Human Rights Day Celebration
Yerevan, 10 December 2013 – Photo-contest and exhibition, debates on human rights and a theatre performance were the culmination of a campaign, which marked the Human Rights Day, giving an opportunity for Armenian youth and general public to increase their knowledge on human rights and to share their personal experiences in promotion and protection of human rights.
This year the world marks the 20th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration on Human Rights and Plan of Action, adopted in 1993 as well as creation of the position of High Commissioner for Human Rights who in these 20 years has enabled an independent, authoritative voice to speak out for human rights worldwide.
Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General said: “Let us intensify our efforts to fulfil our collective responsibility to promote and protect the rights and dignity of all people everywhere.”
“Raise Your Voice to Protect Your Human Rights!” is the slogan for the campaign in Armenia. The United Nations, EU Delegation to Armenia, OSCE Office in Yerevan and the Council of Europe Office in Yerevan together with the Human Rights Defender’s Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, awarded winners of the photo-contest - the goal of which was to encourage youth to share their experiences in promoting human rights, inclusion and participation in public life. Three best photos from each age group (15-18 and 19-25) received special awards during the celebration ceremony on 10 December.
The international organizations jury awarded 1st prizes in each age groups (Samsung Galaxy Tab 3) to the Mushegh Hovsepyan and Anahit Harutyunyan respectively, 2nd prizes (Acer tablet) to Vrej Najaryan and Hasmik Tonapetyan, and 3rd prizes (Asus tablet) to Arshak Khudaverdyan and Hayk Barseghyan. The general public enjoyed all photos displayed at the Artist’s Union.
The award ceremony continued with a debate moderated by the Deputy Human Rights Defender of Armenia Genya Petrosyan with participation of the representatives of international organizations. More than 60 young people had an opportunity to openly discuss human rights issues and how they can play a more active role in promotion and protection of their rights in the digital age and educate their peers. Human Rights related publications from the organizers were distributed.
In the evening youth benefited from the interactive theatrical performance “Lawsuit over Stolen Rainbow”, which raised the issue of gender equality and human rights in Armenia. With this the "16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence" which was launched with a joint press conference and statement of UN Armenia, US Embassy in Yerevan, EU Delegation to Armenia, OSCE Office in Yerevan and Council of Europe Office in Yerevan in the UN House on November 25 came to its logical end.
The Human Rights campaign will continue with a series of debates to be led by the international organizations in the regions of Armenia, promoting the universal values of human rights, peace and tolerance.
The Universal Declaration on Human Rights was adopted on 10 December 1948. The date has since served to mark Human Rights Day worldwide. http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/
The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted in 1993: http://www.un.org/en/events/humanrightsday/2013/about.shtml