Human rights | 10.12.2021

2021 Human Rights Day - “All Human, All Equal”: Reducing Inequalities, Advancing Human Rights

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
Article 1 of the UDHR

As every year on December 10 , we commemorate today International Human Rights Day to mark the date in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). December 10 is both a reminder of the inalienable rights to which we all, as human beings, are entitled, and an invitation to join efforts to ensure that those human rights are effectively afforded to all, equally, without discrimination of any kind.

In 2021, article 1 of the UDHR and the principles of equality and non-discrimination inspire and provide both foundation and framework to the theme of the Human Rights Day: Reducing inequalities, advancing human rights.

The COVID crisis has not only highlighted the existing, underlying gaps, inequalities and vulnerabilities in human rights protection in our societies but also intensified those disparities. COVID-19 has certainly hindered the realization of the UN’s 2030 Agenda, and the ideal of leaving no one behind seems more elusive than ever. The 2021 Human Rights Day is therefore a clarion call to address this situation.

We are all invited today, collectively and individually, to reflect on how to achieve “equality in dignity and rights for all in opportunities and outcomes for a fairer and inclusive world”.

Recover better, fairer and greener from this crisis

Among other issues, the 2021 Human Rights Day brings specific attention to the necessity of adopting a human rights-based economy as the foundation of a new social contract able to break cycles of poverty and lead to fairer and more sustainable societies. Of particular importance is the need to guarantee equal opportunities for young people, who have been so adversely impacted by the crisis; equal access to COVID vaccines; advancing the right to a healthy environment; and climate justice, particularly for those who are particularly vulnerable to environmental degradation. Equality, inclusion and human rights are the foundational elements upon which we can build more resilient societies and help prevent conflict and overcome crises, such as the ones we face today. 

As lawyers and members of the international legal community, we are particularly called today to renew our commitment to the promotion and protection and of human rights. We therefore encourage you today to engage with this year’s Human Rights Day and #Standup4humanrights.

And as every year, UIA-IROL takes this opportunity to reiterate its full support for all our colleagues who, wherever they are in the world, by their actions and unrelenting advocacy, take a firm and committed stand for human rights, often in challenging circumstances and despite personal and professional risks. They are an inspirational example for the legal profession and for us all.

Join the global campaign
#Standup4humanrights #HumanRightsDay




Wath the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet's message to mark Human Rights Day 2021, on December 10.