2016 Events

New York

9 December: Discussion at the Roosevelt House at Hunter College, where Eleonore Roosevelt worked on the draft of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The event features the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly, the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, and the President of Hunter College as well as a musical performance by the UN Chamber Music Society and a panel discussion with human rights defenders. See the programme of the event PDF document. Watch the video recording of the event.

8 December: Film night for the International Decade for People of African Descent, organized by the UN Department of Public Information in the context of the 2016 Human Rights Day and co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the UN and UNESCO. See the programme of the film night PDF document.


  • Facebook Live - 10 December: The High Commissioner will take part in a Facebook Live session on Human Rights Day, answering questions from around the world. Go to Facebook for more details.
  • Illuminating Human Rights: The UN Human Rights Office is a partner of the Geneva Lux Festival and will have a symbolic “Tree of Human Rights” artistically illuminated in the Old Town. In addition, the city’s iconic Jet d’eau will be illuminated in blue on 10 December.
  • Take the pledge, take a selfie: Selfie booths are set up in the days leading up to Human Rights Day in various locations of the city.


With support from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN information centres (UNICs) across the globe used Human Rights Day to engage students, media, activists, film makers, security forces, teachers and others to stand up for someone’s rights.

In Armenia, youth activists from different backgrounds shared their experiences at an event organized by UNIC Yerevan with representatives of international institutions, media and the general public.

In Austria, young film makers stood up for human rights, especially the rights of refugees and migrants, in a short-film festival supported by UNIS Vienna.

In Brazil, a 9-minute video produced by UNIC Rio put a spotlight on temporary prisoners, many of whom never have the chance to stand up for their rights.

In the Republic of the Congo, 400 middle school students stood up for young people’s right to education, in activities organized by UNIC Brazzaville and the Ministry of Education.

In Lebanon, as part of an initiative by UNIC Beirut, TV stations and schools stood up for the rights of children, women, the homeless, and people with disabilities, in various programmes.

In Nigeria, 150 students pledged to respect and stand up for others’ rights in a workshop followed by a rally organized by UNIC Lagos and the National Human Rights Commission.

In Pakistan, more than 100 participants gathered at an event to stand up for the rights of transgender people, organized by UNIC Islamabad and the High Commission of Canada.

In Senegal, a series of large outdoor posters coordinated by UNIC Dakar as well as hand-outs of recycled bags made by people with disabilities promoted “Stand up for someone’s rights today!”

In Togo, events organized by UNIC Lomé with government partners focused on training teachers on human rights and sensitizing security forces to their obligations to protect and defend human rights.

Similar activities to observe the Day were held by a number of other UNICs, including in Dhaka, Harare, Jakarta, Lusaka, New Delhi and Tehran.