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NCSS Honors 70 Years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948. Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt skillfully guided the Committee of the United Nations that developed the UDHR, establishing a baseline of rights necessary to realize the fundamental human dignity of every person in an increasingly interconnected world. December 10, 2018 is being observed around the world as Human Rights Day and, particularly as the 70th Anniversary of this global commitment to respect the humanity of all.

National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) recognizes the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), December 10, 2018, as a significant historical milestone in the development of a global civic culture based on respect, fairness and dignity for all. 

On the occasion of this 70th Anniversary of the UDHR, NCSS, in furtherance of its position statements, strategic plan, and founding principles, reaffirms the importance of respect for human rights as a core civic value.  NCSS seeks to collaborate with governmental and nongovernmental organizations to promote awareness of the fundamental concepts of universal human rights as expressed in the UDHR and to increase public understanding of the historical importance of the document.

NCSS urges all participants in the 2018 NCSS Annual Conference to reflect the principles of the UDHR throughout our time together in Chicago and upon our return to our respective states and educational settings, urges our members to engage with the NCSS Human Rights Education Community in building human rights awareness into the educational experience of every student. We commend our Human Rights Education Community for their ongoing advocacy for the integration of human rights education into social studies education at every level, and for sharing teaching and learning resources to help educators. Participation in the Human Rights Education Community is open to all NCSS members. More information on our Human Rights Education Community can be found at   

In honor of the 70th Anniversary of the UDHR and in recognition of its continued relevance today, NCSS renews its commitment to promote the principles and practices embodied in the UDHR in all our operations and activities, in order to better foster the ability of our students to become advocates for social justice as citizens within their local and global communities.” (NCSS Standards for Preparation of Social Studies Teachers, p.26). NCSS further supports the vital role of social studies educators to

“guide students through inquiry-based learning activities that address questions related to equity, diversity, access, power, human rights, and other forms of injustice related to race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, ability, socio-economic status, religion, indigenous status, language, immigrant-status, nationality, and ecological contexts.” (NCSS Standards for Preparation of Social Studies Teachers, pp. 25-26).


1)  UDHR 70th Anniversary Webpage of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights:

2) 70 Years – UDHR Resource Kit compiled  by Human Rights Educators USA: