Human Rights Day is observed every year on December 10th and commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In Amherst, the Town celebrates on this day with a community reading of the Declaration of Human Rights on the Common at 4:00pm. Community members are invited to bring family and friends and a candle or flashlight to read by this Sunday. Members of the Human Rights Commission and local chapter of Amnesty International will lead the reading.
On Monday, December 4, 2017 the Amherst Select Board signed a resolution that Human Rights Day is Sunday, December 10, and encouraged all Amherst citizens to be mindful of human rights principles and urged all municipal, state, federal, and international bodies to incorporate these principles into their practices, laws and policies.
This year’s resolution included unanimous affirmation of Article 29 of the 2012 Annual Town Meeting which stated, in part, that the Town and its officials and employees, to the extent permissible by law, shall not participate in federal law enforcement programs relating to immigration enforcement including but not limited to, Secure Communities. Officers shall not inquire about the immigration status of any crime victim, witness, or suspect, unless such information is directly relevant to the investigation, nor shall they refer such information to federal immigration enforcement authorities unless that information developed is directly relevant.