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Human Rights Day

Resources for 2014
Jump to General Background on Human Rights Day


The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) invites you to mark Human Rights Day during worship services and through advocacy activities on December 10 or during either the weekend of December 5-7 or December 12-14.


To help you and your congregation observe Human Rights Day, NRCAT will make available resources in November.  Want ideas now? See the 2013 Human Rights Day Toolkit.

If you have any questions, please contact T.C. Morrow at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 202-547-1920.


What is Human Rights Day?
In 1945 when the United Nations was created, its charter affirmed the "dignity and worth of the human person."

On December 10, 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which affirmed this basic tenet of the UN charter. The nations of the world and several faith groups now celebrate December 10 as Human Rights Day.  There are 30 short articles in the UDHR. The first article states, "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and human rights." The third article adds, "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person."

Article 5 states clearly, "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." So the prohibition against torture derives from the agreement by the nations in the UN that the principle of honoring the dignity of human beings – a principle shared by all major religions – is an underlying principle for both nations and individuals. Thirty-six years later, on December 10, 1984, the UN General Assembly adopted the text of the Convention Against Torture, an international treaty ratified by the U.S. in 1994. The nations of the world and several faith groups celebrate December 10 as Human Rights Day. December 10, 2013 will be the 65th anniversary of the signing of the UDHR.

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