Celebrating the anniversary

As the national body responsible for promoting a human rights culture in Great Britain, the Commission was host to a number of events to mark International Human Rights Day and the 60th anniversary of the UN Declaration. We joined with the British Library to organise some of these events.


Debate: The Rights of Women: What Now?

4 December 2008: Our Chief Executive Nicola Brewer participated in a debate on women's rights chaired by the Guardian journalist Polly Toynbee, at the British Library in London.

To listen to or find out more about the debate, follow this link to the British Library's website.

Ours by Right: A day for the human family

7 December 2008: Set to coincide with the British Library's 'Taking Liberties' exhibition, Ours by Right was a free afternoon event at the British Library, open to the general public and featuring performances, workshops and film - all in celebration of the anniversary of the Declaration. Perfomances included music from Indie to Eastern European gypsy music, dance and theatre performances, spoken word performances, children's storytelling and workshops.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Sixty years on

8 December 2008: Francesca Klug, Professorial Research Fellow, LSE and Commissioner delivered a lecture at Chatham House.

Read a transcript of the lecture.

Reception - 60 years of the Universal Declaration

10 December 2008: At an event in London, the Commission welcomed the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, who spoke on the importance of human rights and the progress that has been made on securing those rights since the signing of the declaration on 10 December 1948.

The Prime Minister's was followed by a speech from Rt Hon Michael Wills, Minister of State for Constitutional Renewal at the Ministry of Justice.

Equality and Human Rights in Modern Britain

27 January 2009: Our Chair Trevor Phillips spoke at this British Library event. He asked why human rights has such a bad press when it's such a good thing – and talks about the best way to make it work for a better Britain.

Celebrations in Wales

In Wales the Commission is planning to hold an open conversation on human rights in the new year. This will build on the findings of the Commission's attitudinal survey which found that almost all people in Wales thought human rights are important, but many were unsure what they are. We also commissioned Human Writes - several short stories about human rights from Welsh writers.

Celebrations in Scotland

In Scotland the Commission supported partners at events throughout December. Partners include Amnesty International, The Scottish Refugee Council, Edinburgh City Council, Glasgow University and Oxfam Scotland.

International celebrations

Visit the UN Human Rights website for information and campaign materials for about this global celebration.

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