The United Nations
UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
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
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
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
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is
of the greatest importance for the full realization of this
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
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
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 of sovereignty.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the
slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
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 against any discrimination
in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to
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 by law.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or
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.
- Everyone charged with a penal
offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proven
guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had
all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
- 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.
- Everyone has the right to freedom of
movement and residence within the borders of each State.
- Everyone has the right to leave any
country, including his own, and to return to his country.
- Everyone has the right to seek and
to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
- 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
- Everyone has the right to a
- No one shall be arbitrarily deprived
of his nationality nor denied the right to change his
- 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 its
- Marriage shall be entered into only
with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
- The family is the natural and
fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection
by society and the State.
- Everyone has the right to own
property alone as well as in association with others.
- 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.
- Everyone has the right to freedom of
peaceful assembly and association.
- No one may be compelled to belong to
- Everyone has the right to take part
in the government of his country, directly or through freely
- Everyone has the right of equal
access to public service in his country.
- 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.
- Everyone has the right to work, to
free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of
work and to protection against unemployment.
- Everyone, without any
discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Motherhood and childhood are
entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether
born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social
- 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.
- 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.
- Parents have a prior right to choose
the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
- 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.
- 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
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in
which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can
be fully realized.
- Everyone has duties to the community
in which alone the free and full development of his personality is
- 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.
- These rights and freedoms may in no
case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the
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.