December 10 — Human Rights Day

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10 December 2010

 In 1950, all States and interested organizations were invited by the UN General Assembly to observe 10 December as Human Rights Day. The Day marks the anniversary of the Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.  

Exactly on this day in 1948 the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

When choosing this day, the UN Secretary General said: “Human rights education is much more than a lesson in schools or a theme for a day; it is a process to equip people with the tools they need to live lives of security and dignity.

On this International Human Rights Day, let us continue to work together to develop and nurture in future generations a culture of human rights, to promote freedom, security and peace in all nations.”

All nations have always had their own legal and moral tools to protect human dignity determining the degree of state interference with private life of its citizens.  But usually there was no objective equality in the vertical relationship “state-individual”.  In the first half of the 20th century this provoked the establishment of totalitarian regimes and the outbreak of the most horrible world war. Adoption of a uniform international human rights protection system was the priority of the United Nations Organization created right after the war. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights became the cornerstone of such system.  

Statistics shows that in recent years the number of applications to human rights organizations has dropped a little.  However, one should not be mislead by the tendency. It is necessary to take into account that individuals are gradually losing trust in the law enforcement system and do not believe in justice any more. Another common problem is that people whose claims have been rejected do not want to take active steps to restore their rights, i.e. make the violation public, lodge appeals or go to court.  

Human Rights day is just another reminder that the Man is what is valued most on the Earth. The Committee Against Torture congratulates everyone whose life is linked to human rights protection on this day.