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Global drawing competition celebrates Universal Declaration of Human Rights anniversary and calls youth to action

Geneva, Switzerland, 6 June 2018 – The United Nations Information Service in Geneva and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights are teaming up with Spanish artist Cristóbal Gabarrón and the Gabarrón Foundation to launch an international drawing contest urging young people to reflect on the importance of human rights.

The “Kids for human rights” international drawing competition invites young people aged 10 to 14 to produce creative artwork based on three possible themes: the human right they feel strongly about defending; a person they admire for his or her efforts in defending or promoting human rights; and how they, as individuals, can stand up for human rights in their own way.

This year’s 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights acts as a springboard for the global contest. Adopted in 1948, the Declaration is a milestone document that set out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected.

Young artists have until 31 October 2018 to submit their artwork. The winners will be announced on 10 December, celebrated worldwide as Human Rights Day.

“There is nothing as pure and innocent as a child’s creative imagination. Children are the future of our societies. We learn a lot from each other when interacting across generations and cultures on such issues that bind us together, such as human rights,” says Cristóbal Gabarrón, who, to inspire young people, created 30 original pieces of artwork depicting his vision of each of the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These can be viewed on the contest website (

For his part, Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, home of the Human Rights Council, says: “The 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration is a unique opportunity this year for us to engage with young people worldwide on human rights issues, and get them to think about respecting people’s rightful desires, their differences, their aspirations. I sincerely hope many young people will participate in this exciting competition.”

“I truly believe in the power of young people to build more equitable societies. This global contest will allow children all over the world to unleash their creativity and tell their own story of human rights,” adds Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Winners’ creations will be exhibited in various locations before becoming part of the art collection of one of the first museums in the world dedicated to children’s art, set up by the Gabarrón Foundation. Headquartered in Valladolid, Spain, the Queen Sofia Children’s Art Museum houses a collection of some 50,000 artwork produced by children all over the world. A branch will soon open in Shanghai, China, in 2019.

Artist Cristóbal Gabarrón is known for his work with the United Nations. Among other projects, in 2015 his “Enlightened Universe” sculpture, which he created for the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, was inaugurated in New York’s Central Park. It has since been exhibited in Geneva and Amsterdam, and will soon be in Brussels (October-December 2018).

Full information on the contest can be found on the website

Follow the contest on social media using the hashtag: #kids4humanrights

Media contacts:

Rhéal LeBlanc, United Nations Information Service Geneva
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.:+41 22 917 23 36

Laurent Sauveur, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; +41 22 917 93 69

Last modified on Thursday, 14 June 2018 19:15
Written on Thursday, 14 June 2018 Published in News Stories Read 547 times