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Universal Declaration of Human  Rights

Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of  10 December 1948

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 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  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,

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 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, 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.

(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 association.

(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  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.

(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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