Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a document within the International Bill of Human Rights that outlines the fundamental rights of people everywhere. It was adopted in Paris following the events of the Second World War on December 10th, 1948 by the UN General Assembly. Modern day human rights law is said to stem from this declaration.


Goal:  This document aims to establish a common standard of achievement for people and nations establishing inherent and enduring human rights for all people.


Relevent Clauses:[i]


Article 1:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

Article 2:

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration […]

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 […]

Article 8:

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals […]

 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 […]

Article 11:

(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty […]

(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 […]  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 […]

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 […] asylum from persecution.

Article 15:

 (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 […] have the right to marry and to found a family […]

(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 […]  

Article 19:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression […]  

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,

(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 […] government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage […]

Article 22:

Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security […]

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 […]

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 […] and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability […]  or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance […]

Article 26:

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free […] Elementary education shall be compulsory.

 (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education […] given to their children.

Article 27:

(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community […]


[i] The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (2013). Retrieved July 8, 2013, from United Nations: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/