Each year on December 10, people all around the world celebrate Human Rights Day. The date was chosen to honor the United NationsGeneral Assembly‘s adoption on 10 December 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global statement of international human rights principles. The UDHR was the first international document that spelled out the “basic civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all human beings should enjoy.” The UDHR has been translated into more than 500 languages and dialects, making it one of the most translated documents in the world. 

The theme for 2021 is EQUALITY – Reducing inequalities, advancing human rights. The official slogan is “All Human, All Equal”

“This year’s Human Rights Day theme relates to ‘Equality’ and Article 1 of the UDHR – “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

The principles of equality and non-discrimination are at the heart of human rights. Equality is aligned with the 2030 Agenda and with the UN approach set out in the document Shared Framework on Leaving No One Behind: Equality and Non-Discrimination at the Heart of Sustainable Development. This includes addressing and finding solutions for deep-rooted forms of discrimination that have affected the most vulnerable people in societies, including women and girls, indigenous peoples, people of African descent, LGBTI people, migrants and people with disabilities, among others.”

Below are some ideas for simple yet meaningful ways that families can celebrate Human Rights Day by learning about the rights and responsibilities that we all share as human beings. For more ideas, check out our previous posts:

 WORLD VOICE: Activities for Human Rights Day 2015

SOCIAL GOOD: Human Rights Day Activities for You & Your Kids!

SOCIAL GOOD: Human Rights Day Activities To Do With Your Kids

MINNESOTA, USA: 10 Things To Do With Your Kids On Human Rights Day on Dec. 10th!

1. Express your support for equality with a Human Rights Day frame

Show your support for Equality by adding your photo to the UN’s special filter and other filters inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Print it out to decorate your house or share it on social media using the hashtags #StandUp4HumanRights, #Equality and #HumanRightsDay. You can also download posters and other free campaign materials here.

2. Share a visual journey of COVID-19 and children around the world

UNICEF’s photo essay Generation COVID: Respond. Recover. Reimagine. is a powerful representation of pandemic experiences of children and young people across six countries. What similarities can you find to your own experiences?

3. Check out the first ever Global Forum for Children and Youth  (December 7-9, 2021)

You can watch live or stream on demand on the agenda page https://www.childrenyouthforum.org/ The Global Forum includes several Youth TEDTalks. Download the Child and Youth Engagement Guide here.

4. Listen to a podcast together

NPR’s Code Switch podcast has curated a playlist for younger listeners.

“We’ve combed through the episodes to make sure they’re free of profanity, graphic references and other adult content. (Although talking about race and racism is always complicated, so parents, use your judgment here.) Our episodes never have all the answers, and we’re hoping these will open up space for some good old-fashioned dinner-table discussions.”

Code Switch for Kids is available here

To hear more about race and diversity from kids with their own podcasts, check out this article.

5. Hear from human rights activists in their own words

Beheshta Arghand: Education is key to Afghanistan’s development

COP 26 – Protect rights of Indigenous Peoples

See videos of more human rights activists on the Stand Up for Human Rights playlist

6. Take a history lesson together

Learn about the criminalization of same sex relations from 1790 to 2019 with the map The History of the Right to Love (If You’re Gay).

Learn about the women who shaped the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (including Eleanor Roosevelt) by reading Women Who Shaped the UDHR .

7. Play some games to raise awareness about food waste

Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights covers a wide range of economic, social, and cultural rights, including the right to adequate food.

You can raise awareness about food waste in your family by playing a downloadable Food Waste Sorting Game .  Or test your knowledge about what goes in your recycling, compost, and garbage bins with this Interactive Carts Game.

More resources are available here. Check them out!

8. Work on your Challenge Badges together

“Developed in collaboration with United Nations agencies, civil society and other organizations, YUNGA Challenge Badges aim to raise your awareness, educate and motivate you to change your behaviour and become an active agent of change in your local community.”

9. Make your own human rights meme!

Use this year’s Human Rights Day theme and brainstorm with your kids to come up with a meme. Use any free online meme generator to create your own meme. For inspiration, check out these take action memes.

10. Talk to your kids about how important they are to making the future better for all of us!

UN Free & Equal: When #YouthLead anything is possible

You and your kids are on your way to a great Human Rights Day! What are YOU going to do this year on December 10? Please share YOUR ideas for human rights activities with us in the comments.

This is an original post for World Moms Network by Jennifer Prestholdt. Photo: © Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Jennifer Prestholdt (USA)

Jennifer Prestholdt is a lawyer and the Deputy Director of The Advocates for Human Rights, a volunteer-based human rights organization that works locally, nationally and internationally. Her work in human rights takes her around the world, but she spends most of her time in Minneapolis, MN, where she lives with her children (two sons and one daughter), her husband, an elderly cat and a dwarf hamster.

As Jennifer’s kids are now all in school (1st, 4th and 6th grades), she is finally finding more time to do the things that she used to love to do, especially running, writing and knitting. Jennifer loves to travel and has had the dubious distinction of having been accidentally locked in a bathroom on five continents so far. Australia and Antarctica await!

In January 2011, Jennifer made a New Year’s Resolution to start writing about her experiences in order to share with her children the lessons learned from 15 years of work in human rights. The result is her personal blog, The Human Rights Warrior. The name comes from her son Simon, who was extremely disappointed to learn that his mother is a lawyer, not a warrior.

You can find her on her blog The Human Rights Warrior or on Twitter @Jprestholdt.

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