49 Practical Activities and Methods for Human Rights Education > Human Rights calendar

Human Rights calendar


The following calendar is a first attempt to compile a list of days on which people worldwide celebrate human rights. The key dates have been gathered from official UN International Days, World Days recognised by NGOs, anniversaries of historical events and birthdays of some prominent human rights activists. It is not to be taken as a complete or definitive list but as a starting point for work with young people. The activities in chapter three are listed for cross-referencing.

The calendar can be copied and made into a poster to hang on the wall to stimulate initial interest in human rights issues, especially as it gives a good indication of their range and variety. People can be invited to discuss selected issues and also to research their own local and national key dates. These can then be added to the calendar to make a resource which is personal to the group.

Each activity in chapter three has been assigned a key date. Thus it is possible to use the calendar as a tool for developing a year's human rights education programme. The starting point of each week or month could be a "topical" activity. For example on 3 May, World Press Freedom Day you could do the activity "Front page" (page 135) or on 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, you could do the activity "Domestic affairs" (page 114). Alternatively, the group may wish to "take action" by getting involved with events or activities being organised by other organisations on those dates, for example with an environmental group to celebrate Earth Day on 22 April.

If you want some initial ideas for taking action then look at the "A-Z of Actions" in the all different all equal education pack. For tips and guidelines for taking effective action read chapter 3, "Taking action" in this manual.

Just as the understanding of human rights changes and develops every year, so should this calendar. The challenge for you - the users of this manual - is to find new ways of celebrating human rights every single day of the year.

Date Celebration Activity
08 January World Literacy Day Education for all?
20 February Non-violent Resistance Day Power station
21 February  International Mother Language Day (UNESCO) The language barrier
8 March International Women's Day Heroines and heroes
21 March World Poetry Day (UNESCO) Picture games
21 March International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Responding to racism
22 March World Day for Water The web of life
23 March World Meteorological Day (WMO)  
24 March World Tuberculosis Day (WHO)  
7 April World Health Day (WHO) Just a minute
8 April World Roma Day Take a step forward
22 April Earth Day The web of life
23 April World Book and Copyright Day (UNESCO)  
30 April Holocaust Memorial Day (Yom ha Shoah)  
1 May International Workers Day Different Wages, Trade union meeting
3 May World Press Freedom Day (UNESCO) Front page
8 May World Red cross and Red Crescent Day Right's bingo
15 May International Day of Families Work and babies
17 May World Telecommunication Day (ITU) Impact of the Internet
31 May World No-Tobacco Day (WHO)  
4 June International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression Do we have alternatives?
5 June  World Environment Day (UNEP) Garden in a night
15 June World Food Day   
17 June World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought  
20 June World Refugee Day Can I come in?
21 June World Peace and Prayer Day All equal - all different
26 June International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking  
26 June United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture When tomorrow comes
26 June UN Charter Day The language barrier
1st Saturday July International Day of Co-operatives Play the game
11 July  World Population Day (UNFPA)  
6 August Hiroshima Day (remembers victims of the first atomic bombing in Hiroshima, Japan, 1945)  
7 August Transgender International Rights and Education Day Who are I?
9 August International Day of Indigenous People Makah whaling
12 August  International Youth Day Our futures
23 August  International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Tradeand Its Abolition (UNESCO)  
Tuesday following second Monday September Peace Day Money to spend
8 September International Literacy Day (UNESCO) Glossary of globalisation
16 September International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer  
1st Monday October World Habitat Day (Cities without slums) A tale of two cities
2nd Wednesday October International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction  
1 October International Day of Older Persons  
1 October International Music Day  
5 October World Teachers' Day (UNESCO) Let every voice be heard
10 October World Mental Health Day Sport for all
16 October World Food Day (FAO)  
17 October International Day for the Eradication of Poverty The scramble for wealth and power
24 October World Development Information Day Beware, we are watching
24 October  United Nations Day Electioneering, Fighters for rights
03 November Men's World Day Heroines and heroes
09 November Kristallnacht, International Day Against Fascism and Anti-Semitism  
09 November 1989 Berlin Wall came down Making links
11 November International Day of Science and Peace Horoscope of poverty
16 November International Day for Tolerance (UNESCO) Violence in my life
20 November Universal Children's Day Children's rights
21 November World Television Day Picture games
25 November International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women Path to Equality-land
29 November International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People  
01 December World AIDS Day (WHO) Access to medicaments
02 December International Day for the Abolition of Slavery Ashique's story
03 December International Day of Disabled Persons See the ability
05 December International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development Where do you stand?
10 December Human Rights Day (1948) Draw the word game, Act it out
18 December International Migrants Day Take a step forward
29 December International Day for Biological Diversity  
? The day on which universal suffrage became law in your country Voter ou ne pas voter?