(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.
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.
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.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
(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 of 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.
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.
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable 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.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
(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.
(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.
(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.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
(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.
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.
http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html retrieved on December 29, 2001
List of Member States
Afghanistan -- (19 Nov. 1946)
Albania -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Algeria -- (8 Oct. 1962)
Andorra -- (28 July 1993)
Angola -- (1 Dec. 1976)
Antigua and Barbuda -- (11 Nov. 1981)
Argentina -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Armenia -- (2 Mar. 1992)
Australia -- (1 Nov. 1945)
Austria-- (14 Dec. 1955)
Azerbaijan -- (9 Mar. 1992)
Bahamas -- (18 Sep. 1973)
Bahrain -- (21 Sep. 1971)
Bangladesh -- (17 Sep. 1974)
Barbados -- (9 Dec. 1966)
Belarus -- (24 Oct. 1945)
On 19 September 1991, Byelorussia informed the United Nations that it had changed its name to Belarus.
Belgium -- (27 Dec. 1945)
Belize -- (25 Sep. 1981)
Benin -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Bhutan -- (21 Sep. 1971)
Bolivia -- (14 Nov. 1945)
Bosnia and Herzegovina -- (22 May 1992)
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was an original Member of the United Nations, the Charter having been signed on its behalf on 26 June 1945 and ratified 19 October 1945, until its dissolution following the establishment and subsequent admission as new members of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was admitted as a Member of the United Nations by General Assembly resolution A/RES/46/237 of 22 May 1992.
Botswana -- (17 Oct. 1966)
Brazil -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Brunei Darussalam -- (21 Sep. 1984)
Bulgaria -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Burkina Faso -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Burundi -- (18 Sep. 1962)
Cambodia -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Cameroon -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Canada -- (9 Nov. 1945)
Cape Verde -- (16 Sep. 1975)
Central African Republic -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Chad -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Chile -- (24 Oct. 1945)
China -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Colombia -- (5 Nov. 1945)
Comoros -- (12 Nov. 1975)
Congo -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Costa Rica -- (2 Nov. 1945)
Côte d'Ivoire -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Croatia -- (22 May 1992)
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was an original Member of the United Nations, the Charter having been signed on its behalf on 26 June 1945 and ratified 19 October 1945, until its dissolution following the establishment and subsequent admission as new members of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Republic of Croatia was admitted as a Member of the United Nations by General Assembly resolution A/RES/46/238 of 22 May 1992.
Cuba -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Cyprus -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Czech Republic-- (19 Jan. 1993)
Czechoslovakia was an original Member of the United Nations from 24 October 1945. In a letter dated 10 December 1992, its Permanent Representative informed the Secretary-General that the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic would cease to exist on 31 December 1992 and that the Czech Republic and the SSlovak Republic, as successor States, would apply for membership in the United Nations. Following the receipt of its application, the Security Council, on 8 January 1993, recommended to the General Assembly that the Czech Republic be admitted to United Nations membership. The Czech Republic was thus admitted on 19 January of that year as a Member State.
Democratic People's Republic of Korea -- (17 Sep. 1991)
Democratic Republic of the Congo -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Denmark -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Djibouti -- (20 Sep. 1977)
Dominica -- (18 Dec. 1978)
Dominican Republic -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Ecuador -- (21 Dec. 1945)
Egypt -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Egypt and Syria were original Members of the United Nations from 24 October 1945. Following a plebiscite on 21 February 1958, the United Arab Republic was established by a union of Egypt and Syria and continued as a single Member. On 13 October 1961, Syria, having resumed its status as an independent State, resumed its separate membership in the United Nations. On 2 September 1971, the United Arab Republic changed its name to the Arab Republic of Egypt.
El Salvador -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Equatorial Guinea -- (12 Nov. 1968)
Eritrea -- (28 May 1993)
Estonia -- (17 Sep. 1991)
Ethiopia -- (13 Nov. 1945)
Fiji -- (13 Oct. 1970)
Finland -- (14 Dec. 1955)
France-- (24 Oct. 1945)
Gabon -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Gambia -- (21 Sep. 1965)
Georgia -- (31 July 1992)
Germany -- (18 Sep. 1973)
The Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic were admitted to membership in the United Nations on 18 September 1973. Through the accession of the German Democratic Republic to the Federal Republic of Germany, effective from 3 October 1990, the two German States have united to form one sovereign State.
