Universal Human Rights Day is December 10th

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on December 10th. The UHDR proclaims the protection of, “the inalienable rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” We now celebrate this every December. Our rights as humans being protected are very important to our overall health. Health isn’t just tending to acute and chronic illness, it’s your ability to live your life to the fullest. In order to do that, your basic human rights must be protected.

2022 Theme: Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All

2022 is the 75th anniversary of the UHDR. This year’s theme is dignity, freedom, and justice for all. This theme has been chosen to remind everyone of the initial mission of the UHDR, as human rights have been under attack in the past few years. Recent challenges in the world, including pandemics, geopolitical conflicts, uncertainty in the global financial system, racism, climate change, and more have put this all in the spotlight even more.

That’s why it’s more important to fight for human rights than ever. The values in the UHDR provide guideposts for the UN’s vision of a united world, and how we can make it a reality. Their goal is that no one is left behind.

how to defend human rights

Join the fight for human rights

Advocating for human rights is not a one-person job. The concepts in the UHDR can also feel very hard to understand. That’s part of their mission this month – to make this all feel more accessible. Here are some actionable ways that you can help this cause:


Talk to others

Change doesn’t always come from major protests, sometimes the most simple things can be the most effective. Talk about hard subjects like racism and economic inequality worldwide with friends and family. The UN has many resources and talking points on its website.


Broaden your worldview

Human rights don’t just affect you, they affect the whole human race. Do you know what human rights are protected and/or at risk in other countries? Start thinking about issues from a global perspective to be a better global citizen.


Educate yourself

There are many resources to dive into on the UN website that can educate you on what they’re currently doing to help human rights. Start this process by understanding the UN’s vision for a more equitable world. Read their 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development here.

Let’s talk about human rights

Defending human rights is a challenging job. But tireless and dedicated human rights defenders step up every day. In this video series, “Let’s talk human rights” we hear first-hand what it takes to monitor human rights and the path to seeking justice from some of the people at the forefront of the fight. Listen to the UN’s Ahmed Motala, a South African human rights lawyer with the UN. For him, human rights are in his DNA. He grew up at the height of the apartheid era. The first-hand experience of human rights violations led him to the legal path. Now, working for UN Human Rights, he uses that experience to help people stand up for their rights.

Get inspired by Ahmed’s story and learn more about how we advocate for all.