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United Nations Human Rights Day 2009

Non-discrimination is focus of Human Rights Day, 10 December

Special Event at UN Headquarters on Human Rights Day

Discrimination against people with disabilities

Persons with disabilities make up the world’s largest and most disadvantaged minority. UN Photo/John Isaac


Discrimination against minorities

Discrimination and exclusion are often based on the ethnic, religious, national, or racial characteristics of the victim group. UN Photo/U Meissner


Discrimination against women

In some countries women, unlike men, cannot dress as they like, drive, work at night, inherit property or give evidence in Court. Photo by Adam Rogers/UNCDF


Discrimination against
indigenous peoples

Although representing 5 per cent of the world’s population, indigenous peoples account for 15 per cent of the world’s poorest people. UN Photo/Mark Garten


Discrimination against migrants

Xenophobia against migrants constitutes one of the main sources of contemporary racism. UN Photo/Diez


Racial discrimination

Racial and ethnic discrimination occur on a daily basis, hindering progress for millions of people around the world. Photo by Adam Rogers/UNCDF


Religious discrimination

In extreme cases of discrimination, members of religious communities can be arrested or killed due to their religious affiliation or beliefs.


Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaking

"Discrimination targets individuals and groups that are vulnerable to attack: the disabled, women and girls, the poor, migrants, minorities, and all those who are perceived as different.

... But these victims of discrimination are not alone. The United Nations is standing with them, committed to defending the rights of all, and particularly the most vulnerable.  That is our identity and our mission."

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The realisation of all human rights - social, economic and cultural as well as civil and political rights – is hampered by discrimination. All too often, when faced with prejudice and discrimination, political leaders, governments and ordinary citizens are silent or complacent.

Yet everyone of us can make a difference. You are encouraged to celebrate Human Rights Day by advocating non-discrimination, organizing activities, raising awareness and reaching out to your local communities on 10 December and beyond.

UNIFEED logoWatch UNIFEED Human Rights Day video featuring Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon;
High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay; and Githu Muigai, UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

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