Ghana -- (8 Mar. 1957)
Greece-- (25 Oct. 1945)
Grenada -- (17 Sep. 1974)
Guatemala -- (21 Nov. 1945)
Guinea -- (12 Dec. 1958)
Guinea-Bissau -- (17 Sep. 1974)
Guyana -- (20 Sep. 1966)
Haiti -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Honduras -- (17 Dec. 1945)
Hungary -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Iceland -- (19 Nov. 1946)
India -- (30 Oct. 1945)
Indonesia -- (28 Sep. 1950)
By letter of 20 January 1965, Indonesia announced its decision to withdraw from the United Nations "at this stage and under the present circumstances". By telegram of 19 September 1966, it announced its decision "to resume full cooperation with the United Nations and to resume participation in its activities". On 28 September 1966, the General Assembly took note of this decision and the President invited representatives of Indonesia to take seats in the Assembly.
Iran (Islamic Republic of)-- (24 Oct. 1945)
Iraq-- (21 Dec. 1945)
Ireland -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Israel-- (11 May 1949)
Italy-- (14 Dec. 1955)
Jamaica -- (18 Sep. 1962)
Japan-- (18 Dec. 1956)
Jordan -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Kazakhstan-- (2 Mar. 1992)
Kenya -- (16 Dec. 1963)
Kiribati -- (14 Sept. 1999)
Kuwait -- (14 May 1963)
Kyrgyzstan -- (2 Mar. 1992)
Lao People's Democratic Republic -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Latvia -- (17 Sep. 1991)
Lebanon -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Lesotho -- (17 Oct. 1966)
Liberia -- (2 Nov. 1945)
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Liechtenstein-- (18 Sep. 1990)
Lithuania -- (17 Sep. 1991)
Luxembourg-- (24 Oct. 1945)
Madagascar -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Malawi -- (1 Dec. 1964)
Malaysia-- (17 Sep. 1957)
The Federation of Malaya joined the United Nations on 17 September 1957. On 16 September 1963, its name was changed to Malaysia, following the admission to the new federation of Singapore, Sabah (North Borneo) and Sarawak. Singapore became an independent State on 9 August 1965 and a Member of the United Nations on 21 September 1965.
Maldives-- (21 Sep. 1965)
Mali -- (28 Sep. 1960)
Malta -- (1 Dec. 1964)
Marshall Islands -- (17 Sep. 1991)
Mauritania -- (7 Oct. 1961)
Mauritius -- (24 Apr. 1968)
Mexico -- (7 Nov. 1945)
Micronesia (Federated States of)-- (17 Sep. 1991)
Monaco -- (28 May 1993)
Mongolia -- (27 Oct. 1961)
Morocco -- (12 Nov. 1956)
Mozambique -- (16 Sep. 1975)
Myanmar -- (19 Apr. 1948)
Namibia -- (23 Apr. 1990)
Nauru -- (14 Sept. 1999)
Nepal -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Netherlands -- (10 Dec. 1945)
New Zealand -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Nicaragua -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Niger -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Nigeria -- (7 Oct. 1960)
Norway -- (27 Nov. 1945)
Oman -- (7 Oct. 1971)
Pakistan -- (30 Sep. 1947)
Palau -- (15 Dec. 1994)
Panama -- (13 Nov. 1945)
Papua New Guinea -- (10 Oct. 1975)
Paraguay -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Peru -- (31 Oct. 1945)
Philippines -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Poland -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Portugal -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Qatar -- (21 Sep. 1971)
Republic of Korea -- (17 Sep. 1991)
Republic of Moldova -- (2 Mar. 1992)
Romania -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Russian Federation -- (24 Oct. 1945)
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was an original Member of the United Nations from 24 October 1945. In a letter dated 24 December 1991, Boris Yeltsin, the President of the Russian Federation, informed the Secretary-General that the membership of the Soviet Union in the Security Council and all other United Nations organs was being continued by the Russian Federation with the support of the 11 member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Rwanda -- (18 Sep. 1962)
Saint Kitts and Nevis -- (23 Sep. 1983)
Saint Lucia -- (18 Sep. 1979)
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines -- (16 Sep. 1980)
Samoa -- (15 Dec. 1976)
San Marino -- (2 Mar. 1992)
Sao Tome and Principe -- (16 Sep. 1975)
Saudi Arabia -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Senegal -- (28 Sep. 1960)
Seychelles -- (21 Sep. 1976)
Sierra Leone -- (27 Sep. 1961)
Singapore -- (21 Sep. 1965)
Slovakia -- (19 Jan. 1993)
Czechoslovakia was an original Member of the United Nations from 24 October 1945. In a letter dated 10 December 1992, its Permanent Representative informed the Secretary-General that the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic would cease to exist on 31 December 1992 and that the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, as successor States, would apply for membership in the United Nations. Following the receipt of its application, the Security Council, on 8 January 1993, recommended to the General Assembly that the Slovak Republic be admitted to United Nations membership. The Slovak Republic was thus admitted on 19 January of that year as a Member State.
