10 December - Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In 2010, the Council of Europe will reaffirm its commitment in the fight against racism and all forms of discrimination.

Combating racism and racial discrimination has become one of the organisation’s priorities due to the growing racist and intolerant attitudes that have risen in connection with migration movements and the increased multicultural nature of societies in Europe. The Council of Europe has put in place a wide range of actions to fight against racism and intolerance in cooperation with other international organisations and national authorities of member States.

Declaration by Thorbjørn Jagland and Ahmet Davutoglu

''2010 is the year of the 60th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights but also the year of consolidation and expansion of its unique mechanism for the protection fundamental rights and freedoms. The reform of the European Court of Human Rights is well under way'', Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland, and Ahmet Davutoglu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey and Chairman of the Committee of Ministers, say in their statement marking Human Rights Day on 10 December 2010.

In parallel, the negotiations on the accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights are progressing, which will be a historic step forward in the struggle to promote and protect human rights throughout Europe.

Human Rights Day 2010: Human rights defenders who act to end discrimination

The theme for Human Rights Day 10 December 2010 was: ''Human rights defenders who act to end discrimination''. Human rights defenders acting against discrimination, often at great personal risk to both themselves and their families, are being recognized and acclaimed on this day.

Some human rights defenders are famous, but most are not. They are active in every part of the world, working alone and in groups, in local communities, in national politics and internationally.

Human Rights Day 2010 highlighted and promoted the achievements of human rights defenders and it will again emphasize the primary responsibility Governments have to enable and protect their role. The Day was also intended to inspire a new generation of defenders to speak up and take action to end discrimination in all of its forms whenever and wherever it is manifested.

Exhibition "Faces and rights"