World Braille Day 2020

World Braille Day, celebrated since 2019, is observed to raise awareness of the importance of Braille as a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights for blind and partially sighted people. 

What is Braille? 

Braille is a tactile representation of alphabetic and numerical symbols using six dots to represent each letter and number, and even musical, mathematical and scientific symbols. Braille (named after its inventor in 19th century France, Louis Braille) is used by blind and partially sighted people to read the same books and periodicals as those printed in a visual font.  

Braille is essential in the context of education, freedom of expression and opinion, as well as social inclusion, as reflected in article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.” 

Learn More About World Braille Day From The UN

International Human Solidarity Day 2020

International Human Solidarity Day is: 

-a day to celebrate our unity in diversity; 

-a day to remind governments to respect their commitments to international agreements; 

-a day to raise public awareness of the importance of solidarity; 

-a day to encourage debate on the ways to promote solidarity for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals including poverty eradication; 

-a day of action to encourage new initiatives for poverty eradication. 


Solidarity is identified in the Millennium Declaration as one of the fundamental values of international relations in the 21st Century, wherein those, who either suffer or benefit least deserve help from those who benefit most. Consequently, in the context of globalization and the challenge of growing inequality, strengthening of international solidarity is indispensable. 

Therefore, the UN General Assembly, convinced that the promotion of the culture of solidarity and the spirit of sharing is important for combating poverty, proclaimed 20 of December as International Human Solidarity Day. 

Through initiatives such as the establishment of the World Solidarity Fund to eradicate poverty and the proclamation of International Human Solidarity Day, the concept of solidarity was promoted as crucial in the fight against poverty and in the involvement of all relevant stakeholders.” 

Read More from the UN on International Human Solidarity Day

International Migrants Day 2020

Throughout human history, migration has been a courageous expression of the individual’s will to overcome adversity and to live a better life. Today, globalization, together with advances in communications and transportation, has greatly increased the number of people, who have the desire and the capacity to move to other places. 

This new era has created challenges and opportunities for societies throughout the world. It also has served to underscore the clear linkage between migration and development, as well as the opportunities it provides for co-development, that is, the concerted improvement of economic and social conditions at both origin and destination. 

Migration draws increasing attention in the world nowadays. Mixed with elements of unforeseeability, emergency, and complexity, the challenges and difficulties of international migration require enhanced cooperation and collective action among countries and regions. The United Nations is actively playing a catalyst role in this area, with the aim of creating more dialogues and interactions within countries and regions, as well as propelling experience exchange and collaboration opportunities.” 

Read More from the UN on International Migrants Day

The Cape Cod Chronicle Article On The Tim McCarthy Human Rights Champion Award Recipients

On December 16, 2020, The Cape Cod Chronicle published a piece on the Nauset High School Human Rights Group and Faculty Advisor Lisa Brown. This dedicated group of people received the 2020 Tim McCarthy Human Rights Champion Award for their efforts to promote human rights. The article also highlights the BHRAC Human Rights Academy that is held twice a year. It provides an opportunity for students from different high schools come together (virtually this year of course) and study issues of racial injustice, privilege, LGBTQ concerns, and more.

Read the full Cape Cod Chronicle article here!

International Universal Health Coverage Day 2020

On 12 December 2012, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed a resolution urging countries to accelerate progress toward universal health coverage (UHC) – the idea that everyone, everywhere should have access to quality, affordable health care – as an essential priority for international development. On 12 December 2017, the United Nations proclaimed 12 December as International Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day) by resolution 72/138. 

International Universal Health Coverage Day aims to raise awareness of the need for strong and resilient health systems and universal health coverage with multi-stakeholder partners. Each year on 12 December, UHC advocates raise their voices to share the stories of the millions of people still waiting for health, champion what we have achieved so far, call on leaders to make bigger and smarter investments in health, and encourage diverse groups to make commitments to help move the world closer to UHC by 2030.” 

Read More from the UN on International Universal Health Coverage Day

Read More from the UHC2030 on International Universal Health Coverage Day

International Day of Neutrality 2020

Neutrality — defined as the legal status arising from the abstention of a state from all participation in a war between other states, the maintenance of an attitude of impartiality toward the belligerents, and the recognition by the belligerents of this abstention and impartiality — is critically important for the United Nations to gain and maintain the confidence and cooperation of all in order to operate independently and effectively, especially in situations that are politically charged. 

