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Montage of images to promote Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 1: All human beings are bron free and equal in dignity and rights. Stand up for human rights. Dignity, freedom and justice for all.

9 December 2022

We all deserve dignity, freedom and justice: this Human Rights Day, here’s what you can do

This Saturday 10 December is Human Rights Day, the anniversary of when the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

The UDHR outlines a set of rights that are the basic and minimum for all people. No matter where you come from, everyone should enjoy the same freedoms, including civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. These rights are inherent and not granted by any one government or country.

In Australia, many of us take these fundamental rights for granted, but not all of them are available on an equal basis to all Australians – or to all people across the world.

An important milestone

75. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Dignity, freedom and justice for all.This year’s theme is ‘Dignity, freedom and justice for all’. The 75th anniversary of the UDHR will be celebrated on 10 December 2023. Ahead of this milestone, there will be a year-long campaign to showcase the UDHR by focusing on its legacy, relevance and activism.

In the decades since the UDHR was adopted in 1948, human rights have become more recognised and more guaranteed across the globe. It has since served as the foundation for an expanding system of human rights protection that today focuses also people who experience higher rates of discrimination, abuse and harassment – including people with disabilities, indigenous peoples and migrants.

However, the mission of the UDHR – for all people to have equal rights, regardless of religion, skin colour, sexual or gender identity, race or ethnicity – is facing significant challenges. These include climate change, the Covid pandemic, war and civil conflict, and challenges to democracy. The values and rights enshrined in the UDHR provide guideposts for collective actions to address these challenges.

What you can do

We need to stand up for our rights and those of others. Here’s some ways to use your voice:

Human Rights Day is also the final day of the global campaign 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. This connection highlights that gender-based and family violence is a fundamental violation of women’s human rights.

If you’ve experienced family violence, or would like support or advice, please reach out. In an emergency, always call Triple Zero (000).

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