Universal Declaration of Human Rights Current Affairs - 2020

10 December: International Human Rights Day

Every year 10th December is celebrated as International Human Rights Day across the world. The theme for 2019 Human Rights Day is: Youth Standing up for Human Rights.’ The 2019 edition of day will celebrate the ‘youth’ as agents of change and will encourage them to amplify their voices against hate speech, discrimination, racism, bullying, and fight for climate justice, among other issues, as well as to engage a broad range of global audiences in promotion and protection of rights.

International Human Rights Day

Why 10 December? It was on this date in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), was adopted and proclaimed by United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) as the shared standard yardstick to protect human rights across the globe. UDHR was the first global enunciation of human rights as it recognized that inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of mankind are the foundation of justice, freedom and peace globally.

Formal establishment: However, the Human Rights Day was formally established when UNGA at its 317th Plenary Meeting on 4 December 1950, declared resolution 423(V), inviting all member states and any other interested organizations to celebrate and adopt 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day. Later in December 1993, UNGA announced to celebrate Human Rights Day annually.

World Press Freedom Day observed on 3 May

The World Press Freedom Day 2019 is observed on 3 May 2019. It is being jointly organized by UNESCO, African Union Commission and Government of Ethiopia. The year 2019 marks 26th celebration of WPFD. The main event is being held at African Union Headquarters at Addis Ababa.

The World Press Freedom Day

It is observed to raise awareness about importance of freedom of press and freedom of expression as fundamental human rights. WPFD reminds governments of their obligation to respect and uphold right to freedom of expression defined under Article 19 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948.

Objective: It aims celebrating fundamental principles of press freedom, assessing state of press freedom worldwide, defending media against attacks on their independence, and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives while doing their duty.

Theme for World Press Freedom Day 2019 was “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation”. It examines current challenges faced by media at the time of elections, and media’s potential in supporting peace and reconciliation processes.

Background

In December 1993 UN General Assembly (UNGA) following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference proclaimed 3 May as World Press Freedom Day. Since then is celebrated worldwide every year.

‘May 3’ was selected to commemorate adaptation of ‘The Windhoek Declaration’ (a draft by African journalists for development of a Free, Independent and African Pluralistic Press) on 3 May 1991.