Encyclopedia of Global Justice

2011 Edition
| Editors: Deen K. Chatterjee

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

  • Matt Deaton
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_664

A response to the atrocities of the Second World War, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was an attempt by the United Nations to promote peace, stability, freedom, and aminimally decent life for all human beings. Adopted by the General Assembly in December of 1948, it makes explicit general minimum obligations of states to citizens and citizens to their communities. No nation voted against the UDHR, but six actively abstained – the USSR, the Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Byelorussia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, South Africa – and two were absent – El Salvador and Yemen. Though the declaration lacks the legal force of aratified treaty, it has effectively served as atouchstone for more specific and legally binding treaties and covenants, and has framed international politics since its inception. Thus, its impact on issues of global justice has been sweeping and undeniable.

Content

The preamble of the UDHR recognizes that “the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable...

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Notes

Acknowledgments

The author thanks David Reidy for many helpful suggestions on adraft of this entry, as well as RobertBlitt for avery informative conversation on the UDHR.

References

  1. Claude RP, Weston BH (eds) (2006)Human rights in the world community: issues and action. University of Pennsylvania Press, PennsylvaniaGoogle Scholar
  2. Johnson MG, Symonides J(1998) The universal declaration of human rights: ahistory of its creation and implementation. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, ParisGoogle Scholar
  3. Morsink J(2009) Inherent human rights: philosophical roots of the universal declaration. University of Pennsylvania Press, PennsylvaniaGoogle Scholar
  4. Nickel JW (2006) Human rights. Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rights-human/
  5. Nickel JW (2007)Making sense of human rights, 2ndedn. Blackwell Publishing, MassachusettsGoogle Scholar
  6. Robinson N(1958) The universal declaration of human rights: its origin, significance, application, and interpretation. Institute of Jewish Affairs, World Jewish Conference, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matt Deaton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA