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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Original post)

Tue Jun 11, 2013, 09:33 PM

11. On December 10, 1948, the United Nations proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights...

... as a resolution, with a count of 48 votes to none with only 8 abstentions.

My reply is not a direct answer to your question, but it is an interesting avenue to understand and consider.

Article 12.

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.

A good set of questions and answers is available on the United Nations Association in Canada website.

The Universal Declaration was conceived as a statement of objectives to be pursued by Governments, and therefore it is not part of binding international law.

For example:

Q: What are the main principles upheld by the Declaration?

A: The Declaration contains, in addition to its preamble, thirty articles that outline peopleís universal rights. Some of the rights championed by the Declaration are:

the right to life, liberty and security of person

the right to an education

right to participate fully in cultural life

freedom from torture or cruel, inhumane treatment or punishment

freedom of thought, conscience and religion


Q: What is the International Bill of Human Rights?

A: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, together with the Optional Protocol and the International Covenant on Human Rights collectively form the International Bill of Rights. It is important to note that the creation of the UDHR was only one piece of the UNCHRís three-tiered mandate. In addition to a declaration of principles, the commission was mandated with drafting two legally-binding covenants on human rights. The International Covenants on Human Rights are treaties whose parties (ie. States) undertake to respect, ensure and take steps for the full achievement of a wide range of rights. The two Covenants are the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Both were adopted by the General Assembly and were opened for signature in December 1966 and both came into effect in 1976. The Covenants recognize and define in more detail most of the rights set out in the Universal Declaration. The Optional Protocol is an adjunct instrument to the Covenant, and was adopted in 1966 and came into effect in 1976.

The full text of the UDHR is available on the U.N. website.

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