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Universal Declaration of Human Rights @ 70

December 10th, 2018

December 10th is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), and the United Nations is leading world leaders and the international community in celebrating the adoption of these set of principles (30 in all) that were established to safeguard the inherent dignity of every human being.

Among the many activities taking place around the world, the Alliance Defending Freedom International will deliver thousands of signatures from more than 170 countries in support of The Geneva Statement, which urges the international community to uphold the fundamental right to life, family, and religious freedom, as recognized by the declaration. The Geneva Statement calls for new commitments from the international community.

The United Nations was founded in the aftermath of WWII in 1945. Some of the principal objectives for founding the organization as outlined in the preamble of the UN Charter were; “to prevent the occurrence of future atrocities by affirming faith in fundamental human rights, in dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women, and of nations large and small and the commitment to promote better standard of life in larger freedom.” These fundamental human rights are all captured in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10th December 1948. This day is observed every year as the International Human Rights Day.

The human rights doctrine is also influenced by tenets of Catholic Social Teaching – in the basic concept of human dignity. The Declaration has many phrases from Catholic Social in the documents. Some of examples are outlined in a 2001 book, A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, written by former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Mary Ann Glendon. This book is widely considered one of the definitive histories of the human rights document. While Catholic ideas can be found in the document, author Mary Ann Glendon notes that it is just “one of many sources of influence on this impressively multicultural document.”

Still relevant today as they were in 1948, the UN Declaration of Human Rights has been translated into 513 languages, making it the most translated document in history.


Video: History of the UDHR:

Short articles on each of the 30 Articles of the UDHR:

Read more at UN News:

70 years of progress on Human Rights:


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