Slovenia -- (22 May 1992)
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was an original Member of the United Nations, the Charter having been signed on its behalf on 26 June 1945 and ratified 19 October 1945, until its dissolution following the establishment and subsequent admission as new members of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Republic of Slovenia was admitted as a Member of the United Nations by General Assembly resolution A/RES/46/236 of 22 May 1992.
Solomon Islands -- (19 Sep. 1978)
Somalia -- (20 Sep. 1960)
South Africa -- (7 Nov. 1945)
Spain -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Sri Lanka -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Sudan -- (12 Nov. 1956)
Suriname -- (4 Dec. 1975)
Swaziland -- (24 Sep. 1968)
Sweden -- (19 Nov. 1946)
Syrian Arab Republic -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Egypt and Syria were original Members of the United Nations from 24 October 1945. Following a plebiscite on 21 February 1958, the United Arab Republic was established by a union of Egypt and Syria and continued as a single Member. On 13 October 1961, Syria, having resumed its status as an independent State, resumed its separate membership in the United Nations.
Tajikistan -- (2 Mar. 1992)
Thailand -- (16 Dec. 1946)
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia -- (8 Apr. 1993)
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was an original Member of the United Nations, the Charter having been signed on its behalf on 26 June 1945 and ratified 19 October 1945, until its dissolution following the establishment and subsequent admission as new members of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. By resolution A/RES/47/225 of 8 April 1993, the General Assembly decided to admit as a Member of the United Nations the State being provisionally referred to for all purposes within the United Nations as "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" pending settlement of the difference that had arisen over its name.
Togo -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Tonga -- (14 Sept. 1999)
Trinidad and Tobago -- (18 Sep. 1962)
Tunisia -- (12 Nov. 1956)
Turkey -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Turkmenistan -- (2 Mar. 1992)
Tuvalu -- (5 Sept. 2000)
Uganda -- (25 Oct. 1962)
Ukraine-- (24 Oct. 1945)
United Arab Emirates -- (9 Dec. 1971)
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland-- (24 Oct. 1945)
United Republic of Tanzania -- (14 Dec. 1961)
Tanganyika was a Member of the United Nations from 14 December 1961 and Zanzibar was a Member from 16 December 1963. Following the ratification on 26 April 1964 of Articles of Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar continued as a single Member, changing its name to the United Republic of Tanzania on 1 November 1964.
United States of America -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Uruguay -- (18 Dec. 1945)
Uzbekistan -- (2 Mar. 1992)
Vanuatu -- (15 Sep. 1981)
Venezuela -- (15 Nov. 1945)
Viet Nam -- (20 Sep. 1977)
Yemen -- (30 Sep. 1947)
Yemen was admitted to membership in the United Nations on 30 September 1947 and Democratic Yemen on 14 December 1967. On 22 May 1990, the two countries merged and have since been represented as one Member with the name "Yemen".
Yugoslavia -- (1 Nov. 2000)
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was an original Member of the United Nations, the Charter having been signed on its behalf on 26 June 1945 and ratified 19 October 1945, until its dissolution following the establishment and subsequent admission as new members of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was admitted as a Member of the United Nations by General Assembly resolution A/RES/55/12 of 1 November 2000.
