December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted
and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 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 commonpeople,
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
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 freedoms,
Whereas a common understanding
of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for
the full realization of this pledge,
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
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 jurisdiction.
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.
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.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the
slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before
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.
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.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
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
(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
(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.
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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
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.
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.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
(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 to equal access to public service in
(3) The will of the people
shall be the basis of the authority of government; this 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.
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.
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment,
to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against
(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
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable
limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
(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.
(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
(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.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which
the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully
(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
(3) These rights and
freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes
and principles of the United Nations.
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.