International Human Rights Day 2019

When the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948, it envisioned a world where “all members of the human family” enjoy “freedom, justice, and peace in the world.”

But far too often, governments abuse and violate human rights, undermining that vision.

Woman and two children (© John Owens/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images)
(© John Owens/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images)

This mother and her children are among the more than 740,000 Muslim Rohingya who fled horrific violence from security forces in Burma in August 2017 to seek refuge in neighboring Bangladesh. The United States is the leading contributor of humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya crisis, providing over $669 million since 2017.


Overhead view of white-robed men standing close together, holding candles (© Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images)
(© Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images)

According to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has “the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.” At the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem — one of the holiest sites in the Christian faith — Roman Catholic clergy members circle the Stone of Anointing as a part of the Maundy Thursday Easter procession.


Venezuelan flag–draped girl in a woman's arms (© Emilio Morenatti/AP Images)
(© Emilio Morenatti/AP Images)

Venezuelans continue to protest the illegitimate regime of former President Nicolás Maduro, who starves his people to fund corruption. By standing up for democracy and supporting interim President Juan Guaidó — who is recognized by nearly 60 nations — the Venezuelan people demand that their human rights be restored to them.

“The protection of human rights is of fundamental importance, and all countries must respect their human rights obligations and commitments,” Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said in October.