Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on 10 December.
The date was chosen to honour the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The commemoration of the day was initiated in 1950, when the UN General Assembly invited all states and interested organizations to celebrate the day.
The day is a high point in the calendar of UN headquarters in New York City, United States, and is normally marked by both high-level political conferences and meetings and by cultural events and exhibitions dealing with human rights issues. Many governmental and nongovernmental organizations active in the human rights field also schedule special events to commemorate the day.
Social work grew out of humanitarian and democratic ideals, and its values are based on respect for the equality, worth, and dignity of all people. Since its beginnings over a century ago, social work practice has focused on meeting human needs and developing human potential. Human rights and social justice serve as the motivation and justification for social work action.
IFSW promotes Human Rights by publishing statements on human rights issues and related matters and by raising awareness within the profession about the profession’s commitment to its Human Rights heritage. IFSW has adopted an International Policy on Human Rights describing its commitment and giving guidance to social workers and social work organizations on human rights policy matters. IFSW has together with the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) developed and published a Manual on Social Work and Human Rights. To implement the Human Rights agenda of IFSW a special Human Rights Commission has been set up.
IFSW as an international organization also acts in the human rights field by supporting and defending the human rights of individual social workers, social work educators and students through appeals and demand for fair and transparent legal process and humane conditions in detention and imprisonment.
Read about IFSW’s Human Rights Activities