Why December 10 is International Human Rights Day?

On December 10, 1948, the United Nations (UN) instituted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France. Today, every 10th of December, the International Day of Human Rights is celebrated.

Considered the most translated document in modern history, the Declaration was created to serve as a basis for human rights worldwide, as “the common ideal to be achieved by all peoples and nations.”

From it were established what rights anyone could expect and demand simply for being human. 

Despite their importance for the protection of citizens, these rights are still disrespected in various situations and regions, based on injustice, abuse and discrimination.

Definition

Human rights can be defined as rights guaranteed to all human beings, such as the right to life, liberty, dignity, defense and health, among others, regardless of nationality, gender, ethnicity, religion, language, political opinion or any other such criteria.

Context

During World War II, millions of people were killed, faced with precarious situations, starved and had various rights violated. To prevent tragedies of this magnitude, leaders from more than 50 countries came together to create an organization that had as its premise to guarantee world peace. 

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The UN was created during this period in 1945. Three years later, the UN drafted a document containing 30 articles on rights that all human beings should have access to: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

The UN

The United Nations (UN) is responsible for ensuring that these rights are respected. But it is noteworthy that it has no sovereignty to act in countries with effective actions, but only make recommendations. 

Another strategy the organization uses is to act in partnership with signatory countries to pressure those who violate human rights, such as economic restrictions and embargoes.

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