Over the course of nearly seven decades, December 10, the International Human Rights Day, has been an occasion on which to point out the significance of human rights and the obligation of today's states to provide for general observance and exercise of human rights and freedoms. This day is also an occasion to reflect on the significance of acknowledging the innate dignity and equal, inalienable rights of all members of the human family as foundations of freedom, justice and peace in the world, as stated in the Univeral Declaration of Human Rights, especially concerning the achieved level of their esercise in a given society. It is particularly relevant when it comes to assessing the state of human rights, above all as related to the significance of their further development by means of strengthening institutions. Without developing and proper functioning of adequate institutional mechanisms for human rights esercise, protection and development, human rights would remain a dead letter.
Deaspite the fact that the Universal Declaration does not perceive citiyens' rights and freedoms as big. vs. small ones, older vs. newer, more or less important, the possibilities of their exercise, protection and development are still more accessible to certain social groups ove others. People living in fear for their lives or their family's existence due to a disaster, poverty, illness, their age, gender or minority group status are still numerous. Bearing this in mind, it is questionable whether these individuals could essentially be labelled free and equal in their dignitiy and rights.
The level of development of social consciousness concerning human rights is directly proportional to a society's attitude towards those facing most difficulties in their exercise and protection. However, the measure to which, as stated in Article 1 of the Universal Declaration, endowed with reason and conscience we act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood sould also be considered a reflection of the level of social responsibility. On the International Human Rights Day we should remember that, in case of citizens, this responsibility is either individual or collective, whereas in a society perceiving itself as a contemporary one it is primarily reflected in functioning of its institutions.