2019-12-01 - 2019-12-31


  • Start: 2019-12-01
  • End: 2019-12-31
  • Event Category Humanist Action Kit

Human Rights Day

December is known as a time for families and friends to come together in celebration of many different holidays. It is also an important time for people to come together in support of human rights and understand how best to protect them. As the Humanist Manifesto III says: “Humanists long for and strive toward a world of mutual care and concern, free of cruelty and its consequences, where differences are resolved cooperatively without resorting to violence. The joining of individuality with interdependence enriches our lives, encourages us to enrich the lives of others, and inspires hope of attaining peace, justice, and opportunity for all.”

Useful Dates for December

December 1 - World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day takes place on December 1 each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day. Despite the man scientific advancements made over the years, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with the condition.
December 2 - International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery marks the date of the adoption, by the General Assembly, of the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (resolution 317(IV) of December 2, 1949). It focuses on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, the worst forms of child labour, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict. According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) more than 40 million people worldwide are victims of modern slavery. Although modern slavery is not defined in law, it refers to situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, deception, and/or abuse of power. Find useful resources at: https://www.un.org/en/events/slaveryabolitionday/resources.shtml.
December 3 - GivingTuesday
Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. It is mostly celebrated online (with emails and social media posts using #GivingTuesday) and focuses on supporting non-profits and charities.
December 3 - International Day of Persons with Disabilities
The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992, by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3. It aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
December 10 - Human Rights Day
The UN General Assembly proclaimed December 10 as Human Rights Day in 1950, to bring attention to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being–regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Drafted by representatives of diverse legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration sets out universal values and a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. It establishes the equal dignity and worth of every person.
December 12 - International Universal Health Coverage Day
International Universal Health Coverage Day aims to mobilize diverse stakeholders to call for stronger, more equitable health systems to achieve universal health coverage, leaving no one behind. Universal health coverage (UHC) ensures all people, everywhere, can access the quality health services they need without suffering financial hardship. It is a fundamentally political goal rooted in the human right to health. It is also one of the smartest investments any country can make.
December 15 - Bill of Rights Day
Bill of Rights Day commemorates the anniversary of the ratification of the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution (later known as the Bill of Rights), which took place December 15, 1791. These amendments protect our most fundamental rights—freedom of and from religion; freedom of speech, protest, and conscience; and guarantees our equal protection under the law.
December 21 - Winter Solstice
Winter Solstice in the US occurs on December 21. The winter solstice (also known as hiemal solstice, hibernal solstice, or midwinter) occurs when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt away from the Sun. It happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere (Northern and Southern). For that hemisphere, the winter solstice is the day with the shortest period of daylight and longest night of the year, when the Sun is at its lowest daily maximum elevation in the sky. In some cultures it marks the symbolic death and rebirth of the Sun, so people use it as a time of reflection and celebration.
December 23 - Human Light
Human Light takes place on or around December 23 each year and is designed to celebrate and express the positive, secular, human values of reason, compassion, humanity and hope. It was created and developed in 2001 by leaders of the New Jersey Humanist Network. Since then, various secular, freethought, humanist, and atheist groups and individuals have adopted the holiday as part of their December traditions.


Celebrate Winter Solstice
Winter Solstice parties can be as simple as a dinner out together or as extravagant as a performance with multiple acts. Some groups like to play games, sing songs, hold raffles, decorate trees, share what they’re thankful for or are looking forward to in the new year, and reflect on the year they shared together. Make sure you take pictures to remember the good times and share on social media and your website so you can attract more people to join you at future events.

Participate in Toy and/or Coat Drive
As the days get colder and many families struggle to get by, it is always greatly appreciated when people are able to raise money for or donate toys and/or warm clothing. Find out about local drives or start your own. Perhaps members of your group could together craft toys or knit scarves, providing both a social activity and a service project.

Write Season’s Greeting Letters
December can be a difficult month for people who are far away or estranged from their family and maybe unable to gather with friends. Consider gathering your group for a letter writing event so you can spread some cheer to people in prison, hospitals, senior centers, orphanages, or serving our military overseas.

Recommended Books & Movies

Children’s Simplified Version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Story of Human Rights

Social Media Toolkit

#HumanRights #HumanRightsDay #StandUp4HumanRights

In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility. ― Eleanor Roosevelt

No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother. ― Margaret Sanger, 1957 AHA Humanist of the Year

We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist. ― James Baldwin