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Human Rights Day: All human, all equal

29 November 2021

Human Rights Day 2021 © UN Human Rights

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to a major crossroads: either we take the route of collective action and concretely address the pervasive inequalities that have risen across the globe, or we continue on the route filled with deep-rooted injustices and pervasive inequalities.

On Human Rights Day, 10 December, we are choosing to take the path that brings us towards a future with equality at its core. We invite you to join us.

At the heart of human rights lie the principles of equality and non-discrimination. Equality has the power to help break cycles of poverty; it can give young people the world over the same opportunities; it can help in advancing the right to a healthy environment; it can help tackle the root causes of conflict and crisis.

Equality means everyone has access to COVID-19 vaccines, not just wealthy nations, and that everyone can live in dignity, no matter who they are or where they were born.

Equality “means that we embrace our diversity and demand that all be treated without any kind of discrimination,” says UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet.

 On Human Rights Day, we are calling for a new social contract. This means addressing pervasive inequalities and structural discrimination with measures grounded in human rights. It requires renewed political commitment, the participation of all, especially the most affected, and a more just distribution of power, resources and opportunities.

Equality and non-discrimination are the key to prevention of some of the biggest global crises of our time. Human rights have the power to tackle the root causes of conflict and crisis, by addressing grievances, eliminating inequalities and exclusion and allowing people to participate in decision making that affects their lives. 

 Societies that protect and promote human rights for everyone are more resilient and sustainable, and stand better equipped to weather unexpected crises such as pandemics and the impacts of the climate crisis. 

As we continue on the path towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and countries’ commitments to leave no one behind, we must strive for a world where a life of equality in dignity and rights is a lived reality for all.

On Human Rights Day 2021, High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet will invite us all to join efforts for equality, so that we recover better, fairer and greener from this crisis.

Human Rights Day is marked every year on 10 December to commemorate the day in 1948 the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Join us to help spread the word that we’re all human, and all equal. Find out more