International Human Rights Day is observed every year on December 10 — the anniversary of the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Available in more than 500 languages, it is the most translated document in the world.
The theme for Human Rights Day 2020 is "Recover Better - Stand Up for Human Rights," emphasizing the importance of ensuring human rights are central in COVID-19 recovery efforts.
This day serves as a useful reminder of the intersections between human rights and mental health. The World Health Organization notes that "All over the world people with mental disabilities experience a wide range of human rights violations," which include being discriminated against, excluded from community life, denied access to needed support, or treated using outdated and inhumane methods. For many, these circumstances have been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It's encouraging to see that interest is growing in the work to promote and protect the rights and dignity of people with lived experience of mental health and substance use problems, though we have lots more work to do.
What are you, or your organization, doing for International Human Rights Day?