Universal Declaration of Human Rights

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations
adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
the full text of which appears in the following pages. Following
this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries
to publicize the text of the Declaration and "to cause it to be
disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in
schools and other educational institutions, without distinction
based on the political status of countries or territories."

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

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
co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal
respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental

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

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 jurisdiction.

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, gender, 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

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

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

(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

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 benefits.

(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 morality, 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 herein.

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