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Human Rights Day

Featured Content December 10, 2019 - Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and thereafter, December 10 has been observed each year as Human Rights Day. The UDHR was the first universal standard of achievements for all people and nations, stating that all human beings have certain inherent and inalienable rights to be universally protected.

On December 10, 1949, President Truman issued the first Presidential Proclamation for Human Rights Day (Presidential Proclamation 2866, Federal Register Vol. 14, No.238, December 10, 1949) and in 1958, President Eisenhower issued the first proclamation for Human Rights Week (Proclamation 3265, Federal Register Vol. 23, No. 230, November 25, 1958), held from December 10-17.


"Whereas the attainment of basic rights for men and women everywhere is essential to the peace we are seeking... I, Harry S. Truman, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate December 10, 1949, and December 10 of each succeeding year as United Nations Human Rights Day; and I invite the people of the United States to observe such day in appropriate manner."

Related Legislation and Regulations

Civil Rights Act of 1964, Public Law 88-352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964

  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance, codified in 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq., and implemented in 34 CFR Part 100 and 28 CFR 42.101 et seq.
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion (equal employment opportunity), codified in 42 USC 2000e-2 et seq., and implemented in 29 CFR 1600 et seq.
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA) amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to prohibit sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, Public Law 95–555, 92 Stat. 2076, enacted October 31, 1978
  • Statute Compilation of the Civil Rights Act as amended (Note: This compilation of the public law, as amended, is an unofficial document and should not be cited as legal evidence of the law.)

Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects certain applicants and employees 40 years of age and older from discrimination on the basis of age in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, or terms, conditions or privileges of employment, Public Law 90–202, 81 Stat. 602, enacted December 15, 1967, codified in 29 U.S.C. 621 et seq., and Statute Compilation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act as amended (Note: This compilation of the public law, as amended, is an unofficial document and should not be cited as legal evidence of the law.)

Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1975 prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance, Public Law 94-142, 89 Stat. 773, enacted November 29, 1975, codified in 42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq., and implemented in 34 CFR Part 110

Equal Pay Act of 1963 amended the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1963 to prohibit employers and unions from paying different wages based on sex, Public Law 88–38, 77 Stat. 56, enacted June 10, 1963, and codified in 29 U.S.C. 203.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination in education programs, Public Law 94-142, 89 Stat. 773, enacted November 29, 1975, codified in 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq., and implemented in 34 CFR Part 106

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination based on disability. See article on International Day of Persons with Disabilities for select legislative and regulatory resources.


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Article originally posted 12/6/17.


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