Today, December 10th, marks the 70thanniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Fittingly, the United Nations celebrates Human Rights Day yearly on this date, with acknowledgements and celebrations held throughout the world.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), drafted in the shadow of a rebuilding world following the Second World War, was the first attempt to create an international agreement protecting all peoples of the world, wartime or not, from injustice and oppression. While the UDHR is not a legally binding treaty and cannot enforce the goals of the United Nations onto any of the signatory countries, the Declaration has proven a powerful force in the world since its inception.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor or reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
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 association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
Links to outside resources on Human Rights Day
The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights: http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/
The United Nations’ page on Human Rights Day: http://www.un.org/en/events/humanrightsday/
The American Library Association on the Universal Right to Free Expression: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill/interpretations/universalright
Library Resources on Human Rights
Bandman, Elsie L. Bioethics and Human Rights: A Reader for Health Professionals. Boston: Little, Brown, 1978. Call number 174.2 B52.
Chong, Daniel P. L. Debating Human Rights. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2014. Call number 323 C455 2014.
Klinghoffer, Arthur Jay. International Citizens’ Tribunal: Mobilizing Public Opinion to Advance Human Rights. New York: Palgrave, 2002. Call number 341.481 K687 2002.
Robertson, A. H. Human Rights in the World: An Introduction to the Study of the International Protection of Human Rights. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1991. Call number 341.481 R545h 1989.
Soros, George. Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism. New York: Public Affairs, 2000. Call number 332.042 So694 2000.
United Nations General Assembly. …And Justice for All: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 50. New York: Foreign Policy Association, 1998. Call number 341.481 An22.