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Updates Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Human Rights 75: activities update – 24 May 2023

Your fortnightly update of activities in the run-up to 10 December, Human Rights Day. In this update, trailblazing youths to address decision-makers; activities in Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Mexico and Syria; new partners on board.

24 May 2023

A range of stakeholders met to launch the Human Rights 75 initiative for Liberia. April 24, 2023.  © Derrick Snyder

2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Its 30 articles affect everyone’s lives – from the need to close the gender pay gap to ensuring everyone has access to education. The year is therefore an opportunity to rejuvenate thinking on how the Declaration is relevant to people today, as human rights bring solutions to the world’s biggest challenges.

Between April and November, consultations are therefore being held worldwide with a wide range of stakeholders to keep an ear to the ground on today’s challenges for human rights and opportunities in the future. On 11-12 December, governments will then gather in Geneva, Switzerland to issue pledges with the aim of tangibly improving human rights on the ground – such as by introducing legislation or announcing new funding. The high-level event will be preceded by candlelight concerts held around the globe to capture a movement pushing for a better future.

Below are updates on how the Human Rights 75 initiative is shaping up. Keep an eye on its webpage for more on how you can get involved.

Youth trailblazers announced

Safayet from Bangladesh has helped to prevent thousands of child marriages. Milena from Moldova has formed her country’s first youth-led organisation to promote gender equality. Racheal, from Uganda, has changed the way disabled pupils in her country experience school. And all before their 30th birthdays! Twelve inspiring youths out of thousands of applicants have been named as members of HR75’s Youth Advisory Board. They will now lead an online global youth consultation on the future of human rights, and prepare a report to be presented at December’s high-level event. Learn more about the trailblazing youths making a difference

National activities get underway

In May, the #DeFrenteALaLibertad initiative was launched In Mexico. Federal and state level authorities pledged to raise awareness on the risks faced by human rights defenders and journalists in the country. The Mexican government assumes the responsibility to protect human rights defenders and freedom of expression, underlined the President’s Spokesperson, Jesús Ramírez Cuevas.

Also in May, the UN Human Rights Office for Syria and UN Women Regional Office for Arab States led an event on women human rights defenders in the digital space. Participants heard about the challenges faced by human rights defenders, including women, online and offline, while tools were presented to help them protect themselves. Experience of online harassment were furthermore shared by prominent Syrian women human rights defenders. Read more

Meanwhile, nearly forty journalists representing media in six West African countries met in Jacqueville, Côte d'Ivoire, at the end of April to mark HR 75. There, the journalists formed the first federation of francophone media professionals from West Africa committed to the promotion of Human Rights and Women's Rights. The journalists subsequently signed the "Jacqueville Declaration" to ensure women are better represented in media content and institutions in West Africa.

At the end of April, around 190 participants furthermore launched the Human Rights 75 initiative for Liberia in the country’s capital, Monrovia. The event was attended by school children, youths, other civil society members and government representatives. Role plays, readings from the Declaration and poetry helped to convey how everyone has a role to play at the event, which ended with participants pledging to always stand up for human rights.

Mass of partners grows

A total of 179 national parliaments from all continents have joined the Human Rights 75 Initiative through the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). Parliaments are critical to ensuring that governments comply with international human rights obligations and in translating those into national legislation and policies. Learn more about the partnership

110 cities will be invited to reflect on one article of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights thanks to a new partnership with United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). The cities will couple this reflection with an action, such as improving road lighting for women’s safety or improving support to migrants. Discover how your city can get involved!

Upcoming - Vienna World Conference 30 Years On: Our Rights – Our Future

2023 marks the 30th anniversary of the World Conference on Human Rights, which took place in Vienna, Austria in 1993. Building on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, the World Conference affirmed the universality and indivisibility of human rights.

To mark this anniversary, a high-level symposium entitled “Vienna World Conference 30 Years On: Our Rights – Our Future” will take place in Vienna on 6 June 2023.

Logo of Vienna +30 event

At this event, organised by the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs in cooperation with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, human rights stakeholders from diverse backgrounds will discuss current and future challenges as well as best practices in the promotion and protection of human rights. Learn more

Save the Date – Human Rights 75 High-Level Event

10 December 2023 – Candlelight concerts worldwide

11 December 2023 – Multi-stakeholder segment and pledging event

12 December 2023 – High-level segment including Heads of State and Government

Geneva’s Palais des Nations, connected together with Bangkok, Nairobi and Panama.

View the announcement (PNG)