Annual Events

Annual Events

These events take place every year and commemorate specific human rights events.

Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

In order to commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), CIHR has an annual event in early December. The UDHR was adopted on December 10, 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly and is the foundation of International Human Rights Law. Its creation stems from the experience of human rights violations that occurred throughout the world during World War II. The UDHR consists of 30 articles and when combined with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is known as the International Bill of Rights. As the UDHR is the foundation, its anniversary is commemorated annually on December 10th, which has been dubbed Human Rights Day.

CIHR uses the annual commemoration of the event to explore new areas in human rights and celebrate the progress that has been made since 1948. More information can be found about each of the events by clicking below.

Freedom from Fear and Freedom from Want: Challenges in Advancing Human Protection (December 14, 2015) Event Flyer

Human Rights Defenders at Risk: Issues and Challenges (December 11, 2014) Event Flyer

Mental Health and Justice: Stigmatization and the Challenge of Inclusion (December 10, 2013) Event Flyer

Human Rights for All? LGBT People and the Continuing Quest for Dignity (December 10, 2012) Event Flyer

Technology and Human Rights: The Role of Information Technology and Social Networking Platforms in Mobilizing People to Advance the Cause of Human Rights and Social Justice (December 8, 2011) Event Flyer

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International Women’s Day (IWD)

International Women’s Day (IWD), celebrated annually on March 8th, is an official day that celebrates women while also reflecting on the unique challenges that women face. IWD, in its current form, has officially existed since 1976 when the UN declared passed it by resolution. The history of “women’s day” dates back to the early 20th century in many Communist and Socialist countries where the day celebrated women’s contribution to society, similar to the western mother’s day. The modern celebration of IWD centers around a theme, announced several months prior, and the days surrounding IWD are filled with events and workshops focused on women’s issues around the globe.

 CIHR began commemorating IWD in 2010. It constructs an event based upon the theme designated by the UN and explores a specific dimension of the theme in the event. More information can be found about each of the events by click below.

International Women’s Day 2016: Protecting and Empowering Refugee Women and Girls: Issues and Challenges (March 03, 2016) Event Flyer

International Women’s Day 2015: Sexual Assault on College Campuses (March 05, 2015) Event Flyer

International Women’s Day 2014: The Mental Health Effects of Gender Inequality (March 06, 2014 Event Flyer

International Women’s Day 2013: A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women (March 7, 2013) Event Flyer

International Women’s Day 2012: Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures – Challenges and Prospects for Global Empowerment (March 15, 2012) Event Flyer

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated to recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality, and development of women; and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security. Celebration of this event and a reflection of women’s rights in the global arena are especially important in light of the recent creation of UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The UN designated theme for this year’s IWD is: “Connecting girls, Inspiring futures”. 

Currently, all societies face challenges in providing sustainable options for the younger generation. However, the lack of such options is particularly acute for women and young girls in societies in conflict situations, and in societies transitioning from such situations. There is a growing consensus in the international community that the participation of women in peace and stabilization efforts helps to reduce the incidence of conflicts and hostilities, promotes better access and support for women affected by war, and renders such processes more legitimate. As Michelle Bachelet, the Executive Director of UN Women, noted, “the reconstruction process for those territories that are recovering from situations of conflict are based on three pillars: economic recovery, the reestablishment of social cohesion and the recovery of political legitimacy. And women have a great deal to contribute to these three pillars, not only with regard to the issue of rights and social justice but also because, thanks to our participation, the results of the reconstruction of communities are more effective, legitimate and participatory.” 

Women’s political participation is a human right whose promotion in a sustained manner can contribute to good governance and to greater opportunities for empowerment. Moreover, greater participation of women in such processes acts as an incentive for the younger generation to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to become more actively engaged in transformational initiatives; initiatives that seek to ensure a more inclusive and just social order. In this context, Michelle Bachelet reiterated that “We are bound by a common goal–to open the way for women to participate in all decisions affecting not only their own lives, but the development of our world, at the global, regional and local levels. By making full use of half the world’s intelligence–the intelligence of women–we improve the chances of finding real and lasting solutions to the challenges that confront us.” 

To contribute to this ongoing discussion, and consistent with the theme for this year’s IWD, the Center for International Human Rights (CIHR) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York is organizing an event to address the critical issue of women’s participation in post-conflict peacebuilding processes. Participants will be asked to address the following focal issues and questions: What are some of the main challenges confronting the younger generation of women? What can be done to enable young females to advance to the maximum of their potential, and contribute more effectively to public life? What kinds of initiatives, geared towards young females, are being developed to that effect in post-conflict societies? Who are the key stakeholders in these undertakings and how effective are they? 

International Women’s Day 2011: Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women (March 8, 2011)

On the evening of Tuesday, March 8, 2011, the CIHR held an event celebrating International Women’s Day. IWD is celebrated to recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality, and development of women; and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security. Celebration of this event and a reflection of women’s rights in the global arena are especially important in light of the creation of the new UN body in July 2010–UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The UN designated theme for this year’s IWD is: “Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women.” 

Event Flyer – Event Program