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Human Rights Day is celebrated annually around the world on 10 December every year.
The date was chosen to honor the United Nations General Assembly's adoption and proclamation, on December 10, 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights and one of the first major achievements of the new United Nations. The formal establishment of Human Rights Day occurred at the 317th Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on December 4, 1950, when the General Assembly declared resolution 423(V), inviting all member states and any other interested organizations to celebrate the day as they saw fit.
HistoryHuman Rights Day is the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The formal inception of Human Rights Day dates from 1950, after the Assembly passed resolution 423(V) inviting all States and interested organisations to adopt December 10th of each year as Human Rights Day. The popularity of the day can be shown by the fact that the commemorative Human Rights Day stamp issued by the United Nations Postal Administration in 1952, received approximately 200,000 advance orders.
When the General Assembly adopted the Declaration, with 48 states in favor and eight abstentions, it was proclaimed as a "common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations", towards which individuals and societies should "strive by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance". The measure was received by both advocates and critics alike as "being more declarative than legislative, more suggestive than binding."
Although the Declaration with its broad range of political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights is not a binding document, it inspired more than 60 human rights instruments which together constitute an international standard of human rights. Today the general consent of all United Nations Member States on the basic Human Rights laid down in the Declaration makes it even stronger and emphasizes the relevance of Human Rights in our daily lives.
The 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights occurred on December 10, 2008, and the UN Secretary-General launched a year-long campaign leading up to this anniversary. Because the UDHR holds the world record as the most translated document (except for the Bible), organizations around the globe used the year to focus on helping people everywhere learn about their rights.
On December 9, 2001, President George W. Bush made a Presidential proclamation that Human Rights Week began on December 9th. He also made the same proclamation on December 10, 2008.