UN Human rights declaration

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages1.

Reference: Universal Declaration of Human Rights


THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS is a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every 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 to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance.
  • All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. (1)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, status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, or other status. (2)

  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person, and no- one shall be held in slavery or servitude. (3) (4)

  • No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. (5)

  • Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. (6)

  • All people are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. (7)

  • Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights (8).

  • No-one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. (9)

  • Everyone is to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his/her rights & obligations and of any criminal charge against him/her. (10)

  • 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 - provided the charge constituted a penal offence at the time when it was committed. and the penalty imposed not greater than applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.(11)

  • No-one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his/her honour and reputation. (12)

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State; the right to leave any country, including his own country (13).

  • Everyone has the right to a nationality and should not be arbitrarily deprived of his/her nationality nor denied the right to change his/her nationality (15).

  • 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. (16)

  • Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others and shall not be arbitrarily deprived of his/her property. (17)

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom in public or private, to manifest his/her religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. (18)

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. (19)

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and choice of association. (20)

  • Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his/her country, directly or through freely chosen representatives; to equal access to public service in his country. where the will of the people is the basis of the authority of government (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). (21)

  • Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his/her dignity and the free development of his/her personality. (22)

  • Everyone has the right to work, free choice of employment, with just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment; with the right to equal pay for equal work without discrimination. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring his/her 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. (23)

  • Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.(24)

  • Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his/her family. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance, and all children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection. (25)

  • Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. (26)

  • 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. (27)

  • Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized. (28)

  • Everyone has duties to the community in which allow the free and full development of his/her personality is possible and 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. (29)

  • Nothing in this Declaration implies any right (by any State, group or person) to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.(30)

Summarised From: 

Information Technology Section Department of Public Information.
United Nations.


  1.  As at September 2017

  2. These are summarised extracts from the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. The numbers in brackets following the each statement refers to a specific right as numbered in the full declaration which can be downloaded from here
Last modified on Friday, 22 September 2017 06:12