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
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 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,
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.
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 the law.
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
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his
(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
(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
(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 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 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.
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 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
(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 herein.
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