The 10th of December of 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Eleanor Roosevelt read the human rights before the United Nations in Paris. It was a historic milestone, because for the first time in the history of humankind the 56 UN member states at the time agreed on rights that apply to all human beings. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages. The protection of people should also be carried out by the state community of the United Nations and no longer only by the states alone.
Although the Declaration with its broad range of political, civil, social, cultural and economic rights is not a binding document. It inspired more than 60 human rights instruments which together constitute an international standard of human rights. Today the general consent of all United Nations Member States on the basic Human Rights laid down in the Declaration makes it even stronger and emphasizes the relevance of Human Rights in our daily lives.
The International Human Rights Day is celebrated annually on the 10th of December. The fight against racism and discrimination has become the focus of various organisations, and the Council of Europe has launched a comprehensive response to the intolerant behaviour of multicultural societies.
Human rights organisations such as Amnesty International point to critical hot spots and try to draw attention to injustices and racism with large media campaigns. In addition to the efforts of various organisations, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and the Human Rights Prize are also awarded.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all. The principles enshrined in the Declaration are as relevant today as they were in 1948. We need to stand up for our own rights and those of others. We can take action in our own daily lives, to uphold the rights that protect us all and thereby promote the kinship of all human beings.
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