Annex 1: Human Rights Documents

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Plain Language Version)

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Summary)

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Plain-Language Version)

Human Rights Instruments

Annex 2: General Resources

Annex 3: A Glossary for Disability and Human Rights

Annex 4: Index


Annex 1: Human Rights Documents


Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly Resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948


On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the full text of which appears in the following pages. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and “to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories.”


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,

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,

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,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, therefore, 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, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.

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. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7.

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8.

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.

Article 9.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10.

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.

Article 11.

(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

(2) 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. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.

(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14.

(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non- political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15.

(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.

(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16.

(1) 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.

(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17.

(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18.

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.

Article 19.

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.

Article 20.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21.

(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

(3) 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.

Article 22.

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.

Article 23.

(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.

(3) 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.

(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.

(1) 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.

(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. 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.

(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.

(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28.

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29.

(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.

(2) 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.

(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30.

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.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(Plain Language Version)

Article 1, Right to equality:

You are born free and equal in rights to every other human being. You have the ability to think and to tell right from wrong. You should treat others with friendship.

Article 2, Freedom from discrimination:

You have all these human rights no matter what your race, skin colour, sex, language, religion, opinions, family background, social or economic status, birth or nationality.

Article 3, Right to life, liberty and personal security:

You have the right to live, to be free and to feel safe.

Article 4, Freedom from slavery:

Nobody has the right to treat you as a slave, and you should not make anyone your slave.

Article 5, Freedom from torture and degrading treatment:

Nobody has the right to torture, harm or humiliate you.

Article 6, Right to recognition as a person before the law:

You have a right to be accepted everywhere as a person according to law.

Article 7, Right to equality before the law:

You have a right to be protected and treated equally by the law without discrimination of any kind.

Article 8, Right to remedy by capable judges:

If your legal rights are violated, you have the right to fair and capable judges to uphold your rights.

Article 9, Freedom from arbitrary arrest and exile:

Nobody has the right to arrest you, put you in prison or to force you out of your country without good reasons.

Article 10, Right to fair public hearing:

If you are accused of a crime, you have the right to a fair and public hearing.

Article 11, Right to be considered innocent until proven guilty:

1) You should be considered innocent until it can be proved in a fair trial that you are guilty.

2) You cannot be punished for doing something that was not considered a crime at the time you did it.

Article 12, Freedom from interference with privacy, family, home and correspondence: You have the right to be protected if someone tries to harm your good name or enter your house, open your letters or email or bother you or your family without good reason.

Article 13, Right to free movement:

1) You have the right to come and go as you wish within your country.

2) You have the right to leave your country to go to another one, and you should be able to return to your country if you want.

Article 14, Right to protection in another country:

1) If someone threatens to hurt you, you have the right to go to another country and ask for protection as a refugee.

2) You lose this right if you have committed a serious crime.

Article 15, Right to a nationality and the freedom to change it:

1) You have the right to belong to a country and have a nationality.

2) No one can take away your nationality without a good reason. You have a right to change your nationality if you wish.

Article 16, Right to marriage and family:

1) When you are legally old enough, you have the right to marry and have a family without any limitations based on your race, country or religion. Both partners have the same rights when they are married and also when they are separated.

2) Nobody should force you to marry.

3) The family is the basic unit of society, and government should protect it.

Article 17, Right to own property:

1) You have the right to own things.

2) Nobody has the right to take these things from you without a good reason

Article 18, Freedom of thought, conscience and religion:

You have the right to your own thoughts and to believe in any religion. You are free to practice your religion or beliefs and also to change them.

Article 19, Freedom of opinion and information:

You have the right to hold and express your own opinions. You should be able to share your opinions with others, including people from other countries, through any means of communication.

Article 20, Right to peaceful assembly and association:

1) You have the right to meet peacefully with other people.

2) No one can force you belong to a group.

Article 21, Right to participate in government and elections:

1) You have the right to participate in your government, either by holding an office or by electing someone to represent you.

2) You and every one have the right to serve your country.

3) Governments should be elected regularly by fair and secret voting.

Article 22, Right to social security:

The society you live in should provide you with social security and the rights necessary for your dignity and development.

Article 23, Right to desirable work and to join trade unions:

1) You have the right to work, to choose your work and to work in good conditions.

2) People who do the same work should get the same pay.

3) You should be able to earn a salary that allows you to live and support your family.

4) All people who work have the right to join together in unions to defend their interests.

Article 24, Right to rest and leisure:

You have the right to rest and free time. Your workday should not be too long, and you should be able to take regular paid holidays.

Article 25, Right to adequate living standard:

1) You have the right to the things you and your family need for your health and well-being, including food, clothing, housing, medical care and other social services. You have a right to help if you are out of work or unable to work.

2) Mothers and children should receive special care and help.

Article 26, Right to education:

1) You have the right to go to go to school. Primary schooling should be free and required. You should be able to learn a profession or continue your studies as far as you can.

2) At school, you should be able to develop all your talents and learn to respect others, whatever their race, religion or nationality.

3) Your parents should have a say in the kind of education you receive.

Article 27, Right to participate in the cultural life of community:

1) You have the right to participate in the traditions and learning of your community, to enjoy the arts and to benefit from scientific progress.

2) If you are an artist, writer or scientist, your work should be protected and you should be able to benefit from it.

Article 28, Right to a social order:

You have a right to the kind of world where you and all people can enjoy these rights and freedoms.

Article 29, Responsibilities to the community:

1) Your personality can only fully develop within your community, and you have responsibilities to that community.

2) The law should guarantee human rights. It should allow everyone to respect others and to be respected.

3) These rights and freedoms should support the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30, Freedom from interference in these human rights:

No person, group or government anywhere in the world should do anything to destroy these rights.

Source: Compasito - Manual on human rights education for children (Council of Europe, 2007).

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Summary)


Article 1
Right to Equality

Article 2
Freedom from Discrimination

Article 3
Right to Life, Liberty, and Personal Security

Article 4
Freedom from Slavery

Article 5
Freedom from Torture and Degrading Treatment

Article 6
Right to Recognition as a Person before the Law

Article 7
Right to Equality before the Law

Article 8
Right to Remedy by Competent Tribunal

Article 9
Freedom from Arbitrary Arrest and Exile

Article 10
Right to Fair Public Hearing

Article 11
Right to be Considered Innocent until Proven Guilty

Article 12
Freedom from Interference with Privacy, Family, Home and Correspondence

Article 13
Right to Free Movement in and out of the Country

Article 14
Right to Asylum in other Countries from Persecution

Article 15
Right to a Nationality and the Freedom to Change It

Article 16
Right to Marriage and Family

Article 17
Right to Own Property

Article 18
Freedom of Belief and Religion

Article 19
Freedom of Opinion and Information

Article 20
Right of Peaceful Assembly and Association

Article 21
Right to Participate in Government and in Free Elections

Article 22
Right to Social Security

Article 23
Right to Desirable Work and to Join Trade Unions

Article 24
Right to Rest and Leisure

Article 25
Right to Adequate Living Standard

Article 26
Right to Education

Article 27
Right to Participate in the Cultural Life of Community

Article 28
Right to a Social Order that Articulates this Document

Article 29
Community Duties Essential to Free and Full Development

Article 30
Freedom from State or Personal Interference in the above Rights

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