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10 December, 2019 marked the 71st anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration that proclaims the inalienable rights of all people. Available in more than 500 languages, today it is the most translated document in the world. This year on Human Rights Day, the United Nations is highlighting the role of young people in leading the way to a better future for all people. The theme is Youth Standing Up for Human Rights.

  • 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 (UDHR): a milestone document proclaiming 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.
  • 2019 Theme: Youth Standing Up for Human Rights
  • After a year marked by the 30th anniversary celebrations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which culminated on 20 November, 2019, our plan is to capitalise on the current momentum and spotlight the leadership role of youth in collective movements as a source of inspiration for a better future.
  • Under our universal call to action “Stand Up for Human rights,” we aim to celebrate the potential of youth as constructive agents of change, amplify their voices, and engage a broad range of global audiences in the promotion and protection of rights.
  • The campaign, led by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), is designed to encourage, galvanise, and showcase how youth all over the world stand up for rights and against racism, hate speech, bullying, discrimination, and climate change, to name a few.

Why Youth?

  • Youth participation is essential to achieve sustainable development for all

Participation in public life is a fundamental principle of human rights. Young people are seeking to participate in all decisions that have a direct and indirect impact upon their wellbeing. They need to be heard to inform more effective decision-making and achieve sustainable development for all.

  • Youth can play a crucial role in positive change.
    Young people have always been major drivers of political, economic and social transformation. They are at the forefront of grassroots mobilizations for positive change and bring fresh ideas and solutions for a better world.
  • Empowering youth to better know and claim their rights will generate benefits globally.
    Young people are often marginalized and encounter difficulties in accessing and enjoying their rights because of their age. Upholding their rights and empowering them to better know and claim them will generate benefits globally.

Human Rights and SDG’s:

  • All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. This simple yet radical idea is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • Human rights are at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as in the absence of human dignity we cannot drive sustainable development.
  • A human right is clean water and food (SDG 6, SDG 2), it is health (SDG 3) and the opportunity to lead a peaceful life (SDG 16); It is life on land (SDG 15) and walking the Earth among its many beings (SDG 13, SDG 14).
  • Human Rights are driven by progress on all SDGs, and the SDGs are driven by Advancements of human rights. The human rights movement has made great strides in the past seven decades, but abuses still occur with saddening regularity.
  • The anniversary of the Declaration is an opportunity to celebrate successes and recommit ourselves to the principles outlined in the Declaration’s 30 Articles.
  • As stated in the preamble, “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” The Declaration empowers all of us to stand up for our own human rights and those of others.

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC):

  • It is an autonomous public body constituted on 12 October 1993 under the Protection of Human Rights Ordinance of 28 September 1993.
  • It was given a statutory basis by the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 (TPHRA).
  • The NHRC is the National Human Rights Commission of India, responsible for the protection and promotion of human rights, defined by the Act as “rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants”.
  • In February 2019, the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), a UN body based in Geneva, re-accredited India’s apex rights watchdog with the ‘A’ status, a perfect score.
  • The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2019 passed in Lok Sabha. The bill aims to accelerate the process of appointment of chairperson and members of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). It amends the Protection of Human Rights Act,1993 and intends to make the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) more inclusive and efficient.
  • Major issues tackled by NHRC are as follows
  • Custodial Torture
  • Right to Work and Labour Rights
  • Extrajudicial Killings
  • Arbitrary Arrest and Detention
  • Excessive Powers of the Armed Forces and the Police
  • Sexual Violence
  • Conflict-Induced Internal Displacement
  • Child Labour
  • Manual Scavenging
  • Violence and discrimination against Women, Children
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Rights
  • Problems faced by Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Religious Minorities, Persons with Disabilities