September 23 marks the International Day of Sign Languages, designed to draw attention to their importance in the lives of many millions of deaf and hard of hearing people. The memorable date was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 2017.
Resolution 72/161 was sponsored by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD). According to this organization, over 72 million deaf people live in the world, for whom sign language is the main form of communication with the outside world. According to this organization, there are about 300 sign languages in the world, as well as an international sign language. The world community recognizes sign languages as full-fledged natural languages.
By proclaiming the date, the UN sought to emphasize the role of sign languages in the realization of the rights and freedoms of people with hearing disabilities. This is in line with the principles of the Program for the Sustainable Development of Society, according to which the protection of the rights and freedoms of people, as well as the protection of linguistic and cultural diversity, are the most important steps towards achieving its goals.