The Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, predicated on the belief that everyone is entitled to freedom without any distinction based on race, color, sex, language, religion, national origin or birth. Comprised of 30 Articles, the Declaration addresses issues of freedom of speech, religion and privacy. It stands squarely for equal pay for equal work. Special attention is paid to the rights of children, women and families.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Credit: MY HERO

Article 1

Martin Luther King, Jr. Lesson Plan

I have a dream that one day, this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. MLK 1963

Article 1: All human beings are free and equal.

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

Desmond Tutu

world leader from South Africa who worked for non-violent change

Article 2: No discrimination. 

1. 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.

2. 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 

Global Labor Activists

Celebrating those who work for fair labor conditions around the world

Article 3: Right to Life.

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

Article 4

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition

Share the importance of the remembrance of the abolition of the slave trade with your students. 

Article 4: No slavery. 

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

Article 5

Article 5: No torture and inhuman treatment.

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

Once a former child soldier, Mohamed Sidibay is now a leading advocate for the rights of all children to access to quality education. Mohamed graduated from George Washington University with a degree in Peace and Conflict Resolution. He is an international lawyer, advisor to the Director General of UNESCO and works to give a voice to the 260,000,000 young people who do not have a chance to go to school.

mohamed sidibay teaching peace
Credit: myhero

Article 6

Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson has been recognized across the globe for the work that he has done to address poverty and racial inequality.

Article 6: Same right to use law.

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

Article 7

Article 7: Equal before the law.

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.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Born March 15, 1933, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the second appointed female Supreme Court Justice. She won many legal victories before the Supreme Court, advocating for women's rights and gender equality.

Article 8

Rigoberta Menchu Tum

Rigoberta Menchú Tum, winner of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize, became involved with various groups in their struggle for the indigenous people out of personal conviction and sense of justice.

Article 8: Right to treated fair by court.

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

Nelson Mandela Curated Multimedia Lesson Plan

By: Laura Nietzer
Before it became a sovereign nation in 1961, South Africa was held under British rule. In 1948, the policy of apartheid, segregation based on race with the white minority ruling, became official and did not end until 1991. Nelson Mandela was one of South Africa's great leaders in the fight against apartheid. Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918.

Article 9: No unfair detainment.

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

Article 10

Dalai Lama Lesson Plan

Multimedia Curated Teacher Resource on the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet in exile and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Includes discussion questions and learning outcomes.

Article 10: Right to trial.

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

Jose Marti

Jose Marti is considered the father of Cuba's battle for independence.

Article 11: Innocent until proved guilty.

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

Nobelity: Jody Williams

Nobel Laureate Jody Williams, who won the Peace Prize in 1997, worked to ban land mines.

Article 12: Right to privacy.

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

World Refugee Day | June 20

World Refugee Day commemorates the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of forcibly displaced refugees around the world. According to UNHCR, as of May 2022, 100million people have been forced to leave their homes due to conflict, violence, human rights violations, and persecution. Of these, half are children.

Article 13: Freedom to movement and residence.

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

Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet

Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet is known as the 'Mandela of Cuba' because he bravely defends the rights of Cuban citizens.

Article 14: Right to asylum.

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

Article 15: Right to nationality.

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.

HIAS - For the Refugee

This film was produced for World Refugee Day, to publicise and spread awareness on HIAS' mission and values for the last 130 years.

Article 16

UKWATI // The Wedding

Produced by:Watts of Love
“UKWATI” captures the relationship between a mother and her daughter as they both struggle to survive.

Article 16: Rights to marry and have family.

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 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

Remember Us: An Historic Chapter at Anaheim High School

Remember Us documents the internment of Japanese American students at Anaheim High School forced to relocate to concentration camps.

Article 17: . Right to own things.

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

Credit: Nathan Smith

Article 18: Freedom of thought and religion.

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

World Press Freedom Day | May 3

Brave journalists of past and present document and share important news to keep the public informed. Only armed with information can society make changes to beat odds, change practices, and uphold the importance of humanity for all.

Article 19: Freedom of opinion and expression.

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

Article 20: Right to assemble.

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

2. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Unsung Hero Song

Produced by:Kitty Richardson, George Albone, Edited by Katie Graubart, Animation...

Celebrating youth activists working for social justice. This song was written and performed by Kitty Richardson.

Article 21

Resources for Promoting Voting Rights and Democracy

Use the following resources to honor those who worked to secure voting rights for all and who uphold the values of democracy, including those outlined in the US Constitution.

Article 21: . Right to democracy.

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 to 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

Eleanor Roosevelt

By: Michael from San Diego
Eleanor Roosevelt was a humanitarian and former First Lady of the United States of America.

Article 22: Right to social security.

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

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom | August 28, 1963

By: Becky Miller
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was organized by A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin. It was held on the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. On this day, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous "I have a dream" speech to 250,000 people. The march led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Article 23: Right to work.

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 favorable 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

Maura Welch

Maura Welch was recognized by NetAid for her work to spread awareness about child labor.

Article 24: Right to rest and holiday.

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

Article 25

Article 25: Right of social service.

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.

Children's Rights

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to education,no one shall be held in slavery or servitude, and thateveryone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, and housing. These rights also belong to children.

Article 26

Yasmine Sherif: Global Educator and Champion for Youth

Yasmine Sherif, who leads Education Cannot Wait, is an activist working for the rights of all children and the winner of MY HERO's 2020 Global Educator Award.

Article 26: Right to education.

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

Article 27: Right of cultural and art.

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.

Call to Create

Produced by:Ghazel Etoum, Hanen Karajah, Dana Khamis, & Samia Kayyali
An exploration of how creativity can be heroic.

Article 28

Article 28: Freedom around the world.

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

World Day of Social Justice

On World Day of Social Justice (February 20), we celebrate heroes who worked to remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability--so all people can live to their full potential with dignity.

Article 29

Kofi Annan

By: Jerrilyn Jacobs
Kofi Annan is an honored freedom and peacemaker hero.

Article 29: Subject to law.

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: Human rights can’t be taken away.

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.

Eleanor Roosevelt with UN Declaration of Human Rights
Credit: Wikimedia Commons


view Rock Your World's Resources on the Declaration of Human Rights: Introduction to Human Rights | Rock Your World ( 

Rock Your World
Credit: creative visions

Organizer created on 12/1/2022 11:16:06 AM by Naomi Gledhill

Last edited 3/16/2023 12:12:31 PM by Laura Nietzer