You are currently viewing The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

On this day in 1948, the United Nations proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at their General Assembly in Paris.

The world has just lived through the carnage and horror of “The War to End all Wars” and its successor, World War II. In hopes that the world might never live through this kind of havoc again, the United Nations created a truly historic document. With Eleanor Roosevelt chairing the drafting committee, the Declaration on Human Rights represented a global effort to defend world peace. This worldwide proclamation has been translated into over 500 languages.

The United Nations describes the Declaration as a “milestone document in the history of human rights” as it set out “for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected.” The Declaration forbids inhumane acts such as slavery, forced marriage, and torture. It also safeguards basic rights, such as the right to a fair trial and the right to apply for asylum.

On December 10, we celebrate the Declaration on Human Rights and the efforts made to protect the safety and dignity of all people. You can read a copy of this historic document at

Featured Image of Eleanor Roosevelt:

This media is available in the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration, cataloged under the National Archives Identifier (NAID) 195981.

Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.