26 November 2008


Described by Pope John Paul II as "one of the highest expressions of the human conscience of our time" the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) will be 60 years old on the 10th of December - Human Rights Day

The drafting of a declaration that gained the acceptance of the overwhelming majority of UN member states in 1948 (eight states abstained from voting, none opposed it) was a remarkable achievement. At present every nation on earth accepts the UDHR in principle if not in practice.

The UDHR is based on the values of human dignity, justice, equality and fairness.

Most importantly from the beginning the Declaration was seen to proclaim a set of rights that were universal, inalienable and indivisible.

This means that the fundamental rights to freedom from fear and want are the basic entitlements of every person, everywhere and at all times and they cannot be denied by any government. (except in special circumstances and only after due process)

The UDHR remains a key reference point for all those concerned about and advocating for the fundamental rights to life, security, freedom, food, shelter and education (to name a few), being available to all.

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