What is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a document created to establish measures that guarantee basic rights for a dignified life. The purpose of the Declaration is that human rights are guaranteed to all citizens of the world.

It is formed by ideals that should guide the behavior of all citizens, the actions of governments and the formation of laws to protect human rights. Its creation represents ideals of freedom of thought and expression and equality before the law.

The publication of the Declaration is considered to be one of the most important references for the protection of human rights worldwide because it serves as a guide for the conduct of citizens and governments.

What does the Universal Declaration of Human Rights say?

The document consists of an initial part (preamble) and thirty articles.

The preamble brings together the motivations for the creation of the Declaration, mainly the protection of dignity and human rights, as one of the pillars of justice and world peace.

The articles define the determinations of protection of human rights, such as: life, freedom, security, education, equality and freedom of expression.

Main rights provided for in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

See the summary of the articles of the Declaration:

  1. All human beings are free and equal in rights and dignity.
  2. Ability and freedom to live without discrimination.
  3. Right to life, freedom and security.
  4. No person should be enslaved.
  5. No one should be tortured or given cruel treatment.
  6. Right of recognition as a person.
  7. Equality before the law.
  8. Right of access to justice when rights are violated.
  9. No one should be arrested arbitrarily.
  10. Everyone has the right to a fair trial.
  11. Right to a presumption of innocence until guilt is proven
  12. Protection of private and family life.
  13. Freedom of movement and to leave and return to any country.
  14. Right to seek asylum in other countries.
  15. Right to have a nationality.
  16. Right to marriage and family.
  17. Protection of property.
  18. Freedom of faith and religious practice.
  19. Freedom of expression and opinion.
  20. Freedom to participate in associations.
  21. Access to your country’s government and public service.
  22. Right to State security and protection.
  23. Right to work and unemployment protection.
  24. Right to rest and leisure.
  25. Standard of living that guarantees health and well-being to the family.
  26. Right to education, free in fundamental years.
  27. Access to arts, culture and sciences.
  28. Right to live in a just and free society.
  29. Fulfillment of duties with the community, in accordance with United Nations principles.
  30. Protection of the rights determined in the Declaration.

How did the Universal Declaration of Human Rights come about?

The Declaration began to be drawn up in 1946, when the first ideas that gave rise to the document were presented at the United Nations General Assembly (UN).

The conclusion and approval came some time later. The Declaration was officially adopted by the UN on December 10, 1948.

Human rights activist Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) chaired the United Nations Human Rights Commission and was instrumental in passing the Declaration.

Learn more about the UN .

What are human rights?

Human rights encompass all the basic rights that must be guaranteed to citizens to enable them to enjoy dignity and citizenship.

This means that the concept of human rights involves the basic rights and freedoms necessary to guarantee a dignified life for individuals.

These rights must be guaranteed to all persons, regardless of any distinction, such as ethnicity, nationality, gender, religion or sexual orientation.

On human rights, the Declaration, right at the beginning, states:

The General Assembly proclaims the present Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common ideal to be reached by all peoples and all nations, with the aim that every individual and every organ of society, with this Declaration in mind, should strive, through teaching and education, for promoting respect for these rights and freedoms, and for the adoption of progressive measures of national and international character, for ensuring their recognition and their universal and effective observance, both among the peoples of the states themselves Member States and among the peoples of the territories under their jurisdiction.


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