All human, all equal All human, all equal

Human Rights Day 2021

Every year on 10 December, the world celebrates Human Rights Day, the very day when, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Declaration consists of a preamble and 30 articles that set out a broad range of fundamental human rights and freedoms to which all of us, everywhere around the world, are entitled. It guarantees our rights without distinction of nationality, place of residence, gender, national or ethnic origin, religion, language, or any other status.

The Declaration was drafted by representatives of all regions and legal traditions. It has over time been accepted as a contract between Governments and their peoples. Virtually all States have accepted the Declaration. It has since served as the foundation for an expanding system of human rights protection that today focuses also on vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and migrants.

Equality in dignity and rights for all in opportunities and outcomes for fairer and inclusive societies

This year’s Human Rights Day theme relates to “Equality” and article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.

The principles of equality and non-discrimination are at the heart of human rights. Equality is aligned with the 2030 Agenda and with the UN approach set out in the document Shared Framework on Leaving No One Behind: Equality and Non-Discrimination at the Heart of Sustainable Development. This includes addressing and finding solutions for deep-rooted forms of discrimination that have affected the most vulnerable people in our societies.

Equality, inclusion and non-discrimination, in other words a human rights-based approach to development, is the best way to reduce inequalities and resume our path towards realising the 2030 Agenda.


Video statement of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

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Download text version

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Watch the video of the Deputy High Commissioner (AR) - Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights (FR, RU)

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UN Secretary-General's message on Human Rights Day

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All Human All Equal

Worldwide Activities

The celebration of Human Rights Day highlights how people everywhere stand up for human rights and equality.

In Geneva, on 10 December, UN Human Rights hosts a live Q&A with High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet, answering your questions on human rights and equality. The online event takes place across all our social media platforms.

UN Human Rights’ presences around the world, United Nations Information Centres and other partners will also celebrate this important day.

In Costa Rica, the voices of indigenous women will be strengthened through music, breaking down the barriers of inequality.

In Cameroon, an awareness campaign will promote living together between host communities and Internally Displaced Persons.

In Ukraine, “Equality murals” will be created in different cities across the country.

In Asia-Pacific, a digital campaign « Raise every voice for Equality » will unify the voices of rights holders from across the region through short-form digital media content.

In Trinidad and Tobago, an art competition will take place on the theme “What does equality mean to you?”.

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