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(New York) – The top of the Empire State Building will turn a bright blue to honor Human Rights Watch on December 10, 2013, the international day to celebrate human rights around the world. The Empire State Building decided to use blue lights in recognition of Human Rights Watch’s 35 years of work worldwide to protect and promote human rights.

“We’re delighted to see New York’s landmark building highlighting the work of Human Rights Watch,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “We hope the blue light will inspire everyone to think about the importance of safeguarding human rights at home and abroad.”

The 400-plus staff at Human Rights Watch works in more than 90 countries to end human rights violations by investigating and exposing abuses, and pressing the powerful to bring about change and hold abusers to account. Human Rights Watch stands with victims and activists to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom, to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime, and to bring offenders to justice. We challenge governments and those who hold power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted on December 10, 1948, sets out a broad range of rights and freedoms guaranteed to all people around the globe without distinction. In recognition of these rights, the world celebrates Human Rights Day. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said to commemorate this milestone: “Let us intensify our efforts to fulfill our collective responsibility to promote and protect the rights and dignity of all people everywhere.”

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