What is Human Rights Week?
International Human Rights Day in 2018 will mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United Nations General Assembly adopted the declaration on 10 December 1948.
The Commission has celebrated Human Rights Day with an Oration since 2001. As an annual event held on or around 10 December, the Human Rights Oration aims to highlight human rights issues as they apply to the everyday lives of Victorians. Each year we invite prominent speakers in different fields to present their perspective on human rights (see a list of previous speakers).
The theme for Human Rights Week was 'Human rights start with you'. It’s a simple but important message – each of us has a part to play in ensuring the principles of freedom, respect, equality and dignity are alive in our communities, our workplaces, our sports and social groups, even in our own lives, among our friends and families.
Perhaps we don’t yet know what part it is that we can play. This is what Human Rights Week is also about. It’s about discovering what each of us can do to grow a human rights culture.
What happened during Human Rights Week?
The main components of Human Rights Week are:
- an online event calendar listing events and activities that people and workplaces are holding to celebrate Human Rights Week
- the Human Rights Oration. This year's Oration will be delivered by author, journalist and screenwriter, Benjamin Law.
More than 20 events featured on last year's calendar. This included events and activities by various government departments, local councils and community organisations.
Benjamin Law was well received at the Oration. He spoke with candour as he explored our obligations to the next generation in ensuring their rights through personal storytelling and examing the response to his Moral Panic 101 piece in the Quarterly Essay.