As Article 2 of the UN Charter obligates member states to settle their international disputes by peaceful means and to refrain from the threat, or the use of force in their relations, the General Assembly reaffirmed those obligations in its resolution 71/275. 

The resolution also underlined that some states’ national policies of neutrality can contribute to the strengthening of international peace and security and play an important role in developing mutually beneficial relations among countries of the world. 

Recognizing that such national policies of neutrality are aimed at promoting the use of preventive diplomacy, which is a core function of the United Nations and occupies a central place among the functions of the Secretary-General, the General Assembly decided to declare 12 December the International Day of Neutrality, and called for marking the day by holding events aimed at enhancing public awareness of the value of neutrality in international relations.” 

Read More from the UN on International Day of Neutrality

Congratulations to the 2020 BCHRAC Award Recipients


The Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission Awards Breakfast may be over, but the selfless work of the 2020 Award Recipients continuesWe cannot thank the following people and organizations enough for their tireless work that has persisted through the COVID19 pandemic.   

Sean O’Brien and Dierdre Arvidson – The Rosenthal Community Champion Award  

Larry and Atsuko Fish – The Cornerstone Award  

Nauset H.S. Human Rights Group and Faculty Advisor Lisa Brown – The Tim McCarthy Human Rights Champion Award


Unsung Heroes is a special recognition that is given to essential frontline workers and organizations who are dedicated to servicing communities on Cape Cod. Their work goes largely unnoticed but is central to our communal sense of well-being during the coronavirus pandemic.  

Champ Homes Inc.Adam Burnett, and staff 

Elder Services Cape Cod and Islands: Meals on Wheels volunteers 

AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod, mobile outreach workers, drop-in center staff, case managers outreach specialists, volunteers, and all support staff 

YMCA, Children’s Crossing Child Care Program, all staff, childcare workers, and volunteers 

Community Health Center of Cape Cod, all staff 

League of Women Voters Cape Cod and Falmouth, Voter Services committees

Cape Cod Commission US Census workers 

Cape Cod USP mail carriers and office workers /FedEx, UPS drivers and warehouse workers 

Duffy Health Center, all staff 

Tara Vargas Wallace, Amplify POC Cape Cod, Executive Director and Founder  

Cape Cod Council of Churches/ Faith’s Family Kitchen, Jeni Wheeler, staff, and

Cape Cod Health Care, Walgreens, and CVS pharmacies employees 

Barnstable Ally Group and founder Krissie Williams  

Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod, Cape Cod Health Care staff (including nurses, licensed therapists, hospice workers and health care aides) 

The Woodlands at Pleasant Bay Assisted Living residence staff in Brewster (including all staff) 

Pleasant Bay Skilled Nursing & Rehab staff 

Airport Taxi Medical transport drivers, Medical transportation services 

Stop and Shop, Shaw’s, Trader Joe’s and local markets, grocery workers 

Staff of Independence House 

We also want to thank everyone who attended the virtual awards breakfast on 12/10 to help us celebrate these individuals and organizations. This event would not have been possible without support from the community and people like you. 

International Human Rights Day 2020

This year’s Human Rights Day theme relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and focuses on the need to build back better by ensuring Human Rights are central to recovery efforts. We will reach our common global goals only if we are able to create equal opportunities for all, address the failures exposed and exploited by COVID-19, and apply human rights standards to tackle entrenched, systematic, and intergenerational inequalities, exclusion and discrimination. 

10 December is an opportunity to reaffirm the importance of human rights in re-building the world we want, the need for global solidarity as well as our interconnectedness and shared humanity. 

Under UN Human Rights’ generic call to action “Stand Up for Human rights”, we aim to engage the general public, our partners and the UN family to bolster transformative action and showcase practical and inspirational examples that can contribute to recovering better and fostering more resilient and just societies.” 

Read More from the UN on International Human Rights Day

The mission of the Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission is to promote equal opportunity for all persons of Barnstable County regardless of race, color, religious creed, national origin, gender, age, ancestry, sexual or affectional preference marital, family, or military status, source of income, neighborhood or disability, where unlawful discrimination accommodations, town or county services, insurance, banking, credit and health care. 

Learn More about the Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission