement from the High Commissioner is available as a video for use by broadcasters at events. Additionally the webcast of the special event held to mark Human Rights Day 2010 in Geneva is also available