Human Rights Day commemorations at UN Geneva

Human Rights Day commemorations at UN Geneva

Human Rights day is held on the 10th of December every year to commemorate the day the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, when the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action were adopted, ringing in a new era of commitment to human rights. This year, the observance of Human Rights Day was held on the 5th of December in the Geneva United Nations.


A representative from GWI attended the event and spoke briefly with a few of the presenters, including Ghida Fakhry Khane, a primary news anchor for Al Jazeera English and Deeyah Khan, a music producer, award-winning documentary film director, and human rights activist. Women’s rights, human rights and technology, and the effectiveness of international human rights organizations were all key topics in panel discussions and speeches. Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, noted in her opening address, “Women continue to suffer discrimination, violence, and persecution… This shows how far we still have to go.”


Deeyah Khan spoke about the importance of enacting HR frameworks on the ground and ending the silence that surrounds discrimination and violence against women. In the closing remarks of the last panel, Khan emphasized the importance of having female role models in human rights activism in order to build and unify a stronger, more resilient, and influential generation of change makers in women’s rights.

-Katrina Belle