You are here: Celebrating 70 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

10 December 2018

Human Rights Day – observed annually on 10 December to mark the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – is an opportunity to celebrate the rights we should all enjoy, call for their promotion by people everywhere and thank those working hard to defend them – from grassroots activists to international lawyers and UN staffers.

This year the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70. In a Human Rights Day message, the UN's human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, shone a light on the progress that has been made since the Declaration was adopted:

Over the seven decades since its adoption, the Universal Declaration has underpinned countless beneficial changes in the lives of millions of people across the world, permeating some 90 national constitutions and numerous national, regional and international laws and institutions.

But as Bachelet makes clear: "that progress is under threat". Violations of human rights are increasing and the very concept of human rights is under attack - not only by its critics but by some of its hitherto staunchest defenders. The UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in his message, said that "now more than ever, our shared duty is clear: Let us stand up for human rights -- for everyone, everywhere." 

We are delighted that so many of our supporters around Britain are using the anniversary to remind people in their community that human rights matter to them too, that they are for everyone, everywhere. 

Here are some ideas to help you champion human rights:

António Guterres' full message can be found here. Michelle Bachelet's full message can be found here