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HREA launches multilingual website on Human Rights Day 2003

HREA Press release
Cambridge, 7 December 2003

On December 10th, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, after years of hard work by an international committee headed by Eleanor Roosevelt. Every year on December 10th, Human Rights Day marks the adoption of the Universal Declaration, which has become a universal standard for defending and promoting human rights. On Human Rights Day it is celebrated around the globe that "All human beings are born with equal and inalienable rights and fundamental freedoms."

Today we take note of human rights progress this year. Despite tragic moments, including the death of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Sergio Vieira de Mello during the bombing of the UN Headquarters in Iraq, 2003 has brought some inspiring achievements. These include the elimination of the death penalty in various countries of the former Soviet Union and Turkey, and the inauguration of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the first permanent international criminal tribunal ever established to bring to justice individuals for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Other highlights of 2003 are the selection of a female Iranian human rights defender, Shirin Ebadi, for the Nobel Peace Prize and, in the USA, increasing recognition of the equal rights of gays and lesbians. Finally, the increasing availability of affordable medicine for fighting AIDS in Africa and Asia, guarantees one of the most basic human rights, the right to health.

Bertrand Ramcharan, Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a recent address: "In the end, I am convinced that the quest for justice and human rights will win because young people the world over wish them to win. This is why it is so important to increase our efforts to provide information and education about human rights to the young people of the world."

Educators and community organizers interested to recognize Human Rights Day in their classroom or community are invited to visit the HREA website to get ideas about how this inspiring day can be celebrated with students. You are also kindly invited to share with other list members events and activities that you will be carrying out on Human Rights Day so that others can benefit from your efforts.

HREA is happy to announce that in commemoration of Human Rights Day our website is now available in all official UN languages. You can now access HREA's extensive education resources, human rights news and human rights learning tools in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.


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