Logo of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Human rights education is much more than a lesson in schools or a theme for a day; it is a process to equip people with the tools they need to live lives of security and dignity. On this International Human Rights Day, let us continue to work together to develop and nurture in future generations a culture of human rights, to promote freedom, security and peace in all nations.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, 10 December 2004

On 10 December 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, the first global enunciation of its kind. The following year the General Assembly invited all states and interested organisations to commemorate this event on the anniversary of the original proclamation. Human Rights Day is celebrated by many across the world on 10 December, and has been endorsed by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) as an official day of Humanist celebration.

In UN headquarters in New York City, Human Rights Day is normally marked by high-level political conferences and meetings, and by cultural events and exhibitions dealing with human rights issues. In addition, it is traditional to award the five-yearly United Nations prize in the field of human rights on this day.