International Human Rights Day

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

On December 10, 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). It stands as a milestone article that declares “the inalienable rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” Available in over 500 languages, it is the most translated document on the planet.

Human rights day is celebrated every year on December 10th to commemorate the adoption of the UDHR. The 2021 slogan is "All Human, All Equal," and the theme is "EQUALITY - Reducing inequalities, advancing human rights." These both relate to Article 1 of the UDHR and its principles of equality and non-discrimination, which are at the heart of the human rights issue.

As a delegate to the UN, Eleanor Roosevelt was instrumental in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1968, she was posthumously awarded the United Nations Human Rights Prize.

Human rights equality for all spans the globe with implications that range from COVID-19 vaccines to breaking the cycle of poverty, and addresses deep-seated discrimination to move us towards a fairer and more inclusive world. With the The Universal Declaration of Human Rights as our guide, we can build a new social contract with human rights equality at its core.

Here at Harvard we have long been engaged in conversations about human rights and equality; from the Health and Human Rights Journal, the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights and the FXB Health and Human Rights Consortium to the Physicians for Human Rights/Harvard Student Human Rights Collaborative at HMS and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, among many other initiatives.

Countway Library works to uphold the philosophy that everyone has a voice and every voice should be heard. Want to learn more about health equity and disparities? Check out this incredibly informative article, "Finding Articles on Health and Healthcare Equity and Disparities," written by our Research & Instruction team.

Countway Cares … about human rights.