Thursday 10th of December 2015. yes, we know, 15 days until Christmas Day, but this date also marks something that’s just as important: the 65th annual International Human Rights Day.
What are our human rights?
Human Rights declare that everyone has the entitlement to live without fear of injustice, discrimination, harm or detention. We should all have a right to access the things that we need to survive, to not be held against our will and to a fair trial in the case of criminal accusations.
In line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, discrimination against anyone based on race, religion, sexuality, gender, class or disability is a crime. This should mean that you are entitled to express your identity comfortably, without fear of prejudice from others. It also deems the detention of anyone until they agree to give criminal evidence as an offence; this means you cannot be held against your will, for example in an effort to prompt a confession without prior evidence of wrongdoing. More breaches of human rights include people trafficking, torture and holding prisoners of war.
What Is Human Rights Day?
Human Rights Day is a symbolic event to remember when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was accepted in 1948. This was seen as the first major recognition of human rights from the United Nations, acknowledged as a “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations“.
What’s The Focus For 2015?
Each Human Rights Day launches a new theme and slogan for the following year. The slogan used for this years campaign is “Our Rights. Our Freedom. Always”, which, unsurprisingly, focuses on our rights and freedom! This campaign is launched in connection with the 50th anniversary of the two International Convenants on Human Rights; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
“The year-long campaign revolves around the theme of rights and freedoms — freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear — which underpin the International Bill of Human Rights are as relevant today as they were when the Covenants were adopted 50 years ago.” Source
Are There Any Differences To These Traditions?
Yes, South Africa hold their Human Rights Day on March 21st, which acts as a symbol of remembrance for those affected by the Sharpeville massacre in 1960.
Are There Any Key Events For 2015?
Although this day is not as recognised in the UK as it is in countries such as the USA, Human Rights Day 2015 will be poignant for all due to the recent atrocities that have taken place around the world. Roosevelt Island in NYC host a special ceremony on the day, and there are many other talks, demonstrations, and events due to take place across the globe.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is the World’s most translated document.