Students Staff

08 December 2008

Candles light up human rights celebration

Colchester Campus

A memorable candle lit ceremony at the University of Essex will mark the sixtieth anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Those attending will create a striking picture of a luminescent 60, as the United Nations flag flies over the University. Open to all, this candle lit ceremony on Wednesday 10 December takes place at 6.15pm, on Square 4 of the Colchester Campus.

Signed on 10 December 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides the foundation of international human rights law, is the first universal statement on the basic principles of inalienable human rights, and a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.

A whole series of events to mark this historic occasion are being organised by staff and students from the Human Rights Centre, with human rights societies from across the University. Other activities include discussions on serious and contemporary issues of human rights, films and art for people to enjoy and a fair throughout Wednesday afternoon, showcasing work by University human rights societies.

A week celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would not be complete without encouraging action! People will be asked to sign a petition calling for Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA to support the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and there will be fundraising for Casa Amigo, a non-governmental organisation that fights human rights violations in Ciudad de Juarez, Mexico.

The University’s Human Rights Centre, currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, has an outstanding record in research and publication, with staff participating as experts in the international human rights system. Some 1,200 students from across the world have studied within the Centre and gone onto careers in international and regional organisations, in field work, in non-governmental organisations, in national and international legal practice and in university teaching and research.


Notes to editors:
You are invited to send a photographer/reporter/crew to the candle lit ceremony at 6.15pm on Wednesday 10 December at the Colchester Campus. Please confirm your attendance in advance by contacting the Communications Office on telephone: 01206 872807 or e-mail:

For more information on events at the University marking the sixtieth anniversary, please visit: and for more information on Casa Amigo, please visit:

For further information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on telephone: 01206 872807 or e-mail:

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