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Stand up for human rights on Human Rights Day

27 November 2023

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10th December. It commemorates the day in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We have pushed the frontiers in medicine, technology, the environment, social and political expression, economic and labour laws, and more in the 75 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Progress is a process, and we have much to build on. The Declaration reflects an agreement that equality, freedom and justice are values that drive a thriving society when everyone could experience equal access to opportunities in these domains and any of their choosing.

Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that every person in the world should have. There are two main types of human rights – civil and political rights, and social, cultural and economic rights.

But at this turbulent moment full of global uncertainties, reality continues to fall short of these promises.

We are facing widening economic and social gaps between and within countries – aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, conflicts, rampant impunity, rising cost of living, and the triple planetary crisis (climate change, pollution and the loss of biodiversity).

The flourishing of echo chambers, misinformation and disinformation, social unrest and the silencing of dissent are also alarming trends.

If there was ever a moment to rekindle the hope of human rights for every person, it is now. The United Nations wants to reinvigorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2023, showing the ways it meets the needs of our time, and advancing its promise of freedom, equality, and justice for all.

Human Rights in Aotearoa New Zealand

Want to see Aotearoa New Zealand as you’ve never seen before? Te Kāhui Tika Tangata | Human Rights Commission are inviting you on a journey of discovery to the true NZ for the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Ka whakamana tangata. A Life of Dignity for All.

The New Zealand’s National Plan of Action on Human Rights (NPA) – Te Mahere Rautaki ā-Motu – tracked progress on actions the government committed to take to address recommendations from the 2014 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of New Zealand’s human rights record.

Sources: United Nations Office for Human Rights, and NZ Human Rights Commission websites.

Page last updated: 23/04/2018

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