Events focused on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are held worldwide
on and around December 10. Many events aim to educate people, especially children
and teenagers, on their human rights and the importance of upholding these
in their own communities and further afield.
The day may also include protests to alert people of circumstances
in parts of the world where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not
recognized or respected, or where the importance of these rights are not considered
to be important. Cultural events are also organized to celebrate the importance
of human rights through music, dance, drama or fine art.
Human Rights Day is not a public holiday so public life is
As part of the commemoration of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
calls on all partners to pay special attention to the civil, cultural, economic,
political and social rights of persons deprived of their liberty in prisons
and other places of detention. Individuals are detained by the State for a variety
of reasons. Some are awaiting trial, or have been convicted of a crime and received
a custodial sentence. Others are detained following administrative or executive
orders unrelated to the criminal justice system, for instance in health institutions,
immigration detention facilities or refugee and asylum processing centres. Some
persons are put in custody for "educational supervision". Yet others
are detained illegally, kidnapped, or made victims of forced disappearances.
There are perhaps millions in the world today who find themselves
in detention but should not be, either because their detention is arbitrary
or otherwise illegal.