The United Nations in Paris, France has launched a year-long campaign to honor the foundational human rights document, which next year marks its 70th anniversary.
Since the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, “human rights have been one of the three pillars of the United Nations, along with peace and development.
Human Rights Day is annually observed on 10 December.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a historic document that was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at its third session on 10 December 1948 as Resolution 217 at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France.
The Declaration consists of 30 articles affirming an individual’s rights which, although not legally binding in themselves, have been elaborated in subsequent international treaties, economic transfers, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions, and other laws.
The Declaration was the first step in the process of formulating the International Bill of Human Rights, which was completed in 1966, and came into force in 1976, after a sufficient number of countries had ratified them.
The Declaration consists of a preamble and thirty articles:
The preamble sets out the historical and social causes that led to the necessity of drafting the Declaration.
Articles 1—2 established the basic concepts of dignity, liberty, equality, and brotherhood.
Articles 3—11 established other individual rights, such as the right to life and the prohibition of slavery.
Articles 6—11 refer to the fundamental legality of human rights with specific remedies cited for their defence when violated.
Articles 12–17 established the rights of the individual towards the community (including such things as freedom of movement).
Articles 18–21 sanctioned the so-called “constitutional liberties”, and with spiritual, public, and political freedoms, such as freedom of thought, opinion, religion and conscience, word, and peaceful association of the individual.
Articles 22–27 sanctioned an individual’s economic, social and cultural rights, including healthcare. Article 25 states: “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.” It also makes additional accommodations for security in case of physical debilitation or disability, and makes special mention of care given to those in motherhood or childhood.
Articles 28—30 established the general ways of using these rights, the areas in which these rights of the individual can not be applied, and that they can not be overcome against the individual.