Take part in Human Rights Week

In 2022 a new Dutch initiative is being launched: Human Rights Week will take place from 5 to 10 December. What are human rights? And why are they important? Those are the questions that the Netherlands wants to get children, young people and students thinking about. In the Netherlands and abroad. Everyone is invited to take part. Read more below about Human Rights Week and how you can get involved.

Human Rights Week: the first edition

Human Rights Week is a Dutch initiative led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It will take place from 5 to 10 December, in the week leading up to International Human Rights Day on 10 December. The slogan for this first edition of Human Rights Week is ‘Let’s Talk Human Rights’ and the hashtag is #HumanRightsWeek.

Why is Human Rights Week important?

Shifting global power dynamics, the rise of autocratic leaders, and increased divides in society: human rights are under increasing pressure worldwide. This underlines the importance of drawing attention to human rights.

A UNICEF survey among Dutch children and young people aged 10 to 17 showed that their knowledge of human rights is limited and that 51% are unable to name a single human right. Greater awareness among young people about the importance of human rights can empower them not only to stand up for their own rights, but also to show solidarity with people facing difficulties, in the Netherlands and around the world.

How can I take part?

Anyone can take part in Human Rights Week. For example by participating in a human rights activity in which young people are involved or by organising an activity yourself. Draw attention to your activity online using the hashtag #HumanRightsWeek (but only if you can do so without putting anyone at risk). This way we can all publicise Human Rights Week and inspire others to take part in future editions.

What kind of activity can I organise?

  • Join the Social Media Campaign Let’s Talk Human Rights’, with the hashtag #HumanRightsWeek. This campaign aims to raise awareness of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which will celebrate its 75th anniversary next year.
  • Give young people a voice online by posting statements, cultural expressions or other content about human rights created by young people, or by asking a young human rights defender to share their perspective on your social media channels. (Make sure you are not putting anyone at risk.)
  • Give an interactive guest lecture or workshop at a school or university.
  • Organise a writing competition and have young people submit an essay about how they believe a human right that is crucial to them can be better protected.
  • Host a roundtable discussion on human rights with inspiring speakers (preferably young ones) and invite a wide range of young people to discuss the issue with each other in an informal setting.
  • Combine a film showing with a debate.
  • Organise a photo exhibition, quiz, poetry slam, concert, play or any other activity that draws young people’s attention to human rights in a creative way and/or gives insight into their own views on the topic.
  • Create a walking tour past places with a human rights link and enter into a dialogue with young people about it. To inspire you: Amnesty International has set out Rights Walks in various cities in the Netherlands.

Important dates in this period

  • 25 November – 10 December: Orange the World campaign (16 days of action against violence against women and girls)
  • 29 November: International Women Human Rights Defenders Day
  • 8 December: award ceremony for Dutch Human Rights Tulip
  • 9 December: International Human Rights Defenders Day
  • 10 December: International Human Rights Day

If you want to know more about what the Ministry of Foreign Affairs does to promote human rights, read the Human Rights Report for 2021 (in Dutch). An English translation of the report will be made available as soon as possible.