Zambia -- (1 Dec. 1964)
Zimbabwe -- (25 Aug. 1980)
Source: UN Press Release ORG/1317 (26 September 2000)
Updated 18 December 2000
http://www.un.org/Overview/unmember.html retrieved on December 27th, 2001
Human Rights Glossary
Affirmative Action: Action taken by a government or private institution to make up for past discrimination in education, work, or promotion on the basis of gender, race, ethnic origin, religion, or disability.
Civil and Political Rights: The rights of citizens to liberty and equality; sometimes referred to as first generation rights. Civil rights include freedom to worship, to think and express oneself, to vote, to take part in political life, and to have access to information.
Codification, Codify: The process of bringing customary international law to written form.
Collective Rights: The rights of groups to protect their interests and identities.
Commission on Human Rights: Body formed by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the UN to deal with human rights; one of the first and most important international human rights bodies.
Convention: Binding agreement between states; used synonymously with Treaty and Covenant. Conventions are stronger than Declarations because they are legally binding for governments that have signed them. When the UN General Assembly adopts a convention, it creates international norms and standards. Once a convention is adopted by the UN General Assembly, Member States can then Ratify the convention, promising to uphold it. Governments that violate the standards set forth in a convention can then be censured by the UN.
Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (Women’s Convention) (adopted 1979; entered into force 1981): The first legally binding international document prohibiting discrimination against women and obligating governments to take affirmative steps to advance the equality of women.
Convention on the Rights of the Child (Children’s Convention) (adopted 1989; entered into force 1990): Convention setting forth a full spectrum of civil, cultural, economic, social, and political rights for children.
Covenant: Binding agreement between states; used synonymously with Convention and Treaty. The major international human rights covenants, both passed in 1966, are the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).
Customary International Law: Law that becomes binding on states although it is not written, but rather adhered to out of custom; when enough states have begun to behave as though something is law, it becomes law "by use"; this is one of the main sources of international law.
Declaration: Document stating agreed upon standards but which is not legally binding. UN conferences, like the 1993 UN Conference on Human Rights in Vienna and the 1995 World Conference for Women in Beijing, usually produce two sets of declarations: one written by government representatives and one by Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs). The UN General Assembly often issues influential but legally Nonbinding declarations.
Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC): A UN council of 54 members primarily concerned with population, economic development, human rights, and criminal justice. This high-ranking body receives and issues human rights reports in a variety of circumstances.
Economic, Social, Cultural Rights: Rights that concern the production, development, and management of material for the necessities of life. The right to preserve and develop one’s cultural identity. Rights that give people social and economic security, sometimes referred to as security-oriented or second generation rights. Examples are the right to food, shelter, and health care.
Environmental, Cultural, and Developmental Rights: Sometimes referred to as third generation rights, these rights recognize that people have the right to live in a safe and healthy environment and that groups of people have the right to cultural, political, and economic development.
Genocide: The systematic killing of people because of their race or ethnicity.
Human Rights: The rights people are entitled to simply because they are human beings, irrespective of their citizenship, nationality, race, ethnicity, language, gender, sexuality, or abilities; human rights become enforceable when they are Codified as Conventions, Covenants, or Treaties, or as they become recognized as Customary International Law.
Human Rights Community: A community based on human rights, where respect for the fundamental dignity of each individual is recognized as essential to the functioning and advancement of society. A community that works to uphold each article of the UDHR.
Inalienable: Refers to rights that belong to every person and cannot be taken from a person under any circumstances.
Indigenous Peoples: People who are original or natural inhabitants of a country. Native Americans, for example, are the indigenous peoples of the United States.
Indivisible: Refers to the equal importance of each human rights law. A person cannot be denied a right because someone decides it is "less important" or "nonessential."
Interdependent: Refers to the complementary framework of human rights law. For example, your ability to participate in your government is directly affected by your right to express yourself, to get an education, and even to obtain the necessities of life.
Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs): Organizations sponsored by several governments that seek to coordinate their efforts; some are regional (e.g., the Council of Europe, the Organization of African Unity), some are alliances (e.g., the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO); and some are dedicated to a specific purpose (e.g., the UN Centre for Human Rights, and The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO).
International Bill of Human Rights: The combination of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and its optional Protocol, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR): Adopted in 1966, and entered into force in 1976. The ICCPR declares that all people have a broad range of civil and political rights. One of the components of the International Bill of Human Rights.
International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR): Adopted 1966, and entered into force 1976. The ICESCR declares that all people have a broad range of economic, social, and cultural rights. One of the components of the International Bill of Human Rights.
International Labor Organization (ILO): Established in 1919 as part of the Versailles Peace Treaty to improve working conditions and promote social justice; the ILO became a Specialized Agency of the UN in 1946.
Legal Rights: Rights that are laid down in law and can be defended and brought before courts of law.
Member States: Countries that are members of the United Nations.
Moral Rights: Rights that are based on general principles of fairness and justice; they are often but not always based on religious beliefs. People sometimes feel they have a moral right even when they do not have a legal right. For example, during the civil rights movement in the USA, protesters demonstrated against laws forbidding Blacks and Whites to attend the same schools on grounds that these laws violated their moral rights.
Natural Rights: Rights that belong to people simply because they are human beings.
Nonbinding: A document, like a Declaration, that carries no formal legal obligations. It may, however, carry moral obligations or attain the force of law as Customary International Law.
Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs): Organizations formed by people outside of government. NGOs monitor the proceedings of human rights bodies such as the Commission on Human Rights and are the "watchdogs" of the human rights that fall within their mandate. Some are large and international (e.g., the Red Cross, Amnesty International, the Girl Scouts); others may be small and local (e.g., an organization to advocate for people with disabilities in a particular city; a coalition to promote women’s rights in one refugee camp). NGOs play a major role in influencing UN policy, and many of them have official consultative status at the UN.
Political Rights: The right of people to participate in the political life of their communities and society. For example, the right to vote for their government or run for office. See Civil and Political Rights.
Protocol: A treaty which modifies another treaty (e.g., adding additional procedures or substantive provisions).
Ratification, Ratify: Process by which the legislative body of a state confirms a government’s action in signing a treaty; formal procedure by which a state becomes bound to a treaty after acceptance.
Reservation: The exceptions that States Parties make to a treaty (e.g., provisions that they do not agree to follow). Reservations, however, may not undermine the fundamental meaning of the treaty.
Self-Determination: Determination by the people of a territorial unit of their own political future without coercion from powers outside that region.
Signing, Sign: In human rights the first step in ratification of a treaty; to sign a Declaration, Convention, or one of the Covenants constitutes a promise to adhere to the principles in the document and to honor its spirit.
State: Often synonymous with "country"; a group of people permanently occupying a fixed territory having common laws and government and capable of conducting international affairs.
States Party(ies): Those countries that have Ratified a Covenant or a Convention and are thereby bound to conform to its provisions.
Treaty: Formal agreement between states that defines and modifies their mutual duties and obligations; used synonymously with Convention and Covenant. When conventions are adopted by the UN General Assembly, they create legally binding international obligations for the Member States who have signed the treaty. When a national government Ratifies a treaty, the articles of that treaty become part of its domestic legal obligations.
United Nations Charter: Initial document of the UN setting forth its goals, functions, and responsibilities; adopted in San Francisco in 1945.
United Nations General Assembly: One of the principal organs of the UN, consisting representatives of all member states. The General Assembly issues Declarations and adopts Conventions on human rights issues, debates relevant issues, and censures states that violate human rights. The actions of the General Assembly are governed by the United Nations Charter.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): Adopted by the general assembly on December 10, 1948. Primary UN document establishing human rights standards and norms. All member states have agreed to uphold the UDHR. Although the declaration was intended to be Nonbinding, through time its various provisions have become so respected by States that it can now be said to be Customary International Law.
Sources: Adapted from Julie Mertus et al., Local Action/Global Change, Ed O’Brien et al, HumanRights for All, and Frank Newman and David Weissbrodt, International Human Rights: Law, Policy, and Process
http://hrusa.org/hrh-and-n/Part-5/6_glossary.htm#Anchor-Declaration-43098 retrieved on December 19th, 2000.
