10 December is International Human Rights Day and marks the anniversary of the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on 10 December 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
The Declaration consists of a preamble and 30 articles, setting out a broad range of fundamental human rights and freedoms to which all men and women, everywhere in the world, are entitled, without any distinction. It has over time been accepted as a contract between governments and their peoples. It is considered as the most “universal” document in the world as it is the most translated and disseminated into more than 380 languages and dialects.
This year thousands of people decided the time had come to claim their rights. They took to the streets and demanded change. Many found their voices using the internet and instant messaging to inform, inspire and mobilize supporters to seek their basic human rights.
Social media helped activists organize peaceful protest movements in cities across the globe—in Tunis, in Cairo, in Madrid, in New York, and in cities and towns across the globe—at times in the face of violent repression.
It has been a year like no other for human rights. Human rights activism has never been more topical or more vital. And through the transforming power of social media, ordinary people have become human rights activists.
Human rights belong equally to each of us and bind us together as a global community with the same ideals and values. As a global community we all share a day in common: Human Rights Day on 10 December, when we remember the creation 63 years ago of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.