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Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution
217 A (III) of 10/12/48
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.
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
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery
and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their
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
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention
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 each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including
his own, and to return to his country.
(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
(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.
(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
(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.
(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
(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 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.
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 interests.
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 their children.
(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
(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
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.