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John Peter Humphrey

1905-1980
Canada
Director, UN Division of Human Rights


International lawyer. Mr. Humphrey carried the main responsibility for gathering and analyzing the background documents that informed the Commission's work. His 408-page "Documented Outline" formed the basis for subsequent debates and considerations of the Commission on Human Rights and the Drafting Committee as they drafted the Universal Declaration. With a broad range of interests, such as politics, commerce and art, as well as his fluency in English and French, Mr. Humphrey served as an important link between English-speaking and French-speaking cultural perspectives, between scholars and pragmatists, and between politicians and civil servants. He spent more than 20 years at the UN tirelessly advocating for those in need of rights protection.

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