Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly
resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948
On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations
adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the
full text of which appears in the following pages.
historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries 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."
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 common people,
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 of law,
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 fundamental freedoms,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of
the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,
Now, Therefore 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 their jurisdiction.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and
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 status. 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 security of person.
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.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any
discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to
equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this
Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
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 exile.
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.
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be
presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public
trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(2) 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.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence
within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own,
and to return to his country.
(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries
asylum from persecution.
(2) 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 United Nations.
(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor
denied the right to change his nationality.
(1) 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 dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full
consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society
and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in
association with others.
(2) 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.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his
country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his
(3) 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
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment,
to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal
pay for equal work.
(3) 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
(4) 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 with pay.
(1) 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.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and
assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall
enjoy the same social protection.
(1) 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.
(2) 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
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that
shall be given to their children.
(1) 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.
(2) 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 the author.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which
the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully
(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free
and full development of his personality is possible.
(2) 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.
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary
to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
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.