International Human Rights Day : 10 December 2022
New Delhi – Human Rights Day is celebrated on 10 December annually across the world. This Day came into existence on December 10, 1948, when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations. This day is observed every year across the world, as it empowers us all. The day also acknowledges the advocates and defenders of human rights around the world.
The theme of the day:
The theme for Human Rights Day 2021 is “EQUALITY – Reducing inequalities, advancing human rights.” This year’s Human Rights Day theme relates to ‘Equality’ and Article 1 of the UDHR – “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
History of the day:
United Nations General Assembly also known as UNGA adopted the UDHR i.e Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the year 1948 on this very day. This was adopted with an agenda to eradicate the feeling of alienation from any person’s life due to the colour of his/her skin, the background of their community or culture, etc. The movement gained popularity instantly and almost 200,000 human rights stamps were ordered in advance from the United Nations Postal Administration in the year 1952.
Human Rights Speech : By United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk
Human rights violations anywhere concern all of us, everywhere. As journalists, every day, you play an incredibly important role in ensuring that large-scale human suffering does not go unreported and that the demands of the people are amplified so that those with the power, influence and the funds hear it to make a difference.
You will have seen my statement on Ukraine on Wednesday, and today I want to highlight for you a few other crises. In fact situations that have serious effects, and somehow have been forgotten. But don’t make the headlines.
Among these is Haiti. A crisis that has now actually forced its way back into the headlines. It cannot be ignored. This is a country where armed gangs, reportedly supported by economic and political elites, control more than 60% of the capital. Where some 4.7 million face acute hunger. Since the beginning of this year, a staggering 1,448 people have been killed, 1,145 injured and 1,005 kidnapped by gangs.
And remember that behind each of these numbers are entire families and communities that are torn apart by the violence. Gang members are also using sexual violence to instill fear and exert control over the population, as a report issued in October by the Human Rights Service of the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) highlighted.
This is a multifaceted and protracted crisis. But solutions exist. They require political courage and responsibility at a national and international level. The root causes of the crisis, especially social inequalities, rampant corruption, collusion between powerful elites and gang leaders, and endemic impunity, must be addressed. It is unconscionable that there are people benefiting from this endemic insecurity and the suffering of Haitians.
These – and many other crisis situations that have faded from the headlines – not only have severe consequences for the people directly affected, but are likely to have ripple effects across borders, and risk further de-stabilizing their regions.
One thing they – and so many other crises – have in common is disregard for human rights.
And globally, we are also seeing a crisis of trust. The rise in social movements and protests, across all regions, is a clear sign of the corrosiveness of institutions that are supposed to serve people.
The world cannot afford for its leaders to consider human rights only as an afterthought or – worse – an instrument of geopolitics.
What greater lesson did we glean from COVID-19 – and the climate emergency – than just how interdependent we truly are? That’s really a big lesson.