Universal Declaration

60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948 - 2008)

On 10 December, Human Rights Day, the Secretary-General launched a year-long campaign in which all parts of the United Nations family are taking part in the lead up to the 60th birthday of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on Human Rights Day 2008.

Humberto Calamari of Panama, Vice-Chairman of the UN General Assembly's Third Committee, presiding, in 1958, over a meeting on the draft International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights - which built on the achievement of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, using it as its foundation.

The Foundation of International Human Rights Law

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is generally agreed to be the foundation of international human rights law. Adopted in 1948, the UDHR has inspired a rich body of legally binding international human rights treaties. It continues to be an inspiration to us all whether in addressing injustices, in times of conflicts, in societies suffering repression, and in our efforts towards achieving universal enjoyment of human rights.

History of the Document

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948, was the result of the experience of the Second World War. With the end of that war, and the creation of the United Nations, the international community vowed never again to allow atrocities like those of that conflict happen again. World leaders decided to complement the UN Charter with a road map to guarantee the rights of every individual everywhere.

Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt of the United States holding a Declaration of Human Rights poster in English [1 November 1949, United Nations, Lake Success,New York].

Resources

Text

  • Other language versions (search by language of translation)
  • Plain language version for children (link doesn't work)
  • Illustrated book (for purchase) (link doesn't work)

Audio-visual

The Drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Drafters

 

The Drafting Committee

 

Top row, from left:

Dr. Charles Malik (Lebanon)
Alexandre Bogomolov (USSR)
Dr. Peng-chun Chang (China)
 

Middle row, from left:

René Cassin (France)
Eleanor Roosevelt (US)
Charles Dukes (United Kingdom)
 

Bottom row, from left:

William Hodgson (Australia)
Hernan Santa Cruz (Chile)
John P. Humphrey (Canada)

Humberto Calamari of Panama, Vice-Chairman of the UN General Assembly's Third (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) Committee, presiding, in 1958, over a meeting on the draft International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights - which built on the achievement of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, using it as its foundation.

Human Rights Law

The Foundation of International Human Rights Law

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is generally agreed to be the foundation of international human rights law. Adopted in 1948, the UDHR has inspired a rich body of legally binding international human rights treaties. It continues to be an inspiration to us all whether in addressing injustices, in times of conflicts, in societies suffering repression, and in our efforts towards achieving universal enjoyment of human rights.

In 1950, on the second anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, students at the UN International Nursery School in New York viewed a poster of the historic document. After adopting it on December 10, 1948, the UN General Assembly had called upon all Member States 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."

History

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948, was the result of the experience of the Second World War. With the end of that war, and the creation of the United Nations, the international community vowed never again to allow atrocities like those of that conflict happen again. World leaders decided to complement the UN Charter with a road map to guarantee the rights of every individual everywhere.

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