Pratham Golcha, Green Blogger

The entire international community observes the Human Rights Day every year on the 10th of December. On this day, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which marked a cornerstone achievement for the UN. All the member states of the UN celebrate this day by marking important events and conferences at respective National levels. Apart from various Human Rights organizations, both on governmental and non-governmental levels, the UN also awards the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights and also the Nobel Peace Prize. The formal inception of Human Rights dates from 1950, post which the UNGA passed resolution 423(V), inviting all member states to recognize 10th December annually as Human Rights Day. After being recognized by the international community, it was expected of each member state to effectively recognize and observe them in totality in both national and the international context. It should be noted that the Declaration itself isn’t a binding or limiting document. The relevance of these Rights in today’s context can be gauged by the fact that all member states comply and abide by them, which further reinforces the acceptance. The main officials involved in the observance and coordination of this day at the global level include the ‘The High Commissioner for Human Rights’, who is considered as the main official of the Rights of the United Nations and also the ‘Office of the High Commissioner’. For example, the observance theme for last year in 2019 was “Youth Standing up for Human Rights”, underlining and emphasizing the vital role of youth in upholding these rights in today’s context. The year 2018 observed the theme “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70”, which celebrated the Rights’ 70th year milestone. While discussing the Human Rights Day and its significance, it is highly essential to also know the contents of the same. The Declaration of Rights lays down an exhaustive and inclusive fundamental rights and freedoms to which we all are entitled. It is a broad-ranged Declaration that guarantees the rights of every individual, irrespective of the distinctions based on gender, nationality, race, religion, ethnicity, colour, etc. It is noteworthy to mention that the Human Rights Declaration has inspired more than 60 human rights instruments, which as a whole constitute an international standard of the Declaration. The various rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Declaration include the right to life, right to health and education, freedom of speech, equal rights, etc. Contrary to other observance days, the Human Rights Day is not considered as a public holiday. Rather, it is a global observance day and many groups across the world organize protests on the 10th of December every year to spread the awareness and importance of human rights; even to the places where the human rights are unheard or are unrecognized.  An interesting fact about the Declaration is that it is considered widely as the ‘most translated document’ in modern history. Till quite recently, it was available in about 500 languages and various new translations are being added. The proclamation of the Rights took place on December 10, 1948 at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France, during the course of the United Nations General Assembly. The theme for 2020 Human Rights Day is “Recover Better- Stand up for Human Rights” which is linked to the covid-19 pandemic and notes that the Human Rights are central to the recovery efforts. This year needs high reinforcement of these rights, looking at the testing times and needs global solidarity, interconnectedness and shared humanity, more than ever before. In the post covid-19 world, the Human Rights are highly essential as the world grapples with an unfathomable challenge. Thus, the focus should be on addressing any kind of prevalent inequalities, encourage participation of one and all and show solidarity amongst mankind. Now is the time to turn to sustainable development by following the Agenda 2030, the Paris Agreement and SDGs. They form the cornerstone of the post covid-19 world recoveries. It is of potent importance to end any kind of existing inequalities and foster universal brotherhood. Equality on all bases is of great importance in this context. Therefore, the International Human Rights Day is one of the most important observance days of the United Nations, and we must all strive to abide by the Rights each year as much as possible and make this world a better place to live in.

About the Author: Pratham Golcha is a student of B.A in Nagpur University. He is a writer, a resource speaker, international human rights volunteer, Model United Nations chairperson, researcher, SDG Facilitator, a climate activist and orator.