The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 General Assembly resolution 217(III) A7 as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected. India has been a party to the UDHR since its inception in 1948. The rights that it speaks of influenced the formulation of India’s Constitution.

The UDHR, a declaration that became the cornerstone of international human rights law stipulates that “all humans are born free and equal in dignity and rights” (Article 1). It also puts forward the principles of equality before the law without discrimination (Article 7) and the right to life, liberty and security (Article 3) as well as the right to privacy (Article 12).Translated into hundreds of languages and dialects from Abkhaz to Zulu, the UDHR set a world record in 2009 for being the most translated document in the world.

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