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Celebrate the 63rd Birthday of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights!!

Tomorrow, December 10th 2011, global citizens around the world will celebrate the 63rd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on December 10th, 1948. We have come a long way since 1948 in regards to human rights and this year we have a new player in the game to thanks: social media!

In the words of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “many of the people seeking their legitimate aspirations were linked through social media. Gone are the days when repressive governments could totally control the flow of information. Today, within their existing obligation to respect the rights of freedom of assembly and expression, governments must not block access to the internet and various forms of social media as a way to prevent criticism and public debate”.

From Tunis to Madrid, from Cairo to New York, citizens across the globe have been standing up for their rights as humans through peaceful protest movements using social media tools. Even the High Commissioner for Human Rights hosted a global conversation on human rights this morning, December 9th, through social media. Missed the conversation or interested in learning more? Click here!

Continuing with the celebrations, the Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded to three amazing women, all leaders in the worldwide struggle for women’s rights. Liberian
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Leymah Gbowee, a social worker and peace campaigner from the same country, will share the prize with Tawakkul Karman, an activist and journalist who this year played a key opposition role in Yemen. These three inspiring women, who were chosen “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work,” will be honored with a weekend full of festivities in Oslo, Norway. Click here to learn more about the laureates and the weekend’s events!

In the Boston community, the Carr Center for Human Rights at the Harvard Kennedy School held a celebration on December 1 to celebrate not only Human Rights Day but also the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International. For more information on this event, click here!

Want to get involved?! With social media being a crucial tool in this year’s accomplishments, you can participate in this years celebrations by utilizing your favorite social media. Click here to learn more about your rights and spread the word by making a wish for universal human rights!

Help us celebrate universal human rights and the brave global citizens who stand up for them!

Check out other Human Rights Day celebrations happening around the world!

Fun Fact: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is THE most universal document in the world! The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has been awarded the Guinness World Record for having collected, translated and disseminated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into more than 380 languages and dialects: from Abkhaz to Zulu. The Universal Declaration is thus the most translated document – indeed, the most “universal” one in the world.

-Jen Jones

Are you a human rights defender?

“When we work to secure human rights, we are working to protect the experiences that make life meaningful, to preserve each person’s ability to fulfill his or her God-given potential – the potential within every person to learn, discover and embrace the world around them.”

Today we celebrate Human Rights Day, which honors the United Nations General Assembly‘s adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights.

This year’s theme recognizes the work of human rights defenders worldwide who act to end discrimination.

As Secretary General Ban Ki Moon says, “Laws to protect and promote human rights are indispensable. But quite often, progress comes down to people… courageous women and men… striving to protect their own rights and the rights of others… determined to make rights real in people’s lives.  It is these human rights defenders to whom we dedicate this year’s observance of Human Rights Day.”

You can watch the Secretary General’s message in its entirety here, as well as take a quiz to see how well you know your human rights defenders.

What will you do to protect and uphold human rights today?

If you’re in Boston, we invite you to join us today at Wheelock College for the Human Rights Day Luncheon to meet some inspiring human rights defenders!  This year’s luncheon is focused on how sports can be used to promote human rights and fight the impact of poverty and inequity on young people.

Dr. Auma Obama, CARE USA’s Sports for Social Change Initiative Technical Advisor, will be delivering the keynote address. Following Dr. Obama’s address there will be a panelist discussion that features the leading experts in sports and human rights development, including Eli Wolff, Sports and Human Rights Fellow at Brown University, Diana Cutaia, Wheelock Director of Athletics and Sports-Based Initiatives, and Pharlone Toussaint, SPARK The Truth Co-Founder.  The discussion will be followed by lunch and a networking reception.

We hope to see you today!  Find Directions Here.

-Alex