The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948 to reflect the commitment of the international community to prevent any repeat of the atrocities of World War II. Drafted by the Commission on Human Rights, which consisted of 18 members from various political, cultural, and religious backgrounds, it recognizes the value and rights of every individual everywhere. In addition to influencing many subsequent national constitutions, laws, and treaties, it serves as a tool to apply moral pressure on abusive governments.
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definitions & notes only words
  1. inalienable
    incapable of being repudiated or transferred to another
    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...
  2. barbarous
    able or disposed to inflict pain or suffering
    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...
  3. recourse
    act of turning to for assistance
    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...
  4. strive
    exert much effort or energy
    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...
  5. dignity
    the quality of being worthy of esteem or respect
    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
  6. distinction
    a discrimination between things as different
    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.
  7. servitude
    state of subjection to an owner or master
    No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
  8. degrading
    characterized by dishonor
    No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
  9. incitement
    an act of urging on or spurring on or rousing to action or instigating
    All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
  10. effective
    works well as a means or remedy
    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.
  11. arbitrary
    based on or subject to individual discretion or preference
    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
  12. impartial
    free from undue bias or preconceived opinions
    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.
  13. omission
    a mistake resulting from neglect
    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.
  14. interference
    the act of hindering or obstructing or impeding
    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation.
  15. asylum
    a shelter from danger or hardship
    Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
  16. deprive
    take away
    No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
  17. dissolution
    the termination or disintegration of a relationship
    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.
  18. fundamental
    serving as an essential component
    The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
  19. conscience
    motivation deriving from ethical or moral principles
    Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion
  20. impart
    transmit, as knowledge or a skill
    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.
  21. compel
    force somebody to do something
    No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
  22. suffrage
    a legal right to vote
    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.
  23. indispensable
    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.
  24. remuneration
    paying for goods or services or to recompense for losses
    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.
  25. adequate
    sufficient for the purpose
    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.
  26. compulsory
    required by rule
    Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory.
  27. maintenance
    activity involved in keeping something in good working order
    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.
  28. welfare
    a contented state of being happy and healthy and prosperous
    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.
  29. contrary
    in an opposing direction
    These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
  30. imply
    suggest as a logically necessary consequence
    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.

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