Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and
inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the
foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in
barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the
advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech
and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the
highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have
recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and
oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly
relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter
reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and
worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and
have determined to promote social progress and better standards of
life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in
cooperation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal
respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the
greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, therefore,

The General Assembly,

Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common
standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end
that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this
Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education
to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive
measures, national and international, to secure their universal and
effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member
States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their

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, colour,
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 law.

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 this
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
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.
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 when 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
Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the
borders of each State. Everyone has the right to leave any country,
including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14
Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum
from persecution. 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
Everyone has the right to a nationality.
No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the
right to change his nationality.

Article 16
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.
Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of
the intending spouses. The family is the natural and fundamental group
unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the

Article 17
Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association
with others.
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 observance.

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 frontiers.

Article 20
Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21
Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country,
directly or through freely chosen representatives.
Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.
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
Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just
and favourable conditions of work and to protection against
Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for
equal work.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall
be given to their children.

Article 27
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 benefits.
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

Article 29
Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full
development of his personality is possible. 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 morality, public order
and the general welfare in a democratic society. 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 herein.

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