Celebrating Human Rights Day

On Monday, 10 December 2018, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is turning 70; an occasion for various stakeholders all around the world to reflect on the importance of this document and to consider the progress made and the road ahead in the defence and promotion of human rights worldwide.

10 December is the day that, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which proclaimed, exactly 70 years ago, the inalienable rights of all human beings, without distinction based on race, colour, sex, language, religion, political opinion, national or social origin, wealth, birth or any other situation. More than ever, this day is a reminder of the major importance of honouring the declaration and of upholding human rights in every part of the globe.

In 2018, the United Nations (UN) launched the #StandUp4HumanRights campaign, calling on everyone around the world to record themselves reading an article of the declaration in their own language and share it online. The campaign is based on the following messages:

  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all.
  • Human rights are relevant to all of us, every day.
  • Our shared humanity is rooted in these universal values.
  • Equality, justice and freedom prevent violence and sustain peace.
  • Whenever and wherever humanity's values are abandoned, we all are at greater risk.
  • We need to stand up for our rights and those of others.

Article 12, especially, resonates with the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) agenda. It reads: "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks." The United Nations stated that "the principles enshrined in the Declaration are as relevant today as they were in 1948". Indeed, although Article 12 was adopted long before the advent of the internet, it is still strongly relevant to the issues many people, including children and teenagers, face today online, namely threats to their privacy and attacks such as cyberbullying and other forms of online harassment.

For more, you can watch people's video contributions on the UN website, read a simplified or illustrated version of the declaration - two interesting resources for those willing to address the issue of human rights with younger audiences. You can also consult the other resources which the UN has made available in honour of the day.

Find out more about how Safer Internet Centres (SICs) around Europe are fighting for children and young people's digital human rights through their activities, including awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services.

Related news

Youth for Rights event in Brussels

All human beings have human rights, as inscribed in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But to what extent do we respect human rights when we cross the border from the offline world into the online space where anonymity comes into play and acts as a cover for behaviour that can sometimes be less respectful towards other human beings?

Human Rights Day

Every year on 10 December, Human Rights Day is celebrated to remind us of this memorable day when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations back in 1948.