Reardon’s Developmental Sequence for Core Concepts and Content
Developmental Core Concepts Human Rights Standards Issues and
Level and Values and Instruments Problems
Childhood Roles Classroom rules Inequality
Early Grades Order Declaration of the Unfairness
Age 5 – 8 Respect Rights of the Child Harm
K – grade 3 Fairness
Later childhood Law Community standards Prejudice
Middle grades Citizenship Declaration of Independence Discrimination
Age 9 – 11 Community rights African Freedom Charter Poverty
Grades 4 – 6 Charter U.S. Bill of Rights Injustice
Constitution Universal Declaration
Freedom of Human Rights
Declaration Convention on the
Social responsibility Rights of the Child
Adolescence Justice Regional human rights Ethnocentrism
Junior high Equality conventions Racism
school Equity UN covenants & conventions Sexism
Age 12 – 14 Conventions Elimination of Racism Authoritarianism
Grades 7 – 9 Covenants Discrimination Against Colonialism
Global responsibility Women Hunger
International law Civil & Political Rights
Economic, Social &
Youth Moral exclusion Nuremberg Principles Ethnocide
Senior High Moral responsibility UN conventions: Genocide
school Moral inclusion Prevention & Punishment Torture
Age 15 – 17 Global citizenship of Genocide; Political
Grades 10 – 12 Ecological Prevention and Elimination repression
responsibility of Torture Environmental
Defining and developing abuse
Education for Human Dignity: Learning about Rights and Responsibilities. Reardon. B. (1995)
The Partners’ Human Rights Education Resources
I. Background Resources and Materials
Felice, William F. Taking Suffering Seriously: The Importance of Collective Human Rights, SUNY Series in Global Conflict and Peace Education. New York: State University of New York, 1996.
This is a serious and well-written examination of the evolution and development of human rights concepts in international relations. Felice discusses the tensions that exist between individual and collective human rights in regards to race, gender, sexuality, and self-determination. Felice argues for a method to ensure human rights in an international arena which relies on an agreement on particular international documents, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that exemplify international human rights.
Newman, Frank and David Weissbrodt. International Human Rights: Law, Policy, and Process, 2nd ed. Cincinnati: Anderson Publishing Co.,1996.
This book provides an in-depth introduction to the history of international human rights law, policy, and process. The book presents case studies for discussion and role play activities in the classroom.
Rethinking Schools. Rethinking our Classrooms: Teaching for Equity and Justice. Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools, Ltd., 1994.
A collection of articles describing examples of successful classroom practices in teaching social justice issues. It includes a collection of teaching ideas and thoughtful essays on "Rethinking our Assumptions" as well as a resource section of curricula, books, videos, and journals.
United Nations Association of the United States of America. Basic Facts About the United Nations. New York: United Nations Publications, 1992.
This book contains a general introduction to the role and function of the United Nations and related agencies, highlighting and outlining main objectives and achievements. The text includes the charter and statutes of the International Code of Justice.
Whalen, Lucille. Human Rights: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 1990.
The ideal resource for any course on human rights, this handbook offers a history of human rights in the twentieth century, biographical sketches of human rights heroes, and an annotated listing of human rights organizations, books, periodicals, and films, as well as electronic information sources such as computer networks and databases. The final section includes the most significant international human rights declarations and conventions (excluding the Conventions on the Rights of the Child and the Women’s Convention, which were ratified by the U.N. after the handbook’s publication date).
Brown, Margot. Our World, Our Rights: Teaching about Rights and Responsibilities in the Primary School. Amnesty International, UK 1996.
This curriculum offers innovative strategies and activities for teaching about the UDHR in upper elementary school. Although written for British schools, all of the activities are easily adapted to a US context. Activities address human rights in the family, the classroom, the school, and the wider community. Handsome illustrations and useful support information.
Elliot, RoAnne. WE: Lessons on Equal Worth and Dignity. Minneapolis, MN: The United Nations Association of Minnesota, 1992.
This middle school curriculum offers the United Nation’s work as a model for students to create a more tolerant world. The lessons contained in this curriculum provide opportunities for students to develop knowledge of international relations, highlight student awareness of intolerant behavior, and help students to develop tolerance skills.
Gonzalez, Susan. WE: Lessons on Equal Worth and Dignity. Minneapolis, MN: The United Nations Association of Minnesota, 1997.
