70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Thanks to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and States’ commitments to its principles, the dignity of millions has been uplifted, untold human suffering prevented and the foundations for a most just world have been laid.

While its promise is yet to be fulfilled, the very fact that it has stood the test of time is testament to the enduring universality of its perennial values of equality, justice and human dignity.

To highlight what the Universal Declaration means for people in their everyday lives, UN Human Rights is launching a year-long campaign on 10 December, Human Rights Day 2017 that will culminate in the actual occasion of the Declaration’s 70th anniversary celebration on the same day next year.

The campaign has three core objectives: to promote, engage and reflect. Our aim is to engage a broad base of audiences the world over; to help promote understanding of how the Universal Declaration empowers us all; and encourage further reflection on the ways that each of us can stand up for rights, every day.

The anniversary is a chance for the world to celebrate the gift of the Universal Declaration and to help reaffirm the enduring human rights principles and standards it has helped establish.

Key Messages

  • The UDHR empowers us all: It establishes the equal dignity and worth of every person. It confirms that the State has a core duty to promote standards of life that enable us to exercise our dignity and equality, in larger freedom.  
  • Human rights are relevant for all of us, every day. Human rights include our rights to freedom from fear and from want, freedom to speak up, rights to health and education; and to enjoy the benefits of measures to advance economic and social justice. 
  • Ours is a shared humanity rooted in these universal values. We are inter-connected.  These human rights that we have in common, solidarity with each other and fulfilment of human rights responsibilities are what bind us together on our shared planet. 
  • Equality, justice and freedom prevent violence and sustain peace. Respect for human rights, and sound, impartial rule of law to resolve disputes are at the core of development and peace. 
  • Whenever and wherever humanity's values are abandoned, we all are at greater risk.   We are at a crossroads. Attacks on human rights by people who want to profit from hatred and exploitation erode freedom and equality locally and globally. This can be, must be, resisted.
  • We need to stand up for our rights and those of others. Each of us can stand up.  We can take action in our own daily lives, to uphold the rights that protect us all and thereby promote the kinship of all human beings.

The anniversary’s hashtag is #standup4humanrights. It builds on the UN Human Rights Stand Up campaign, which calls on people to take action for greater freedoms, stronger respect and more compassion for the rights of others.

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