Human Rights Day 2020

Human Rights Day is Thursday, Dec. 10. On that day in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The city’s Human Rights Commission is marking the day with information to prompt ideas, conversation and action around preservation and respect for human rights at

The COVID-19 pandemic and the response to the virus has raised many questions about how to balance the needs for public health with protection of individual human rights.

In 1984, the U.N. Economic and Social Council adopted the Siracusa Principles, a set of guidelines for preserving human rights in the face of public emergencies. During such times, the Siracusa Principles can help protect human rights that risk being compromised, such as freedom of expression for journalists, health care workers, government officials, workers, civilians and members of the scientific community; freedom of travel and movement; and the right to education and information.

The principles also call for the response to public emergencies to be monitored to determine disproportionate impacts on different segments of society, such as the elderly, racial and ethnic minorities, the disabled, women and girls, migrants, and marginalized groups such as the homeless. 

The City of Rockville is addressing problems related to the pandemic such as food insecurity and financial difficulty. 

Learn more about Human Rights Day.