This elementary school curriculum offers opportunity for students to discuss the issues related to race, ethnicity, and religion in a sensitive and caring manner. It features the United Nations work to create a more tolerant world.
Nuñez, Lucía. An Agenda for Peace: The Role of the United Nations. Stanford, CA: Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education, 1995. SPICE, Littlefield Center, Room 14C, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5013. Telephone 800-578-1114.
A curriculum guide for secondary to adult students. Includes several learner-centered activities to introduce students to the history, programs, and activities of the United Nations. Uses engaging primary resources. Students analyze the impact of UN peacemaking missions, hold a model earth summit, and re-enact the UN Charter Conference in San Francisco. Also includes audio tape.
Simon, Ken. WE: Lessons on Equal Worth and Dignity, The United Nations and Human Rights. Minneapolis, MN: The United Nations Association of Minnesota, 1992.
Special features of this high-school curriculum include activities on ethnocentric thought and behavior, racism and the First Amendment, the power of language, symbol and music, a study of the Peace School in the Middle East, and on ongoing diary assignment reflecting one’s own development of "tolerance".
United Nations. ABC, Teaching Human Rights: Practical Activities for Primary and Secondary Schools. New York: United Nations, 1989.
For the teacher just beginning to teach human rights, this booklet provides the ideal starting point. Available in English, French, and Spanish, its activities and teaching strategies are intended to be effective in any cultural setting and to cover the spectrum of rights included in the International Bill of Rights. It offers a rationale for teaching human rights and recommends methodologies that model fundamental concepts such as inclusiveness, equality, and tolerance of differences.
Human Rights Here and Now: Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Human Rights Educators’ Network of Amnesty International USA. (1998)
Human Rights Education Consent From
We are inviting your child to an interview. We are trying to learn more about what fifth and sixth graders have learned about human rights issues from their class last year. At [School X], fifth and sixth grade students are involved in a Human Rights Education Curriculum. It teaches concepts and skills, including problem solving, caring about others, empathy, and equality. We would like your permission to include your child in this evaluation. In April, the evaluation will include one to one interviews about human rights.
If your child agrees to be interviewed, Megumi will ask your child about ten questions. The interview will take about 15 to 20 minutes. The questions have no right or wrong answers. We just want to know what the student thinks. The examples of questions are: 1. What was your Human Rights Education experience like? (describe); 2. How do you define human rights?; 3. What activities did you do in your Human Rights classes?
Your child may skip any questions that your child does not want to answer. Please remember your child is a volunteer in this study. This interview is totally up to your child, and no one at school will be mad at your child if the student does not want to do it. All of students’ answers to the questions will be kept secret. Your child’s name or school name will not be used in any written report at this study.
The student can ask any questions that the student has about this interview. If your child has a question later that your child did not think of now, your child can ask Megumi then. If you or your child wants to call Megumi, her telephone number is 612-625-7526, and her address is 110 Wulling Hall, University of MN, 86 Pleasant St. SE Minneapolis, MN 55455.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the study and would like to talk to someone other than the researcher(s), contact Research Subjects’ Advocate line, D528 Mayo, 420 Delaware Street Southeast, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455; telephone (612) 626-1650.
Statement of Consent
Signing here means that your child have read this paper or had it read to your child and that your child is willing to be in this study. If your child does not want to be in this study, do not sign. Remember, being in this study is up to the student, and no one will be mad at your child if your child does not sign this or even if your child changes a mind later.
Signature of students ______________________________ Date ________
Signature of Parent or Gardian ______________________________ Date ________
Signature of Investigator ______________________________ Date _________
1. What was your Human Rights Education experience like? (describe)
2. How do you define human rights?
3. What activities did you do in your Human Rights classes?
(List yes yes, prompted no, prompted)
4. What kind of topics did you talk about in you Human Rights classes?
(List yes yes, prompted no, prompted)
5. What specific things (concepts) did you learn in your Human Rights classes?
6. Has Human Rights Education changed your ideas about how others should be
(Yes -> how so. give examples No -> leave as it is)
7. What makes Human Rights Education important?
Why? Why not?
8. What are you going to remember most about your Human Rights classes? (ask for
9. Have you talked to anyone else about the class or about Human Rights?
Who? About what?
