Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (also UDHR) is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/217, December 10 1948), outlining a view on basic human rights. John Peters Humphrey of Canada was its principal drafter, aided by Eleanor Roosevelt of the United States, René Cassin of France, and P. C. Chang of China, among others.
While it is not a legally binding document, it served as the foundation for the original two legally-binding UN human rights Covenants, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. It continues to be widely cited by academics, advocates, and constitutional courts. International lawyers often debate which of its provisions can be said to represent customary international law. Opinions vary widely on this question, from very few provisions to the entire declaration.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the UDHR is the document translated into the most languages on Earth (as of 2004 about 330 of them).
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