December 10 is Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day focuses on dignity, freedom, and justice for all.

Human Rights Day is celebrated every year on December 10. This commemorates the day the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — a landmark document outlining the basic rights that all people are entitled to, regardless of race, age, gender, nationality, religion, language, ability, or other status.  


Today, Human Rights Day continues the conversation on dignity, freedom, and justice for all through activities like high-profile political conferences, protests, film festivals, museum exhibits, and other events. The Nobel Peace Prize is also awarded every year on December 10.   


If you’re looking for ways to celebrate Human Rights Day in your community, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading for ideas on how to observe this important day — but first, let’s look at how Human Rights Day came to be.

History of Human Rights Day

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948. The document was drafted by leaders and representatives from around the world, including United States First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. It established, for the first time in history, a set of universal human rights to be protected by all nations. These rights include everything from education to equal pay.  


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has paved the way for over 70 human rights treaties around the world. It is still just as relevant today as it was nearly 75 years ago.  

Six ways to celebrate Human Rights Day

From reading the Declaration to registering to vote, here are six ways you can show your support for Human Rights Day and help people learn about and protect their rights: 

1. Read and share the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been translated into many languages so that it is accessible to people around the globe. In fact, it holds the world record for being the most translated document in the world, available in over 500 languages. Read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in English or search for other translations.

2. See the Declaration in sign language

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2018, people from around the world recorded themselves reading the Declaration in their native language. There are videos from 131 countries around the world in 89 languages — including sign language! 

3. Show your support with a Facebook frame

One small but meaningful way to spread the word about human rights is to add a Human Rights Day frame to your photos on Facebook. It might seem insignificant, but just adding a frame or filter to your photo has been shown to help extend a social movement’s reach. You can add a frame to your image here, then share the image using the hashtags #StandUp4HumanRights and #HumanRightsDay.

4. Host a self-advocacy workshop

People who advocate for themselves are more likely to be successful in school, work, and life. However, not all people know how to advocate for themselves effectively. Your organization can help people learn to speak up for themselves and their rights by hosting a self-advocacy workshop. If you need inspiration, take a look at this workshop by employment specialist Zsofia Utry on how to remove barriers and enable autistic people to self-advocate at work.

5. Set up an expression wall

An expression wall is a blank wall or other surface where people can express themselves freely. This Human Rights Day, consider setting up an expression wall or even a giant piece of paper and encouraging your staff, clients, and community members to write or draw about what human rights mean to them.  

6. Register to vote

Voting is a fundamental right in the United States. Exercising that right is also an important responsibility in order to protect the rights of others.  


The first step is to make sure you’re registered to vote. There are many ways to register, including online, by mail, and in-person at your local election office. If you’re not sure whether you’re registered, you can check your voter registration status online in less than two minutes. Already registered? Share voter registration resources and help others in your community register to vote. You might even consider hosting a voter registration event 

Download the free Disability Events Calendar

So there you have it — six ideas for celebrating Human Rights Day and advancing dignity, freedom, and justice for all. For more disability-related events and observances, download our free Disability Events Calendar.   

Free Resource: 2023 Disability Events Calendar
Latest posts:
Manage all the moving pieces with SETWorks
SETWorks icon
Subscribe to the SETWorks blog to be up to date on all of our latest posts

"*" indicates required fields