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.  Following
this 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 distinctions based on
the political status of countries or territories."

Final Authorized Text



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

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

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of
the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore,

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 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

Article 1. 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.

Article 2. 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

Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of

Article 4. No one shall beheld in slavery or servitude; slavery and
the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel,
inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a
person before the law.

Article 7. 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.

Article 8. 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.

Article 9. No one shall bc subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention
or exile.

Article 10. 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.

Article 11. (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.

Article 12. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference
with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks
upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the
protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13. (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.

Article 14. (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in
other countries asylum from persecution.

(2) This right may not he 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.

Article 15. (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.

(2) No one shall he arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor
denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16. (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 he 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.

Article 17. (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.

Article 18. 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.

Article 19. 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.

Article 20. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful
assembly and association.

(2) No one may bc compelled to belong to any association .

Article 21. (l) Everyone has the right to take part in the
government of his country, directly or through freely chosen

(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.

Article 22. 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.

Article 23. (l) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of
employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to
protection against unemployment.

(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 him self and his family an existence
worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other
means of social protection.

(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the
protection of his interests.

Article 24. Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including
reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with

Article 25. (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.

Article 26. (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 he 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.

(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that
shall be given to their children.

Article 27. (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 many scientific, literary or
artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28. Everyone is entitled to a social and international
order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this
Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29. (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 their
rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements
of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic

(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary
to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30. 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.

DPl/15 -September 1983- 100M
Reprinted in U N, NY -20126 -August 1988- 1OOM