Human Rights Day is celebrated annually around the world on 10 December, marking the anniversary of the day the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was formally introduced.

Human rights are principles for certain standards of human behaviour and are secured in law. They are commonly understood as inalienable, fundamental rights “to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being” and which are “inherent in all human beings”, regardless of their age, ethnic origin, location, language, religion, ethnicity, or any other status.

Independent advocates are human rights defenders. Through their work, they help ensure that an individual’s human rights are respected by offering access to justice on an equal and non-discriminatory basis with others. Independent advocacy addresses issues of autonomy and choice and supports an individual’s voice and opinions to be meaningfully heard.

Independent advocacy plays a key role in ensuring human rights protection, as it enables people to know and claim their human rights and on increasing the ability and accountability of individuals and institutions responsible for respecting, protecting, and fulfilling rights.

We have published two key documents that provide further information on the link between independent advocacy and human rights:

If you or someone you know need an independent advocate, please visit our ‘Find an Advocate’ section.

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