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Focus: Global Dignity

In 2006, Crown Prince Haakon founded the Global Dignity initiative with US poverty eradication activist John Hope Bryant and Finnish professor of philosophy Pekka Himanen. The focus of the initiative is on the universal right of every human being to lead a dignified life.

We have the opportunity to enhance other people’s dignity through the choices we make, the way we use our resources and the manner in which we meet one another. By enhancing other people’s dignity, we also enhance our own.

Global Dignity is an independent, non-profit initiative that strives to:

  • foster global dialogue on dignity; 
  • promote dignity-centred leadership;
  • encourage discussion about dignity among young people through Dignity Day events at schools.

Dignity Day events are designed to inspire young people to reflect on the fundamental significance of dignity in their own lives and the lives of others and to define what they stand for and how they can contribute to positive change in the world.

Five Dignity Principles

The founders of the initiative have defined five Dignity Principles:

  1. Every human being has a right to lead a dignified life. 
  2. A dignified life means an opportunity to fulfil one’s potential, which is based on having a human level of health care, education, income and security
  3. Dignity means having the freedom to make decisions on one’s life and to be met with respect for this right.
  4. Dignity should be the basic guiding principle for all actions.
  5. Ultimately, our own dignity is interdependent with the dignity of others.

Global Dignity Day

Schools in over 20 countries participated in the observance of the first Global Dignity Day on 20 October 2008. To date, Dignity Day has been observed in more than 60 countries, and Crown Prince Haakon has been involved in the organisation of Dignity Day events at schools in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe, Latin America and North America.

In Norway, the Crown Prince has attended the observance of Global Dignity Day at many schools all over the country.

Global Dignity Day 2015

In 2015 approximately 20 000 students in 105 Upper Secondary Schools all over Norway took part in Global Dignity Day. Internationally, Global Dignity Day was observed in approximately 65 countries with close to 400 000 children and young people taking part.



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“Dignity Song” was written and composed by Dave Stewart and performed by hip-hop artist Nadirah X in support of Global Dignity Day