by Alexandra Schafhauser

Every 10th of December, Human Rights Day is observed internationally. This time, it has been 70 years since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Nevertheless, not everyone around the globe is able to fully enjoy their rights.


New technological advances are occurring the world, like artificial intelligence and rapid digital development, and with these advances come new ethical dilemmas. The future holds dramatic changes to the way we work and live, with social, political and economic consequences to follow. Yet, at the same time, technological advances present new and exciting opportunities for using technology to advance human rights, and for everyone to understand everyone else better across cultures and across seemingly entrenched opinions. But this can only happen if people in human rights and technology fields work together.

Today, it is as important as ever to stand up for human rights as inscribed in universal international standards like the UDHR; to keep advancing international standards; and, to make sure not to lose the progress that has been gained so far through the hard work of the people who have gone before. RTW commits to working with partners to make sure that no one is left behind in this new technological shift. RightsTech Women works to advance the rights of women and girls, but really, when one works for equality for one group, this implies caring about equality for everyone. Everyone needs to know their own human rights, to defend human rights continuously, all days of the year, so that this generation and generations to follow can live in a better world.
Background information

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the UN General Assembly in Paris three years after the end of World War II. It is a milestone document in the history of human rights, and the product of 18 months’ work by a drafting committee, with members and advisers from all across the world. Although the Declaration, with its broad range of political, civil, social, cultural and economic rights, is not on its face a binding document, it is now widely accepted. Together with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the UDHR forms what is known as the International Bill of Rights. For more information on the UDHR, see the Office of the High Commissioner Human Rights Day Campaign.

Eleanor Roosevelt reads the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Eleanor Roosevelt reads the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


What are Human rights?

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, without distinction. All human rights, whether they are civil and political rights, such as the right to life, equality before the law and freedom of expression; economic, social and cultural rights, such as the rights to work, social security and education, or collective rights, such as the rights to development and self-determination are indivisible, interrelated and interdependent. The improvement of one right facilitates advancement of the others.

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OHCHR Human Rights Day materials:

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