(New York) – Human Rights Watch has arranged for 24 landmarks across the globe to shine bright blue on December 10, 2017, to celebrate Human Rights Day, the organization announced today. From New York to Sydney, Taipei to Toronto, the world will glow blue in solidarity with the global human rights movement and the principles and values that Human Rights Watch works to defend throughout the year – like human dignity, nondiscrimination, and justice for all.
“This is a crucial time to spotlight the universal principles and values of the human rights movement,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “When basic freedoms are under threat, this global expression of solidarity is an act of defiance, a call to action to oppose those who want to turn back the clock on human rights.”
Countries across the globe honor Human Rights Day each year to mark the adoption in 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Human Rights Watch staff members are engaging the public in many of the more than 90 countries where they work to start meaningful conversations in communities about the importance of human rights, and what we can all do to protect them.
Since 2013, the New York City’s Empire State Building – home to the Human Rights Watch global headquarters – has lit its spire in blue lights to commemorate Human Rights Day. This year, the following landmarks around the world will shine blue:
- Empire State Building, New York (US)
- The Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College, Miami (US)
- John Hancock Center, Chicago (US)
- San Francisco City Hall, San Francisco (US)
- 3D Toronto Sign at Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto (Canada)
- CN Tower, Toronto (Canada)
- Jet d’Eau, Geneva (Switzerland)
- National Museum of Beirut, Beirut (Lebanon)
- Sydney Opera House, Sydney (Australia)
- Paulskirche, Frankfurt (Germany)
- BC Place, Vancouver (Canada)
- Taipei 101 and 12 surrounding buildings, Taipei (Taiwan)
- TWTC International Trade Building, HOMEHOTEL, NEO 19, Kelit International Co., Ltd., CPC Corporation, Walsin Lihwa Corp., Farglory Financial Center, Uni-Ustyle Department Stores-Taipei, Shin Kong Xinyi Financial Center, President International Development Corporation (PIDC), W Taipei, President Enterprise Corporation Tower
Human Rights Watch, an independent, international organization founded in 1978, is known for its accurate fact-finding, impartial reporting, and targeted advocacy, often in partnership with local human rights groups. The 450 staff members based around the world work to end human rights violations by thoroughly and impartially investigating and exposing abuses, pressing for policy changes to improve human rights, and seeking to bring abusers to justice. Human Rights Watch accepts no government funding.
Traditional on-the-ground fact-finding, combined with new technologies and innovative advocacy, helps keep Human Rights Watch on the cutting edge of promoting respect for human rights worldwide.
“Illuminating these iconic buildings embodies how the human rights movement shines a spotlight of shame on human rights violations wherever they occur,” Roth said. “The lighted buildings are beacons of hope for people around the world who are fighting for their rights.”