All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. This simple yet radical idea is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Human rights are at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as in the absence of human dignity we cannot drive sustainable development. A human right is clean water and food (SDG 6, SDG 2), it is health (SDG 3) and the opportunity to lead a peaceful life (SDG 16); It is life on land (SDG 15) and walking the Earth among its many beings (SDG 13, SDG 14). Human Rights are driven by progress on all SDGs, and the SDGs are driven by advancements on human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948.
December 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the Declaration. Over the next year, we’re exploring how this seminal document has impacted history and changed lives around the globe. The human rights movement has made great strides in the past seven decades, but abuses still occur with saddening regularity. The anniversary of the Declaration is an opportunity to celebrate successes and recommit ourselves to the principles outlined in the Declaration’s 30 Articles. As stated in the preamble, “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” The Declaration empowers all of us to stand up for our own human rights and those of others. For inspiration, we present the Declaration here as a living document, universal in scope and fiercely relevant to each individual.