On 10 December each year the international community celebrates Human Rights Day. This is a day to celebrate the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, and a day when we should all take a moment to think about what that Declaration means for the everyday lives of us all. Indeed, the UN has adopted Human Rights 365 as its slogan for this year’s celebration. This encompasses the idea that every day is Human Rights Day. It celebrates the fundamental proposition in the Universal Declaration that each one of us, everywhere, at all times is entitled to the full range of human rights, that human rights belong equally to each of us and bind us together as a global community with the same ideals and values.
The UK government supports human rights, democracy and good governance around the world. To that end, the Foreign Office is focussing on a number of challenges, including protecting civil society space and other thematic areas such as freedom of expression (including on-line), freedom of religion or belief, women’s rights, torture prevention, abolition of the death penalty, business and human Rights, support for democratic processes and preventing sexual violence in conflict. 10 December also marks the culmination of the UN’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence.
These and others issues are covered in the Foreign Office’s Annual Human Rights & Democracy Report , which is designed to increase awareness of the UK’s role in promoting human rights worldwide, as well as to encourage countries to take more concrete steps towards upholding and maintaining their international human rights obligations. It fits well with the UN’s Human Rights 365 goal.