30th of November: Cities for Life Day
It is an initiative for all cities in the world. The main goal is to unite the world around the issue of the death penalty, which still takes part in the legislation of several countries.
Many Portuguese cities usually take part of this initiative, by lighting up a landmark monument or public building, protesting against death penalty. It is a symbolic action, meaning the light of life winning over the darkness of death. Other examples are solidarity concerts and sending letters of protest.
Cities for Life Day was created in 2002 by the Italian community of Saint Giles and it counted with 80 cities at first. The 30rd of November was chosen for this celebration because it is the anniversary of the first abolition of the death penalty, in the European state of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, in the north of Italy, in 1786.
10th of December: International Human Rights Day
The International Human Rights Day is celebrated every year on the 10th of December and aims to honour the dedication and efforts of all citizens who fight for human rights. It also seeks to stop all kinds of discrimination, promoting equality amongst all citizens.
This date was chosen in order to honour the day in which the United Nations proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 10th of December 1948.
In Portugal, the Assembly of the Republic recognised the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by approving, in 1998, a Resolution that stands by to this day and declares that the 10th de December should be the National Human Rights Day.