10th December is global Human Rights Day. In 2014 we celebrated human rights #CloseToHome!

The United Nations (UN) has declared 10 December as Global Human Rights Day. It is an annual opportunity to join people across the world in celebrating human rights. At BIHR we think Human Rights Day is a great opportunity for people and organisations in the UK to come together and speak up to tell the often unheard stories about how human rights protections make a difference to us all here at home.

The Origins

Human Rights Day has been celebrated on the 10 December, since 1950, marking the date the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was signed in 1948. The UDHR was the first time the world community came together to set down the universal human rights that belong to all people. It started the modern journey of putting human rights ideas down into laws which protect everyone, and legal duties on governments to respect and protect our rights.

2014 celebrations

At the British Institute of Human Rights we think Human Rights Day is an important opportunity to raise awareness of the important role human rights protections play here at home. Since 2011 we've taken the Human Rights Conversation out into the heart of our communities, find out what people are saying...

Our Local Human Rights Champions across the UK marked the day by holding events and activities in their communities. We packed up BIHR resources and sent them the length and breadth of the UK to a coffee morning in Shrewsbury, human rights bunting workshops in schools and a prison, bunting displays in libraries, hospitals and councils and there was even a human rights cake baked in Newcastle. Read about what our Champions got up to and why they got involved, in our live blog of the day here.

People also joined us in marking the day through social media. #HumanRightsDay trended on Twitter, alongside #Everyday and #CloseToHome. We also wrote a blog for Fawcett on violence against women as a human rights issue, available here.

At BIHR we took the opportunity to tell the often unheard stories about how human rights protections make a difference to us all here at home. We published an open letter in the Daily Telegraph, signed by 163 organisations, calling on “those with power to stand with us to respect human rights laws” and “to reflect on the meaningful, often quiet, ways human rights make a difference for people in their everyday lives”.

Our deputy director, Sanchita Hosali, appeared on London Live TV talking about how human rights help us to live well together and pointing out that the conversations happening in Westminster on human rights are very different from the conversations people are having across the UK. Watch the interview here.

There's still chance to get involved. You could sign our Human Rights Charter to pledge your commitment to human rights here at home. Or you could become a Friend of BIHR.

If you have any question then get in touch.