Upholding human rights is in the interest of all. Respect for human rights advances well-being for every individual, stability for every society, and harmony for our interconnected world”UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Today is Human Rights Day and is observed by the international community every year on December 10th. It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was the first global enunciation of human rights and one of the first major achievements of the United Nations.

The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cover a wide range of issues that effectively mirror the human rights framework with many individual SDGs relating closely to economic, social and political rights.

With this in mind we have put together a list of 7 Interesting Facts related to Human Rights, which you might not have known.

1. Claudette Colvin  was the first person arrested for resisting bus segregation, 9 months before Rosa Parks, but was not used as a figurehead for the civil rights movement because she was an unmarried, pregnant teenager. (Source)

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2. In 2014 more than 1/3 of governments around the world, 62 out of 160 locked up prisoners of conscience – people who were simply exercising their rights and freedoms. (Source)

3. Frank Sinatra (pictured above) was a big activist within the civil rights movement, refusing to stay at hotels that didn’t enable “blacks”. He used his mafia ties to help get labor unions behind John F. Kennedy because he knew they shared similar opinions on equal rights. (Source)

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4. In 1994, a man in UK won the right to a retrial for a murder because it was found that the members of the jury used a Ouija board to contact the victims, before returning the verdicts. (Source)

5. The film Lord of War (2005) was officially endorsed by the human rights group Amnesty International for highlighting the arms trafficking by the international arms industry. (Source)

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6. Afghanistan has attempted to reintroduce public stoning for adulterers while women are forced to undergo vaginal examinations to prove virginity. (Source)

7. Violence against women and girls is the most pervasive violation of human rights in the world today with 603 million women living in countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime. (Source)

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