Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Representing Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, Maryknoll Sisters, and Maryknoll Lay Missioners
  • Sri Lanka children - Jim Stipe
  • Golden calf on Wall Street
  • Seedbag
  • Altar in Palestine - R Rodrick Beiler
  • corn bags

Human Rights Day, December 10

Check out a variety of resources from the National Religious Campaign Against Torture to commemorate Human Rights Day, December 10.


Bulletin insert with educational material and an interfaith prayer:

Human Rights Day webinar on December 10 with featured speaker Juan Mendez, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. Sign up at

Activity and advocacy ideas

Other worship and study resources are available at

A newsletter, Human Rights Faithfully, will be launched by NRCAT to commemorate Human Rights Day and the critical work that is being done to end torture around the nation. Sign up for the NRCAT mailing list to receive the newsletter.

What is Human Rights Day? In 1945 when the United Nations was created, its charter affirmed the "dignity and worth of the human person."

On December 10, 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which affirmed this basic tenet of the UN charter. The nations of the world and several faith groups now celebrate December 10 as Human Rights Day. There are 30 short articles in the UDHR. The first article states, "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and human rights." The third article adds, "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person."

Article 5 states clearly, "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." So the prohibition against torture derives from the agreement by the nations in the UN that the principle of honoring the dignity of human beings – a principle shared by all major religions – is an underlying principle for both nations and individuals. Thirty-six years later, on December 10, 1984, the UN General Assembly adopted the text of the Convention Against Torture, an international treaty ratified by the U.S. in 1994. The nations of the world and several faith groups celebrate December 10 as Human Rights Day.

If you have any questions, please contact T.C. Morrow at or 202-547-1920.