Human Rights Day, December 10

On December 10, 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the UN General Assembly meeting in Paris. Eleanor Roosevelt regarded this as the great achievement of her public life. Never before in human history had human rights been recognized and furthered in this way. The Four Freedoms are the core of this achievement.

Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighbourhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerned citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.
— Eleanor Roosevelt, “In Our Hands” (1958 speech delivered on the 10th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)