Alberta Human Rights Information Service December 2, 2011

Celebrate and Protect Human Rights

International Human Rights Day is December 10, 2011: Celebrate Human Rights


On International Human Rights Day, Albertans are encouraged to join communities across the globe as they celebrate human rights.

International Human Rights Day marks the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations in 1948. The Declaration set out, for the first time in history, fundamental human rights to be universally protected, and it provided a common standard of achievement for all peoples and nations.

The United Nations (UN) 2011 theme for International Human Rights Day, Celebrate Human Rights, encourages the celebration of the fundamental human rights set out in the Declaration. It also recognizes that many people across the world are still denied the basic human rights that many of us take for granted. The campaign pays tribute to the work of human rights defenders world-wide and encourages others to get involved in the global human rights movement. A special tribute is made this year to those individuals in North Africa, the Middle East and across the globe, who took to the streets to campaign for and reclaim their human rights. The role of social media to inspire and mobilize individuals to take action is also recognized by the UN and promoted as a tool in the protection and promotion of human rights.

Listen to the message from the UN's High Commissioner on Human Rights about the 2011 campaign. The High Commissioner will host an online global conversation on human rights on Friday, December 9 at 9:30 a.m. EST. Details of the online conversation will soon be available on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights website.

Join the UN Office for Human Rights on Facebook to countdown to International Human Rights Day with a discussion on the Declaration titled, "30 days and 30 rights." You can also follow the campaign on Twitter at #CelebrateRights.

International Day for Persons with Disabilities is December 3, 2011

The first ever World Report on Disability revealed that of the estimated one billion people with disabilities in the world, approximately one fifth (between 110 to 190 million people) face substantial barriers in their daily lives. The study, by the World Health Organization and the World Bank, reports that stigma and discrimination, lack of adequate health care and rehabilitation services, and inaccessible transport, buildings and information continue to deny persons with disabilities access to basic services and their fundamental human rights.

The report provides a number of recommendations for the removal of barriers that disadvantage persons with disabilities. Among other initiatives, governments are encouraged to adopt and implement a national disability strategy and plan of action. The report recommends a cross-sectoral approach to developing and implementing initiatives to support persons with disabilities. Most importantly, it recommends that people with disabilities should be consulted and involved in the design and implementation of these initiatives.

These recommendations have influenced the United Nations designated 2011 theme for International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disabilities in development.

On International Day for Persons with Disabilities and International Human Rights Day, we are reminded of the work to be done to ensure that everyone's rights are protected. While we celebrate human rights on these upcoming anniversaries, we must also each look to what we can do to help protect and promote the human rights of our fellow global citizens all year round.  


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