News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Happy Human Rights Day 2012!

People worldwide celebrate Human Rights Day on December  10th. The date was chosen in honor of the UN General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10th 1948. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights defines such fundamental rights as the right to life, liberty, and security of person, freedom from torture and arbitrary arrest, the right to food, medical care, education, marriage, and freedom of thought and assembly.

This year’s theme is My Voice Counts. Here is a video of Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights discussing the right to participate.

Human Rights Day 2011

Tomorrow, December 10th, is Human Rights Day 2011. This annual celebration, which is sponsored by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, incorporates events, media, and stories about the impact of human rights around the world. The basis of the day is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a declaration of the basic rights of all humans adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on December 10th, 1948. Some of the rights embodied in the Declaration include the right to be free of torture, the right equal protection before the law, the right to marriage, and the right to education. As a fun fact, the Universal Declaration has been translated into 382 different languages, which you can search here.  Videos in honor of the day are posted here.  Arguably, the Arab Spring movements were the biggest human rights events of 2011. This timeline of events from The Guardian lets you follow the activities of the Arab Spring from December 2010 through this month.

Research Human Rights Issues with the Universal Human Rights Index

The Universal Human Rights Index of United Nations Documents is a research tool provided by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The Index provides access to concluding observations of the eight UN treaty bodies (like the Human Rights Committee, the Committee against Torture and the Committee on the Rights of the Child), country visit reports, decisions and recommendations, State party comments, and other important human rights documents. The basic search allows users to search by keyword, state or entity, and by body. So an example search might be trafficking, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, which would lead you to concluding comments of the CEDAW committee for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The advanced search allows to you filter your search even further–for example limiting to region, clusters or rights (such as civil or political rights or the right of self-determination), or to persons affected (such as children, disappeared persons, girls, or persons with disabilities).

Using the Universal Human Rights Index beats searching individual UN treaty body websites any day.

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