The Universal Declaration of Human Rights1.


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

publicise 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,






Now, Therefore,




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



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


(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 to equal access to public service in

his country.

(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.


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



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


(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.