On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly voted to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The document consists of thirty articles outlining the basic rights and individual freedoms of all persons, and it built on the declaration that “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.”
The UDHR was the first document to set out universal human rights. It was drafted by a committee of 18 members from diverse political, regional, and religious backgrounds in order to seek to represent all humanity. In keeping with this goal, it makes no reference to a particular culture, political system, or religion. It has since been translated into over 500 languages and has inspired the adoption of more than 70 human rights treaties around the globe.
The articles begin by establishing basic concepts such as dignity, liberty, and equality. They establish individual rights such as the right to life and the prohibition of slavery and torture. They also include the rights to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, freedom of opinion and expression, as well as economic, social, and cultural rights.
This December marks the 74th Anniversary of the UDHR. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All” and the call to action is #StandUp4HumanRights. To learn more about this commemoration see this link. Check out our book display on the Library’s main floor for more information on human rights.