[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 124, 111th Congress, 2nd Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

 
PROCLAMATION 8616--DEC. 10, 2010

Proclamation 8616 of December 10, 2010
Human Rights Day, Bill of Rights Day, and Human Rights Week, 2010
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. More than 60 years later, the Declaration
reflects the world's commitment to the idea that ``all human beings are
born free and equal in dignity and rights.'' As Americans, this self-
evident truth lies at the heart of our Declaration of Independence, our
Constitution, and our Bill of Rights. It is a belief that, while every
nation pursues a path rooted in the culture of its own citizens, certain
rights belong to all people: freedom to live as they choose, to speak
openly, to organize peacefully, to worship freely, and to participate
fully in the public life of their society with confidence in the rule of
law.
Freedom, justice, and peace for the world must begin with basic security
and liberty in the lives of individual human beings. Today, we continue
the fight to make universal human rights a reality for every person,
regardless of race, gender, religion, nationality, sexual orientation,
or circumstance. From the freedom to associate or criticize to the

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protection from violence or unlawful detention, these inherent civil
rights are a matter of both pragmatic and moral necessity.
The challenges of a new century call for a world that is more purposeful
and more united. The United States will always speak for those who are
voiceless, defend those who are oppressed, and bear witness to those who
want nothing more than to exercise their universal human rights. Our
Bill of Rights protects these fundamental values at home, and guides our
actions as we stand with those who seek to exercise their universal
rights, wherever they live. Countries whose people choose their leaders
and rely on the rule of law are more likely to be peaceful neighbors and
prosperous partners in the world community.
Part of the price of our own blessings of freedom is standing up for the
liberty of others. As we observe Human Rights Day, Bill of Rights Day,
and Human Rights Week, let us recommit to advancing human rights as our
common cause and moral imperative. Let us continue to stand with
citizens, activists, and governments around the world who embrace
democratic reforms and empower free expression. Together, we can advance
the arc of human progress toward a more perfect Union and a more perfect
world--one in which each human being lives with dignity, security, and
equality.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of
America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and
the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 10, 2010, as
Human Rights Day; December 15, 2010, as Bill of Rights Day; and the week
beginning December 10, 2010, as Human Rights Week. I call upon the
people of the United States to mark these observances with appropriate
ceremonies and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of
December, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the
Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-
fifth.
BARACK OBAMA