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Human Rights: A Vision for the Human Future

Each year, human rights are celebrated around the world on 10 December, marking the anniversary of the day in 1948 when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. The simple yet profound belief behind human rights is that each one of us possesses fundamental rights based upon our humanity alone. They are guided by a global vision for the human future in which every person without distinction and without exception are entitled to live with dignity, equality, and freedom. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the official framework of that vision.

On Human Rights Day, it is particularly important to remember those among humanity’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged who are denied their basic rights and are often left without a voice. We must, therefore, celebrate the United Nations’ covenants, treaties, and conventions, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD), that put the visionary framework of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into action.

The CRC, CRPD, and other treaties give shape to our human future through shared universal understandings of how to ensure a better life for all, including the young, vulnerable, and disabled. Although every country in the world recognizes the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, not every country fulfills and respects these rights and, for various reasons, each country does not enter into every United Nations treaty or international agreement.HRD2012_EN_large

You are encouraged to use this day to review the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, reflect upon how basic rights are being fulfilled in your local community, and provide a public voice for those who are not having their rights respected. Please use other treaties, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to guide conversations about human rights and consider the opportunities for a shared vision of a world in which every person lives with dignity, equality, and freedom.

Resources

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

United Nations Treaty Collection

Convention on the Rights of the Child

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

2012 Human Rights Day Visual Designs to Promote the Day