The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the UN, 1948.
In April 1945, delegates from 48 countries met for the creation of the United Nations Organisation (UNO) by means of a Charter. The UNO was created to stop wars between countries and provide a platform for dialogue.
Some « major powers » at the UNO did not really want to discuss human rights. They were not convinced that other countries (or the international community) should intervene in matters pertaining to the way a State treated its own citizens. They thought such issues fell within the ambit of domestic policy. However, after intense negotiations, some smaller countries, with the support of the United States, succeeded in incorporating the term « human rights » in the preamble of the United Nations Charter. But the document did not indicate what these human rights were, and nothing proved that these rights would be accepted by all the nations.
The Human Rights Commission (today Council) was thus established to prepare a document to describe the human rights which everyone had to comply with in every part of the world, and which would unanimously be embraced at the global level. The Commission was headed by Eleanor Roosevelt and it reviewed what later became the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or the UDHR.
A declaration is a document which establishes the instruments to be confirmed by the States, but it is not legally binding.
The UDHR examines 30 human rights articles. The articles are divided into two major categories:
According to the preamble of the universal declaration, protecting human rights would lead to freedom, justice and peace in the world ; these rights protect people from tyranny and oppression ; leading to a better and fairer standard of living for everyone.
Civil and political rights protect people from abuses of State power and guarantee the promotion of personal freedom. They are set out in the following articles: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 1 0, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21.
The economic, social and cultural rights guarantee economic, social and cultural security. They are laid down in the following articles: 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, and 27.
The underlying values of the UDHR include dignity, equality, freedom, justice and mutual respect between human beings.
The drafters of Human Rights:
René Cassin, Professor of Law, France
Peng-chun Chang, Chinese Philosopher, Vice-Chairperson
Eleanor Roosevelt, USA, Chairperson
Pr Valentin Teplikov, Professor of International Law, Russia
Charles Malik, Lebanese Philosopher
Dr (Mrs) Hausa Nehta, Educationist, India
http://liguedesdroits.ca/wp-content/fichiers/guide-final.pdf (Accessed November 15, 2013)