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10 December: Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December – the day on which the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all. The principles enshrined in the Declaration are as relevant today as they were in 1948. We need to stand up for our own rights and those of others. 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.

In December 1948, UNESCO was the first United Nations agency to place the Universal Declaration at the heart of all its action, to promote it across the world through education and the media.

Human rights gain new meaning when they become a reality in the daily life of every single person in the world. Bringing human rights home is at the core of UNESCO’s mission in all its fields of competence – education, science, culture and communication. In the context of the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), UNESCO brings to the fore the centrality of human rights protection in the history and the mandate of the Organization.  

"Once again in our time, human rights are under threat. Across the world, we see how easily they can be swept aside by dehumanising stereotypes and the rise of intolerant discourse. Conflict, violent extremism and natural disasters can cause chaos, undermining the rights of the most vulnerable in society. Emerging technologies, particularly artificial intelligence, also must be developed with full respect for human rights. We must remain ever vigilant that the progress made in the past 70 years is maintained, and UNESCO will continue to play its role being the leading international laboratory of ideas to tackle these challenges.", said Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO.

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