International Covenants on Human Rights

 

The International Bill of Human Rights consists of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols. "...in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ideal of free human beings enjoying civil and political freedom and freedom from fear and want can be achieved only if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his civil and political rights, as well as his economic, social and cultural rights."

"...the International Bill of Human Rights represents a milestone in the history of human rights, a veritable Magna Carta marking mankind's arrival at a vitally important phase: the conscious acquisition of human dignity and worth." (Source: The People's Movement for Human Rights Education (PDHRE), www.pdre.org)


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

 

(On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the below Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  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.")

 

PREAMBLE

 

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

 

 

Article 2

 

 

Article 3

 

 

Article 4

 

 

Article 5

 

Article 6

 

Article 7

 

Article 8

 

Article 9

 

Article 10

 

 

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.

Article 12

 

Article 13

 

Article 14

 

Article 15

 

Article 16

 

 

Article 17

 

Article 18

 

Article 19

 

Article 20

 

Article 21

 

Article 22

 

Article 23

 

 

Article 24

 

Article 25

 

Article 26

 

Article 27

 

Article 28

 

Article 29

 

Article 30

 


International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESR)

Unofficial Summary 


 

Article 1

All peoples have the right of self-determination, including the right to determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

 

Article 2

 

Each State Party undertakes to take steps to the maximum of its available resources to achieve progressively the full realization of the rights in this treaty. Everyone is entitled to the same rights without discrimination of any kind.

 

Article 3

 

The States undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all rights in this treaty.

Article 4

 

Limitations may be placed on these rights only if compatible with the nature of these rights and solely for the purpose of promoting the general welfare in a democratic society.

 

Article 5

 

No person, group or government has the right to destroy any of these rights.

 

Article 6

 

No person, group or government has the right to destroy any of these rights.

 

Article 7

 

Everyone has the right to just conditions of work; fair wages ensuring a decent living for himself and his family; equal pay for equal work; safe and healthy working conditions; equal opportunity for everyone to be promoted; rest and leisure.

 

Article 8

 

Everyone has the right to form and join trade unions, the right to strike.

 

Article 9

 

Everyone has the right to social security, including social insurance.

 

Article 10

 

Protection and assistance should be accorded to the family. Marriage must be entered into with the free consent of both spouses. Special protection should be provided to mothers. Special measures should be taken on behalf of children, without discrimination. Children and youth should be protected from economic exploitation. Their employment in dangerous or harmful work should be prohibited. There should be age limits below which child labor should be prohibited.

 

Article 11

 

Everyone has the right to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing. Everyone has the right to be free from hunger.

 

Article 12

 

Everyone has the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

 

Article 13

 

Everyone has the right to education. Primary education should be compulsory and free to all.

 

Article 14

 

Those States where compulsory, free primary education is not available to all should work out a plan to provide such education.

 

Article 15

 

Everyone has the right to take part in cultural life; enjoy the benefits of scientific progress.

 

 


International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights
(ICCPR)

Unofficial Summary


 

Article 1

 

All peoples have the right of self-determination, including the right to determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

 

Article 2

 

Each State must respect and ensure to all people within its territory and jurisdiction all rights in this treaty without discrimination of any kind.

 

Article 3

 

The States undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all rights in this treaty.

 

Article 4

 

Derogation from State obligations is to be strictly limited.

 

Article 5

 

Derogation from State obligations is to be strictly limited.

 

Article 6

 

Everyone has the right to life.

 

Article 7

 

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

 

Article 8

 

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.

 

Article 9

 

Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be arrested or detained arbitrarily.

 

Article 10

 

Everyone deprived of liberty shall be treated with respect.

 

Article 11

 

No one shall be imprisoned merely for failing to pay a debt.

 

Article 12

 

Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and to leave and enter his own country.

 

Article 13

 

An alien lawfully in the territory of a State Party may be expelled only in accordance with law.

 

Article 14

 

Everyone is equal before the law. Everyone has the right to a fair trial. Everyone has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. No one may be compelled to testify against himself.

 

Article 15

 

No one shall be held guilty of a criminal offense when the act did not constitute a criminal offense at the time it was committed.

 

Article 16

 

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

 

Article 17

 

Everyone has the right to privacy.

Article 18

 

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

 

Article 19

 

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

 

Article 20

 

Propaganda for war shall be prohibited. Hate speech that constitutes incitement to discrimination or violence shall be prohibited.

 

Article 21

 

Everyone has the right to peaceful assembly.

 

Article 22

 

Everyone has the right to freedom of association, including the right to join a trade union.

 

Article 23

 

All adults have the right to marry and found a family. Women and men have equal rights to marry, within marriage, and at its dissolution.

 

Article 24

 

Every child shall have protection as required by his status as a minor, without discrimination of any kind. Every child has the right to a nationality.

 

Article 25

 

Every citizen has the right to take part in public affairs and to vote.

 

Article 26

 

Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection of the law, without discrimination of any kind.

 

Article 27

 

Ethnic, religious, or linguistic minorities shall not be denied the right to enjoy their own culture.