In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly issued the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in an attempt to bring attention to the inalienable rights of all people in all nations as agreed upon by its signatories (United Nations, 1949). Human rights are broadly defined as the “basic rights and freedoms that all people are entitled to regardless of nationality, sex, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, language or other status” (Amnesty International USA, 2015, para. 1). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights contains 30 articles that address civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights of people worldwide (United Nations, 1949). Article I of the UDHR states that all humans are equal in dignity and worth. Articles 2 -15 address political and individual freedoms (e.g., right to life, right to liberty, right to live free of enslavement, right to live free of torture, right to equal protection of the law, right to seek asylum, right to a nationality, etc.). Articles 16-27 address economic, social, and cultural rights (e.g., right to marriage as adults, right to own property, right to religious expression, right to freedom of opinion and expression, right to social security, right to work, right to an education, right to a just standard of living, etc.). Articles 28 and 29 address collective rights among and between nations (i.e., right to a social and international order; right to live a full life within the confines of the law). Last, Article 30 states that no one can take away a person’s human rights (United Nations, 1949).
United Nations Overview
The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945. It is currently made up of 193 Member States. The mission and work of the United Nations are guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter.
United Nations Member States
Each of the 193 Member States of the United Nations is a member of the General Assembly. States are admitted to membership in the UN by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.
Unitied Nations Main Organs
The main organs of the UN are the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice, and the UN Secretariat. All were established in 1945 when the UN was founded.
United Nations Key Documents
The video below on The Fight Against Child Labour is from the UN in Action: An award-winning series highlighting the work of the UN around the world, consisting of three features of 3 to 5 minutes each, released monthly. Stories are produced in the six official UN languages.