The United Nations' (UN) Human Rights Day is annually observed December 10 to mark the anniversary of the presentation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Human rights provide a foundation for building a just and peaceful world. Every human being on the planet has the right to dignity, respect, and freedom - whatever their race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, wealth or other status.

On 10 December 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Declaration has been translated into over 300 languages and dialects - from Abkhaz to Zulu. It is the holder of the Guinness World Record for the document that has been most translated.

Human Rights Day Facts & Quotes

  • The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights was one of their first declarations and came about after the atrocities perpetrated upon humans during World War II were brought to light.
  • Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally. - Abraham Lincoln
  • America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense... human rights invented America. - Jimmy Carter
  • I have cherished the ideal a democratic and free society... it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die. - Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa, who was imprisoned from 1964-1990.

Human Rights Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • Educate yourself on current human rights fights.
  • Get involved with a local human rights organization.
  • Make a donation of time or resources to a human rights organization, either locally or globally.



Celebrate Rosa Parks Day

Rosa Parks Day in United States

Rosa Parks Day is an American observance to honor civil rights activist Rosa Parks, who was known for refusing to give up her seat on a bus. It is a legal observance in California on February 4 and Ohio on December 1.

Rosa Parks Day promotes equal opportunities, civil rights, and fairness across communities in the U.S. Church leaders, politicians, and organizational leaders unite in states like California and Ohio to promote the day with a range of events and activities.

Many schools have classroom activities that focus on Rosa Parks' struggles for equality and achievements against discrimination.

Public Life

Rosa Parks Day is an observance and not a public holiday in the U.S.

About Rosa Parks

On December 1, 1955, African Amerian seamstress Rosa Parks was travelling in a Montgomery City bus when the bus driver asked her to vacate her seat for a white man. The driver's request was standard practice of racial segregation in buses at the time. Rosa Parks refused to leave her seat on the grounds of fairness, freedom and equality. As a result, she was arrested and convicted of violating the laws of segregation, known as the "Jim Crow" laws. She appealed her conviction and formally challenged the legality of segregation. At the same time, civil rights activists, including Martin Luther King Jr, boycotted the Montgomery bus system.

The boycott lasted for 381 days, into December 1956, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the segregation law was unconstitutional and the Montgomery buses should be integrated. This boycott kickstarted other civil rights protests throughout the U.S. Over the years, the Rosa Parks bus has become a symbol of the fight for equal rights. It has been fully restored and is now displayed in the Henry Ford Museum. Rosa Parks' Day, on February 4, is also known as the Day of Courage.