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Human Rights Day

10 December 2012 

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Human Rights Day (10 December) provides an opportunity every year to appreciate the true value of human rights, to draw attention to a specific aspect of these rights and to speak out so that everyone, no matter where they are, exercises all their human rights.

This year attention is focused on the rights of all people - women, young people, minorities, the disabled, indigenous groups, those who live in poverty, those who live life on its fringes - because it is vital to ensure that their voices are heard in society and that their needs and aspirations be taken into account when taking political decisions.

Human rights such as the freedom to have your own opinions and the freedom to express them, the freedom of peaceful assembly and association and the right to participate in the running of one's own country (articles 19, 20 and 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) lie at the very heart of the historical events that have taken place in the Arab world over the last two years, when millions of people went out on to the streets and emphatically demanded change. In other parts of the world the “99 percent" demanded that their opinion be heard, when with the help of the global "Occupy!" movement they protested against economic, political and social inequality.

Share your ideas on human rights and participate in the life of society and political decision making by using #VoiceCount.

Take part in a series of four virtual meetings at Google+ Hangouts between 22 November and 10 December to get the chance to talk to senior officials at the United Nations and experts on minority and disability rights as well as to reflect on the influence of business on human rights and various other issues.

In addition, from 1 December you can send us your questions using #AskRights. Navi Pillay the High Commissioner for Human Rights will be answering individual questions at Google+ Hangout on Human Rights Day.