Human Rights Day was chosen to honour the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on 10 December 1948. It was the first global enunciation of human rights and one of the first major achievements of the new United Nations.
The formal establishment of Human Rights Day occurred at the 317th Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on 4 December 1950, when the General Assembly declared resolution 423, inviting all member states and any other interested organizations to celebrate the day as they saw fit.
The day is normally marked both by high-level political conferences and meetings and by cultural events and exhibitions dealing with human rights issues. Also, it is traditionally on 10 December that the five-yearly United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights and Nobel Peace Prize is awarded. Many governmental and non-governmental organizations active in the human rights field also schedule special events to commemorate the day, as do many civil and social-cause organizations.
Although the Declaration with its broad range of political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights 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 United Nations Member States on the basic Human Rights laid down in the Declaration makes it even stronger and emphasizes the relevance of Human Rights in our daily lives.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights, as the main United Nations rights official and his Office, play a major role in coordinating efforts for the yearly observation of Human Rights Day.
In South Africa, Human Rights Day is celebrated on 21 March, in remembrance of the Sharpeville massacre which took place on 21 March 1960. This massacre occurred as a result of protests during the Apartheid regime in South Africa. South African Human Rights Day was declared a national holiday when the ANC was elected as the government with Nelson Mandela as the first democratically elected leader.
The 2019 Human Rights Day theme is; Youth Standing Up for Human Rights. Why Youth? Youth participation is essential to achieve sustainable development for all. Participation in public life is a fundamental principle of human rights. Young people are seeking to participate in all decisions that have a direct and indirect impact upon their wellbeing. They need to be heard to inform more effective decision-making and achieve sustainable development for all.
Young people have always been major drivers of political, economic and social transformation. They are at the forefront of grassroots mobilizations for positive change and bring fresh ideas and solutions for a better world. Young people are often marginalized and encounter difficulties in accessing and enjoying their rights because of their age. Upholding their rights and empowering them to better know and claim them will generate benefits globally.
Bible Society of Kenya Celebrates this day because we facilitate Human rights to education and the right to own things by providing the word of God and adult literacy classes. The word of God is simplified into two laws. Love for God and Love for People. The best way to love people is to allow them to exercise their rights. Happy Human Rights Day.