Skip to main content

Countdown to Human Rights Day

13-year-old Francisco Vera has been advocating for climate justice since he was 9 years old.

Learn more

© UN Photo | Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, (United States) holding a Declaration of Human Rights

Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The formal inception of Human Rights Day dates from 1950, after the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V) inviting all States and interested organizations to adopt 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.

When the General Assembly adopted the Declaration, it was proclaimed as a "common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations", towards which individuals and societies should "strive by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance".

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights sets out a broad range of fundamental rights and freedoms to which all of us are entitled. It guarantees the rights of every individual everywhere, without distinction based on nationality, place of residence, gender, national or ethnic origin, religion, language, or any other status.

Although the Declaration is not a binding document, it inspired more than 60 human rights instruments which together constitute an international standard of human rights. Today the general consent of all United Nations Member States on the basic Human Rights laid down in the Declaration makes it even stronger and emphasizes the relevance of Human Rights in our daily lives.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights, as the main United Nations rights official, and the Office of the High Commissioner play a major role in coordinating efforts for the yearly observation of Human Rights Day.


Latest and past observances of Human Rights Day

2022 - 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

2021 - All human- All equal

2020 - Recover Better

2019 - Youth Standing Up for Human Rights

2018 - The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70

2017 - The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70

2016 - Stand up for someone's rights today

2015 - Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always.

2014 - #Rights365

2013 - 20 Years Working for Your Rights

2012 - My Voice counts

2011 - Celebrate human rights!

2010 - Speak up, Stop Discrimination

2009 - Embrace Diversity, End Discrimination

2007-2008 - 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

2006 - Fighting Poverty: A Matter of Obligation, Not Charity

2005 - Torture and the Global Efforts to Combat it

2004 - Human Rights Education