If parent(s) is(are) not mentioned, ask. If no, ask why not.
10. Can you give me some examples of ways you have tried to use your human
rights learning in your everyday life, i.e., in playing with friends and others,
in working with others at school, etc.
Questionnaire by HRE Instructor
After having received an education in Human Rights, do you think you treat people differently? _______ If yes, describe ways in which you are treating people differently than before you received an education in Human rights
Please describe ways your “Veil of Ignorance” has been lifted in regard to human rights and responsibilities toward yourself and others?
When you think of someone who is elderly, what perceptions do you have of that person based on their age?
Please list some stereotypes you had of people prior to human rights education.
Why would someone discriminate against another person or groups of people? If you find yourself acting discriminatory towards another person, what could you do to eradicate those discriminatory feelings?
Describe in detail what you have learned about the living conditions of children residing in other areas of the world.
Do you have a different perception of immigrants and refugees after having completed a course in Human Rights? ______ If yes, describe your thoughts and opinions regarding refugees and immigrants.
Since your involvement in Human Rights, are you looking differently at the music you are listening to and the television shows you are choosing to watch? _____ If yes, please describe.
Have your attitudes changed regarding dating and violence since Human Rights Education? ______ If so, please describe these changes.
Since learning about child labor, have your attitudes and behaviors as a consumer change? ______ If so, please describe these changes.
Since participating in Human Rights, please describe changes in your attitude towards your education and the education of other children.
Describe how your attitudes have changed in regards to the differences and similarities between men and women.
Do you think the learning of Human Rights has been beneficial to you? _____ If yes, please describe.
Please note the topics you most enjoyed learning about Human Rights.
Survey by the Search Institute
Example of Categorical Aggregation
Try to get to know people
Find people who want to help
Listen to people
Talk about issues, in stead of fight
Try not to put people down
Nice to everybody
Treat people in respectful way
Don’t say something which get me in trouble
Call for help
Play with everybody
Talk people who are at the corner
Treat everybody equal
Get out of trouble
Help other people
Give people food
Did food drive
Collect clothes for shelter
Try to give money to homeless
Give food to people on a street
Gave (a person) couple dollars
Share something with people who are on a street
Donate new clothes to Salvation Army
Working in specific hr area
Work at hr recourse center
Help people who go to college
Break people up if fighting
Child labor related
Not buying child labor product
Not buying Nike
Not buying Pepsi product
Don’t say N word any more
Freedom of Speech
Use freedom of speech
Writing e-mail to stop child labor
Make an article to reach people
Want to give class on hr
Help kids know their rights
Want to teach everybody
Wish to tell people how to treat kids
Will try to teach other students
Can teach young students about hr
Tell someone who don’t know hr
Teach people who don’t know hr
Tell people their rights
Talk to people
Teach people why they shouldn’t fight
Talk to people
Confront people when they mistreat me
Confront people when they mistreat me
Tell people about stereotype
Teach people name calling is bad
Tell my little brother
Talk to students from other school
Speaking to big group of people
Tell people that they need help
Teaching 5th graders
Tell people what’s right
Talk to college people
Tell [a person] to get something to eat, in stead of something to drink
Tell others I am not a bad person
Recognize what I did wrong
Not worried about getting shop
Don’t know how to stop violence
Cannot do anything
Talking about others
Helps people to use hr in life
Helpful for them to know
Kids cannot understand hr and keep it
[people] may not know stereotype mean
Don’t have to go hungry
They have right not to be in the factory
Opinions based on hr toward others
Family need to feed [kids]
[parents] shouldn’t send kids anywhere
Not ok to call somebody names
[People who own the factory] don’t pay enough money
You treat people how you want to be treated
Wants to teach at school
Will not make my children go to factory
My children need education
[my children] need to see doctor when they are sick
It really helps
They don’t listen [5th graders]
They are too young [5th graders]
Wish for human rights TV channel
When [people] read the newspaper, people understand we care
Do something to make difference
Wishing to teach later in my life (20 ys)
Talking about self
It is a big change for me
I used to get suspended a lot
I used to say [N word] a lot
I used to a mean person
Don’t join the gang
The Convention on the Rights of the Child
The Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989. It entered into force 2 September 1990, in accordance with article 49.