On December 10th, people and states the world over celebrate the 1948 adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).  On this landmark date in contemporary history, the nations of the world joined together to try to bury, once and for all, the spectre of genocide raised by the Second World War. The UDHR was one of the first major achievements of the United Nations and provided the basic philosophy for many legally-binding international instruments to follow.  Resolution 217A (III) by the General Assembly proclaims the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms…”
Organizations and individuals use Human Rights Day as an opportunity to both commemorate the signing of this historic document and to promote the principles that it embodies. Human Rights Day, according to former High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, is “an occasion to demonstrate that the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were not theoretical or abstract.”
To obtain a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, please visit the UN website at: http://www.ohchr.org/