The UN General Assembly proclaimed 10 December as Human Rights Day in 1950, to bring to the attention ‘of the peoples of the world’ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.
This year, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights marks 20 years since its establishment. The United Nations General Assembly created the mandate of High Commissioner for the promotion and protection of all human rights in December 1993. The General Assembly was acting on a recommendation from delegates to the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna earlier the same year.
The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted by the World Conference, marked the beginning of a renewed effort in the protection and promotion of human rights and is regarded as one of the most significant human rights documents of the past quarter century.
“On Human Rights Day, I call on States to fulfil the promises they made at the Vienna Conference. I reiterate the commitment of the UN Secretariat, funds and programmes to vigilance and courage in the face of human rights violations,” said UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon in his 2013 message.
- UN Secretary-General’s message
- 20 Years of Human Rights Video
- Human Rights Multimedia Timeline
- Human Rights Day Website
- 20 Years of Working for Your Rights OHCHR Website
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights