UN Cyberschoolbus - HomeUN Cyberschoolbus - Home
Frequently Asked Questions about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

What is the first human rights declaration adopted by the United Nations?
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a landmark document.

When was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted?
10 December 1948.

Where was the Universal Declaration adopted?
At the Palais de Chaillot, in Paris, France.

Who were the key contributors to the drafting of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

Eleanor Roosevelt (United States of America), René Cassin (France), Charles Malik (Lebanon), Peng Chun Chang (China), Hernan Santa Cruz (Chile), Alexandre Bogomolov/Alexei Pavlov, (Soviet Union), Lord Dukeston/Geoffrey Wilson (United Kingdom) William Hodgson (Australia), and John Humphrey (Canada).

How many articles does the Universal Declaration of Human Rights contain?
30.

When is Human Rights Day observed?
10 December each year.

What is the International Bill of Human Rights?
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, together with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

How many countries are members of the Commission on Human Rights?
53 countries, representing all regions of the world.

Which United Nations council selects the members of the Commission on Human Rights and on what basis?
The Economic and Social Council, according to regional geographical distribution.

Where does the United Nations Commission on Human Rights meet and for how long?
In Geneva for six weeks each year.

How many women have chaired the annual sessions of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights since its first meeting in 1947? Who are they?
Three. Eleanor Roosevelt (USA), Princess Ashraf Pahlavi (Iran) and Purificación Quisumbing (Philippines).

Which office in the United Nations is responsible for dealing with human rights questions on a daily basis?
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, formerly known as the Centre for Human Rights.

When was the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights established? How many High Commissioners have there been so far?
1993. Two.

Which human rights bodies can hear individual complaints of human rights violations?
The Human Rights Committee that monitors the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the Committee on Torture.

How many human rights treaty bodies are there?
Six treaty bodies. Each treaty body monitors how countries implement a specific human rights treaty.

What are the six international human rights treaties monitored by the treaty bodies?
The Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the Convention on the Rights of the Child; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Which mechanisms were devised by the United Nations to monitor human rights
violations?

Conventional mechanisms (treaty bodies to monitor compliance of States parties to Conventions) and extra-conventional mechanisms (Special Rapporteurs, working groups and Special Representatives of the Secretary-General).

What are special rapporteurs and what do they do?
Special rapporteurs are experts appointed by the Commission on Human Rights. They examine, monitor and publicly report on human rights situations and compliance of States with the various international human rights instruments.

To whom does the Universal Declaration of Human Rights apply?
To each individual, regardless of gender, race, religion or cultural background.

Why is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights important to you?
Because it protects and promotes your individual rights.

    for the complete 60 FAQs click here.

Return to the Questions and Answers page

Human Rights Home

UN Cyberschoolbus - Home comments and suggestions: cyberschoolbus@un.org Copyright © 1996- United Nations