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Human Rights Day 2009

Human Rights_Day_2009Every year on 10 December the Human Rights Day is observed by the international community. It commemorates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.

When the General Assembly adopted the Declaration, 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". Although the UDHR 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 UN Member States on the basic human rights makes the Declaration even stronger.This year the Human Rights Day will focus on non-discrimination. "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”: these famous words of the UDHR are the foundation of international human rights law. However, the worldwide fight against discrimination is far from being won, which inhibits the implementation of human rights.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and her Office play a major role concerning the yearly observation of Human Rights Day. Their main objective "is to help promote discrimination-free societies and a world of equal treatment for all,” says the High Commissioner.

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