Human Rights Day

“A right delayed is a right denied” – Martin Luther King

Written by María Paula Robles

Human Rights Day is celebrated every 10 December in honor of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 on the same day. Due to its importance, this annual celebration has been held since 1950 by the UN General Assembly to commemorate the anniversary of the creation of the declaration, to promote the education of the public on social issues and to help bring together and mobilize resources to deal with global problems (United Nation Human Rights, 2007; United Nations, 2021)

This declaration proclaims the inalienable rights that every single human has regardless of their color, religion, sexuality, or any other status. These laws seek to protect people’s right to life and liberty, their right to freedom of expression and opinion, as well as their right to work, among many more. (United Nations, 2021).

To archive this, each year a different theme is chosen. In past years the themes have included the “Youth Standing Up for Human Rights”, “Let’s stand up for equality, justice and human dignity”, among other. (United Nations, 2018; United Nations, 2019). These topics focus on the ending of discrimination, the fight against poverty, and the protection of victims of human rights violations, among others. (Cunningham, 2021).

This 2021, the chosen theme is “Equality – Reducing inequalities, advancing human rights”, and it promotes that “all humans are beings who are born free and with equal dignity and rights”. Furthermore, it focuses in the acknowledge the violations of the human rights that are deeply rooted in society, such as any kind of discrimination that harm the dignity of the most vulnerable people in society, including women and girls, immigrants, people with disabilities, the LGTB + community and indigenous people, among many others; and promoting solutions to these.

The struggle to defend human rights remains constant over time, since there are still violations and abuses of human rights, despite the achievements and changes that society has made. For that reason, several institutions, like UNESCO, exhort everyone to “stand up for our rights and those of others” and “to take action in our daily lives” to help protects those rights.


Cunningham, J. M. (2021, October 10). Human Rights DayEncyclopedia Britannica.

United Nations. (2018). Human Rights Day 10 December 2018.  United Nations. Retrieved December 9, 2021 from

United Nations. (2019). Human Rights Day – Know your rights!. United Nations. Retrieved December 9, 2021 from

United Nations. (2019). Human rights day – 2019 observance. United Nations. Retrieved December 8, 2021, from

United Nations (2021). Human Rights Day 10 December. United Nations. Retrieved on December 9, 2021 from

United Nations. (2021). Peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet. United Nations. Retrieved on December 8, 2021 from

United Nations Human Rights. (2007). Human Rights Day. Office of The High Commissioner (OHCER). Retrieved December 9, 2021, from

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (2018, November 2018). Human Rights Day. UNESCO.

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