UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay declared that human rights went viral in 2011.
Building on the momentum for change triggered by the Arab Spring, top United Nations officials have urged everyone, everywhere to join in the Internet and social media campaign launched on the occasion of Human Rights Day to help more people know, demand and defend their rights.
“In 2011, the very idea of ‘power’ shifted. During the course of this extraordinary year, it was wielded not just by mighty institutions in marble buildings, but increasingly by ordinary men, women, and even children, courageously standing up to demand their rights.” – Navi Pillay UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
The campaign by the UN human rights office (OHCHR) focuses on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and aims to help more people know, demand and defend human rights.This year’s Day is building on the pro-reform movements witnessed across North Africa and the Middle East, and social media’s vital contribution to them, to encourage more people to get involved in the global human rights movement.
“Instead we are seeing real lives in real struggle, broadcast in real time – and it is in many ways an exhilarating sight, to sum up, in 2011, human rights went viral,” she added.
Pillay hosted a global human rights dialogue at which she answered questions sent in via different social media platforms from all over the world.
It was one of several elements of the “Celebrate Human Rights” campaign, which also featured an online discussion on Facebook and Twitter that began a month ago called “30 Days and 30 Rights” that counted down to the Day with a daily posting about one article of the Declaration.