Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December – the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The formal inception of Human Rights Day dates from 1950, after the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V) inviting all States and interested organizations to adopt 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.
The theme for 2021 is Equality . Reducing inequalities, advancing human rights.
This year’s Human Rights Day theme relates to “Equality” and article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.
The principles of equality and non-discrimination are at the heart of human rights. Equality is aligned with the 2030 Agenda and with the UN approach set out in the document Shared Framework on Leaving No One Behind: Equality and Non-Discrimination at the Heart of Sustainable Development. This includes addressing and finding solutions for deep-rooted forms of discrimination that have affected the most vulnerable people in our societies.
Equality, inclusion and non-discrimination, in other words a human rights-based approach to development, is the best way to reduce inequalities and resume our path towards realising the 2030 Agenda.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased global poverty for the first time since 1998 and will push 150 million people into extreme poverty by the end of 2021. People in vulnerable situations and without social protection have been the worst affected due to entrenched discrimination, exclusion and inequality. These include people living in poverty; children and youth; older persons; people with disabilities; racial, ethnic and religious minorities; indigenous peoples; migrants and refugees; LGBTI people; women and girls; and other marginalized groups.
By committing to reduce inequality by advancing all human rights for everyone, we can overcome global economic, social, health and environmental crises and conflict, and build societies where all people rise together by sharing power, resources and opportunities equally.
Drafted by representatives of diverse legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration sets out universal values and a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. It establishes the equal dignity and worth of every person. Thanks to the Declaration, and States’ commitments to its principles, the dignity of millions has been uplifted and the foundation for a more just world has been laid. While its promise is yet to be fully realized, the very fact that it has stood the test of time is testament to the enduring universality of its perennial values of equality, justice and human dignity.
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.
It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.
Source : UN
The National Human Rights Commission is an expression of India's concern for the protection and promotion of human rights. It came into being in October,1993. Its Statute is contained in the Protection of Human Rights Act (PHRA), 1993 as amended vide the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Act, 2006. The constitution of NHRC is in conformity with the Paris Principles. The NHRC, like most of the human rights institutions in the world, is a recommendatory body as per the Protection of Human Rights Act passed by Parliament.
Apart from looking into the complaints of the human rights violations, the Commission's functions also include reviewing safeguards provided under the Constitution or any Law, make recommendations for effective implementation of International Conventions/Covenants, undertake research and organise seminars and discussion programmes on human rights issues, spread awareness about human rights and encourage efforts of non-governmental organisations towards promotion of human rights.
It has also been organising Camp Sittings for disposal of pending cases and Open Hearings of complaints of atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in different parts of the country for the redressal of their problems. It has also been visiting, State-wise, different districts to make an assessment of enforcement of various measures related to human rights and implementation of welfare schemes so as to come out with recommendations for the governments, committed to ensuring good governance.
It has made a number of interventions on key issues of human rights, which include, among others, issues of bonded and child labour, prison reforms, right to health, right to food, mental healthcare, rights of persons with disability, silicosis, illegal clinical drug trials, pesticides in food items, pricing of drugs, corporate-social responsibility, manual scavenging and sanitation, human rights of women.
In order to spread awareness about human rights and its activities, the Commission, apart from publication of monthly Newsletter in Hindi and English, has published more than 80 books and journals. Apart from the Centre and the State Governments, several organisations, NGOs of Human Rights Defenders and media have actively supported and supplemented the work of the NHRC towards promotion and protection of human rights.
Source : NHRC