December 10, 1948, is International Human Rights Day, the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration affirms basic rights for all people, regardless of who they are or where they live. These rights include civil, political, economic, social, and cultural freedoms.

The declaration followed World War II, in which many communities suffered and were denied human rights based on factors including race, religion, or sexual orientation.

There are 30 articles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

  1. All human beings are born free and equal and should be treated the same way.
  2. Everyone can claim their rights regardless of sex, race, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
  3. Everyone has the right to life and to live in freedom and safety.
  4. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
  5. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
  6. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
  7. All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. 
  8. Everyone has the right to obtain legal help and access the justice system when their rights are not respected.
  9. No one can arrest or detain you arbitrarily, or send you away from your country unjustly.
  10. Trials should be public and tried in a fair manner by an impartial and independent tribunal.
  11. You are considered innocent until it can be proved you are guilty according to law. If accused of a crime you have the right to a defense.
  12. Everyone has the right to protection if someone interferes with their privacy for reputation.
  13. Everyone has the right to leave or move within their own country and should be able to return.
  14. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
  15. Everyone has the right to a nationality.
  16. Men and women have the right to marry when they are legally able without limits due to race, nationality, or religion. Families should be protected by the state and the justice system.
  17. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
  18. Everyone has the right to freely manifest their religion, to change it and to practice it alone or with others.
  19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
  20. Everyone has the right to organize and participate in peaceful meetings.
  21. Everyone has the right to take part in their country’s political affairs and equal access to public service. 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
  22. Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security.
  23. Everyone has the right to work in just and favorable conditions and be free to choose your work with a salary that allows you to live and support a family. Everyone should receive equal pay for equal work.
  24. Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
  25. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance.
  26. Everyone has the right to education. 
    1. 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 of peace.
    3. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
  27. Everyone has the right to share the benefits of your community’s culture, arts, and sciences.
  28. Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in the Declaration can be fully realized.
  29. Everyone has duties to the community.
  30. No one, institution nor individual, should act in any way to destroy the rights enshrined in the UDHR.
human rights

basic freedoms belonging to every individual, including the rights to social and political expression, spirituality, and opportunity.


arbitrary grouping of people based on genetics and physical characteristics.


a system of spiritual or supernatural belief.

United Nations

international organization that works for peace, security and cooperation.

World War II

(1939-1945) armed conflict between the Allies (represented by the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union) and the Axis (represented by Germany, Italy, and Japan.)

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