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Human Rights Day

December 10, 2016

December 10th is Human Rights Day and the library has the information to help you answer "What is that?"

Human Rights Day is observed each year on December 10th.

As a response to World War II, the United Nations General Assembly created and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, thus enabling that all human beings common rights in life. Prior to the approval, there were common laws that Allies of World War II adhered to called the Four Freedoms: the freedom of speech, the freedom of worship, the freedom from want, and the freedom from fear. Though drafted after the ending of World War II, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights did not go into effect until 1948.

Forty-eight countries voted for the approval of these rights. Those countries were: Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Canada, Chile, Republic of China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Siam, Sweden, Syria, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

There were countries who did not approve of the Declaration. Those countries were: Byelorussian SSR, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Ukranian SSR, Union of South Africa, USSR, and Yugoslavia.

This document continues to update and have additions. Other organizations have created their own versions of Human Rights. Here is a link for a pdf version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that is free.

Image from SGI Quarterly Magazine: Eleanor Roosevelt, a key proponent for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Special Collections at the Main Library has an entire room devoted to human rights and civil rights called the Civil Rights Room. Currently, a selection of books are on display that are about Human Rights and Civil Rights.

Here are a sample of books that are always available in the Civil Rights Room:

Sara headshot thumbnail

Sara B.

Sara reads too many books at once, but is great at multi-tasking. She creates activities that tackle tough issues for all audiences.