Human Rights Day

Learn about the importance of the UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights in 1948 with MY HERO's showcase of heroes fighting for equality, justice and dignity. 

Credit: UN Photo [Used with permission]

Teachers: Visit the free MY HERO Lesson Plan for Human Rights Day. Includes discussion guide and learning outcomes.

What Is Human Rights Day?

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. 

The declaration sets out the fundamental rights of all people that must be protected. Everyone is entitled to these rights, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

The creation of this document, made by people from different backgrounds, was a historic milestone for human rights.

These Four Stories Highlight Heroes Around the World Fighting for Inalienable Rights.

Garry Davis

By: Colin Tran

Garry Davis was an American bomber pilot in WWII who became a peace activist and advocated world citizenship.

Linda Sarsour

By: Noor Khalil

Linda Sarsour, from New York, was co-chair of the 2017 and 2019 Women's March, has been involved in organizational efforts Black Lives Matter, and spoke out against the Muslim travel ban.

Shirin Ebadi

By: Chloe McGee
Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian lawyer and former judge, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for fighting for the rights of women, children and refugees.

Frank Mugisha

By: H. Doerflein from Madison
Frank Mugisha is a Ugandan LGBT advocate who won the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.

Learn About Human Rights Through Hero Artwork

Introduction | The Human Rights Painting Project 

Art Activist Tom Block began the Human Rights Painting Project in 2002 to raise awareness of human rights issues around the world, as well as to support the work of Amnesty International. Among the vital group's goals are ensuring fair, prompt trials for political prisoners; abolishing torture and other ill treatment of incarcerated persons; and ending political killings and "disappearances." The Project also seeks freedom for all "prisoners of conscience" — people who have been detained for their political, religious or other beliefs or their national or ethnic origin, color, sex or other status.

Jacqueline Moudeina - Human Rights Painting Project

By: Tom Block

Jacqueline Moudeina has received numerous death threats — unintended consequences of her distinction as one of Chad's most prominent human rights lawyers.

General Jose Gallardo

By: Tom Block

He was imprisoned on November 9, 1993 for having proposed a military ombudsman, a human rights defender for both civilians and the military for the improper actions of the Army. Amnesty International considered him a prisoner of conscience.

Dalai Lama

By: Tom Block - Human Rights Painting Project
The Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, has been lauded worldwide for his philosophy and practice of peace, non-violence, universal responsibility, and compassion.

Gjergj Komnino

By: Tom Block

Gjergj Komnino spent 25 years in an Albanian prison for "anti-Communist crimes" before seeking asylum. Tom Block celebrated him in the Human Rights Painting Project.

Learn About Human Rights Through a Hero Film


Watch these three Human Rights-themed films, which will run about 15 minutes. Prompts for class discussion follow.

I am a #youngworker

Saba Waheed

I am a #youngworker combines worker experience and research data into a powerful and artistic animated story.

Protecting the Amazon by Advancing Indigenous Rights

Protecting the Amazon and our climate by supporting indigenous peoples

I'll take it from here... Because I'm a Girl

Produced by:Raj Yagnik, Shona Hamilton
One in three girls around the world is denied an education by the daily realities of poverty, conflict or discrimination.

From the UN official website: Learn about the women who helped shape the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Learn about the Women Who Helped Shape the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Credit: UN Photo / Used with permission

Illustrated Version of the UN Declaration of Human Rights

Universal Declaration of Human Rights illustrated book
Credit: Yacine Ait Kaci (YAK) []

Illustrations by Yacine Ait Kaci (YAK)

This illustrated edition of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is published by the United Nations in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.

Learn More About Human Rights Defenders from MY HERO's Library of Heroes

Human Rights Multimedia Lesson Plan
Credit: MY HERO


Organizer created on 12/4/2017 5:51:07 PM by Staff

Last edited 12/4/2019 2:26:24 PM by Xenia Shin