Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Article 1

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are
endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a
spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this
Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex,
language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin,
property, birth or other status.
Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political,
jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which
a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or
under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade
shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment.

Article 6

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the

Article 7

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to
equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against
any discrimination in violation of the Declaration and against any
incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national
tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the
constitution or by law.

Article 9

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an
independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and
obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11

1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed
innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he
has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

2. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act
or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or
international law, at the time it was committed. Nor shall a heavier
penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal
offence was committed.

Article 12

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy,
family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and
reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against
such interference or attacks.

Article 13

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the
borders of each state.

2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to
return to his country.

Article 14

1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum
from persecution.

2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely
arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and
principles of the United Nations.

Article 15

1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.

2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the
right to change his nationality.

Article 16

1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race,
nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family.
They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at
its dissolution.

2. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of
the intending spouses.

3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is
entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17

1. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association
with others.

2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this
right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom,
either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to
manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and

Article 19

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression: this right
includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive
and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of
Article 20

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

2. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21

1. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country,
directly or through freely chosen representatives.

2. Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

3. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of
government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections
which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret
vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22

Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is
entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-
operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each
State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his
dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23

1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just
and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for
equal work.

3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration
ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity,
and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the
protection of his interests.

Article 24

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation
of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25

1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health
and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing,
housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to
security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old
age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance.
All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same
social protection.

Article 26

1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least
in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be
compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally
available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the
basis of merit.

2. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human
personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and
fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and
friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further
the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

3. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be
given to their children.

Article 27

1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the
community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its

2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material
interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of
which he is the author.

Article 28

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the
rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29

1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full
development of his personality is possible.

2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject
only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of
securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others
and of meeting the just requirements of mortality, public order and the
general welfare in a democratic society.

3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the
purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State,
group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act
aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth



See Also

References and Further Reading

About the Author/s and Reviewer/s

Author: international

Mentioned in these Entries

Constitutional Text: Argentina 1994, Conventions: Chronological Index, Human Rights conventions, Human persons are not law's creatures but its proper point, Human rights : a reference handbook, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, International Criminal Law. Bibliography, International Human Rights – Humanitarianism resources, International Law Encyclopedia 10, International Organizations, International human rights law Part 34, International human rights law Part 38, International human rights law Part 7, International human rights law0, International human rights law4, International human rights law8, International law index U, International law index, International law tags, International law: the refugee, Law Journals Abbreviations and Acronyms, List of International Law Selected Cases, by Subject, List of Justice organizations online resources, List of justice international online resources, MPEPIL: Human rights, MPEPIL: Individuals and non-state actors, MPEPIL: Public Law: U, MPEPIL: Specific treaties and instruments, Public International Law Classification (Max Planck Institute), United Nations tags.

Introduction to Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, statement affirming the dignity and rights of all human beings, adopted by the United Nations (UN) in 1948. It is based on principles expressed in the UN Charter. The declaration is the first section of a proposed three-part international covenant, or agreement, on human rights. When adopted, the covenant will bind the participating nations in the same way as any international treaty. The two remaining sections of the covenant amplify the initial declaration in specific and enforceable terms. One is concerned with civil and political rights, and the other with economic, social, and cultural rights.

The rights described in the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights include the right to life, liberty, and security of person; to freedom of conscience, religion, opinion, expression, association, and assembly; to freedom from arbitrary arrest; to a fair and impartial trial; to freedom from interference in privacy, home, or correspondence; to a nationality; to a secure society and an adequate standard of living; to education; and to rest and leisure. The declaration also affirms the rights of every person to own property; to be presumed innocent until proven guilty; to travel from a home country at will and return at will; to work under favorable conditions, receive equal pay for equal work, and join labor unions at will; to marry and raise a family; and to participate in government and in the social life of the community.

The declaration affected the terms of several national constitutions that were written after World War II (1939-1945). In 1956 the UN requested progress reports on human rights every three years from member nations.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was prepared by the Commission on Human Rights of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. Eleanor Roosevelt, social activist and widow of United States president Franklin D. Roosevelt, chaired the commission. French jurist and Nobel laureate René Cassin was the declaration’s principal author. In 1950 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed December 10, the anniversary of the 1948 adoption of the declaration, as Human Rights Day. In 1963 the General Assembly approved a part of the supplementary section on economic, social, and cultural rights that prohibited discrimination on grounds of race, color, or creed. ” (1)

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (udhr) (in the Human Development Area)

In this context, Universal Declaration of Human Rights (udhr) means:

is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (10 December 1948 at Palais de Chaillot, Paris). It consists of 30 articles which have been elaborated in subsequent international treaties, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions and laws. The International Bill of Human Rights consists of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols.

Definition of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)

Within the context of international human rights, the following is a brief meaning of universal declaration of human rights (udhr): Adopted by the general assembly on December 10, 1948. Primary UN document establishing human rights standards and norms. All member states have agreed to uphold the UDHR. Although the declaration was intended to be Nonbinding, through time its various provisions have become so respected by States that it can now be said to be Customary International Law.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Embracing mainstream international law, this section on universal declaration of human rights explores the context, history and effect of the area of the law covered here.


Further Reading

  • The entry “universal declaration of human rights” in the Parry and Grant Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law (currently, the Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law, 2009), Oxford University Press


See Also

  • Human Rights


Notes and References

Guide to Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Further Reading


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