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Take a closer look at some of the events and stories taking place across the world to celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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Youth Partnership Network

Graduate students urged to take a stand for human rights

02 July 2018

“The work you are embarking on today will empower you to help to build achieve inclusive and sustainable development – a goal in its own right, but also our best form of prevention against violence. It will empower you to stand up for the full rights of our fellow human beings, and to help achieve a world, for yourselves and for other young people, which is safe.” said UN Human Rights Chief, Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein in his opening speech.

Cheikh Kalidou Ndaw, a student from Senegal currently doing a Ph.D in international law in France, agreed with the High Commissioner, saying while the current picture of human rights in the world, may seem bleak, he would work for things to get better.

“We are honoured to be here and to be fully engaged to face these challenges,” he said. “I think we would be able to live in a world where human rights are fully respected, guaranteed and fully applie.”

For more than half a century, the Graduate Programme has provided a chance for graduates and postgraduates from across the globe to deepen their understanding of the principles, purposes and activities of the UN and its related agencies, under the banner of a particular theme. Students do this through first-hand observation and study at the United Nations Office at Geneva. The programme is part of the educational outreach programmes put together by the UN. This year, the theme is “Human rights at a crossroads: where we stand in 2018.” The theme marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The participants will question and debate the theme under the guidance of United Nations experts from 2 to 13 July 2018.

More info on the Graduate Study Programme


  • I will respect your rights regardless of who you are. I will uphold your rights even when I disagree with you
  • When anyone’s human rights are denied, everyone's rights are undermined, so I will stand up
  • I will raise my voice. I will take action. I will use my rights to stand up for your rights.

people have stood up for human rights

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