International Human Rights Day 2022 

“Truth is at the bottom of a well” [Leonardo Sciascia] 

The Section on Archives and Human Rights (SAHR) of the International Council on Archives invites archivists, record keepers and professional archival associations to be a part of the observance of the United Nations' Human Rights Day celebrated every year on the 10th of December. It marks the day in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).  

SAHR promotes the significance of archives and record keeping in defending and supporting human rights throughout the world and works with archivists, records managers, lawyers and all the people and institutions holding the same ethical commitment. We believe that inclusion, equity, and accuracy in recordkeeping and archives are essential components to the overall “truth” in supporting human rights. As Judge Rosario Salvatore Aitala recently stated, both archives and the law are essential bulwarks for Human Rights, and members of both professions are “required to jump into the well to ensure that truth is protected for the good of all.” 


Notes for Editors: 

 (1) The Section on Archives and Human Rights was originally established in 2003 as the Human Rights Working Group of the International Council on Archives. It became a full section of the Council, following the adoption of its constitution by ICA at its meeting in Adelaide in 2019. ICA and SAHR have published a number of relevant texts, including, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: An Archival Commentary and the Basic Principles on the Role of Archivists and Records Managers in Support of Human Rights

 (2) Judge Aitala is a judge of Pre-Trial Chamber II at the International Criminal Court. He addressed the International Council on Archives at their conference in Rome in September 2022, when he quoted the text by Leonardo Sciascia [1921-1989]: “The truth is at the bottom of a well. You look in a well, and you see the sun or the moon, but if you jump in, there’s no longer the sun or the moon; there’s the truth.”