A look ahead to Human Rights Day 2022

Each year on 10 December, Human Rights Day celebrates the adoption of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) 74 years ago, as we are reminded that ongoing challenges to freedom of expression mean these rights must be continually defended. From challenges to library collections in regions around the world to geopolitical conflicts, the future of the human rights agenda is far from certain. In a recent interview, Suzanne Nossel from PEN America summed up why this is happening, and the implications, 

“at this point I think what we see is a really aggressive counter movement to rewrite the rules, to undercut the norms, to put forward an alternative vision of international order that doesn’t have human rights as an important precept. That alternative order has some appeal in some parts of the world because there is so much uncertainty about what it means to respect freedom of expression in the digital age.”

Libraries, librarians, and their collections have been a frequent target of repression in 2022, as they organised and adapted to address the challenges of the day 

As we celebrate Human Rights Day this year librarians in many places, in different ways, find themselves on the frontlines of human rights, supporting communities seeking uncensored information and safe space. We acknowledge each one of them, and look forward to advancing Human Rights in the coming year

The FAIFE Human Rights Working Group

Fiona Bradley

Buhle Mbambo-Thata

Meg Brown-Sica

Matt Voigts