Tuesday marks the 71st anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It’s been 71 years since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Two years after the declaration, December 10 was anointed Human Rights Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about the inalienable rights of people.

This year’s occasion was marked with an emphasis on youth rights and the global right to protest.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said: “Globally, young people are marching, organizing, and speaking out: For the right to a healthy environment, for the equal rights of women and girls, to participate in decision-making, and to express their opinions freely.”

“They are marching for their right to a future of peace, justice and equal opportunities.”  

Guterres was speaking against the backdrop of massive protests around the world against governments, with demands including economic, social and political rights.

Millions of people have protested government in Hong Kong, Iran, France, Bolivia, and Chile.

Hong Kong

The unrest broke out in June after Hong Kong’s administration announced that it would pass legislation allowing the extradition of residents to other Chinese territories. 

The law allows authorities to move suspected criminals to the Chinese mainland for trial.

Protesters raised concerns that the move would lead to arbitrary detentions, political persecution, and the threat of torture under the Chinese judicial system.

Anti-government demonstrations have been continuing for more than half a year.

Police have arrested nearly 6,000 people as a result of the violent protests. 


Yellow Vest protests began in November 2018 initially against rise fuel duties but later turned into widespread anger at the economic and political situation in France.

Nearly 2,400 protesters and 1,800 policemen have been injured and 11 people killed since last year.

The organisers said 24 people have lost an eye because of rubber bullets and tear gas fired by the police.


Protests began in October in southern and central provinces of Iraq against 16 years of corruption, unemployment, and Iranian intervention in the country politics.

The government used live bullets, tear gases and snipers to stop the unrest but it failed.

More than 450 people were killed and hundreds more wounded during the demonstrations. 

After violent clashes between security forces and the people, Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi announced his resignation on November 29.


Country-wide non-sectarian protests started on October 17 against corruption, the waste of public money and theft from governmental entities.

Protesters in Lebanon formed a human chain across the country as they voiced anger at political leaders blamed for steering the country toward economic collapse.

Despite PM Saad Hariri’s resignation, protesters also demand the resignation of President Michel Aoun and Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri. Seven people were killed and hundreds injured in the demonstrations.


Protests across Iran have shaken President Hassan Rouhani’s government once again after it decided to increase gas prices 50 percent to a minimum of 15,000 rials (45 cents) per litre.

Harsh US sanctions, which were renewed by President Donald Trump after Washington’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, forced a large number of foreign investors to leave the country, helping to spark runaway inflation and a devaluation of Tehran’s currency, the rial.

Anger spilled over into the streets on November 15. According to Amnesty International, at least 208 people were killed in the protests.