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 below. 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 law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations
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
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 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.
1. 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.
2. 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 the
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 him.
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.
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
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
2. Marriage shall be entered into only with free and full consent of the
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
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
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
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
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 his
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.
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 unemployment.
2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for
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.
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
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.
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 realized.
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.
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
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