Why do We Celebrate Human Rights Day?
Why do we celebrate Human Rights Day, December 10? Human Rights Day is celebrated every Dec 10 to commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and ensure its continued remembrance as a common standard for all nations. The United Nations General Assembly established the annual celebration on Dec 4, 1950.
The day generally offers conferences, meetings, exhibitions and cultural events all centered around human rights. It is also the day that the recipient of the annual Nobel Peace Prize is announced.
Individual governments and organizations organize campaigns, hold seminars and make statements pertaining to human rights. Issues, such as women’s right, human trafficking, freedom of speech and a clean environment are always popular subjects different groups choose to explore.
The various articles in the Human Rights document include Article 5 which is very important. It states, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” This article, along with the other 29 articles, was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in Dec 1948. The articles particularly became important subjects following the aftermath of World War ll as well as the horrors committed by Nazi Germany and the Japanese Empire.
However, Article 5 has been somewhat controversial in the 21st century. This is because the wording of the article leaves room for interpretation of such qualities as torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The U.S., particularly the CIA and the Bush administration, were criticized internationally, as well as domestically for their treatment of prisoners in the War on Terror.