The General Assembly proclaims this universal declaration of human rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty
"The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) represents the world's commitment to universal ideals of human dignity. We have a unique mandate from the international community to promote and protect all human rights.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights is the principal human rights official of the United Nations. The High Commissioner heads OHCHR and spearheads the United Nations human rights efforts. We offer leadership, work objectively, educate and take action to empower individuals, and assist States in upholding human rights. We are a part of the United Nations Secretariat with our headquarters in Geneva."
"The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) produces an extensive range of publications on a variety of topics related to human rights, which provides information of interest to Governments, national institutions, civil society, the general public and the media. The goal of OHCHR's publications program is to increase knowledge and raise awareness about human rights and fundamental freedoms, and to publicize ways of promoting and protecting them worldwide. OHCHR publications also aim to encourage debate on human rights issues under discussion at the United Nations."
The updated Universal Human Rights Index (UHRI) database is “one of the most important human rights research tools that has been created in the past twenty years,” according to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. This comprehensive database is the only online tool, which brings together human rights recommendations from all parts of the UN system.
War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity, Including Genocide
Some of the treaties are supplemented by optional protocols dealing with specific concerns.
|ICESCR - OP||Optional Protocol of the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights|
|ICCPR-OP1||Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights||
16 Dec 1966
|ICCPR-OP2||Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty||
15 Dec 1989
|OP-CEDAW||Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women||
10 Dec 1999
|OP-CRC-AC||Optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict||
25 May 2000
|OP-CRC-SC||Optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography||
25 May 2000
|OP-CAT||Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment||
18 Dec 2002
|OP-CRPD||Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities||
12 Dec 2006
In addition to the International Bill of Rights and the core human rights treaties, there are many other universal instruments relating to human rights. A non-exhaustive selection is listed below. The legal status of these instruments varies: declarations, principles, guidelines, standard rules, and recommendations have no binding legal effect. Covenants, statutes, protocols, and conventions are legally binding for those States that ratify or accede to them.
World Conference on Human Rights and Millennium Assembly
The Right of Self-Determination
Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Minorities
Prevention of Discrimination
Rights of Women
Rights of the Child
Rights of Older Persons
Rights of Persons with Disabilties
Human Rights in the Administration of Justice: Protection of Persons Subjected to Detention or Imprisonment
Social Welfare, Progress and Development
Promotion and Protection of Human Rights
Right to Health
Right to Work and to Fair Conditions of Employment
Freedom of Association
Slavery, Slavery-Like Practices and Forced Labour
Rights of Migrants
Nationality, Statelessness, Asylum and Refugees
There are nine core international human rights treaties. Each of these treaties has established a committee of experts to monitor the implementation of the treaty provisions by its States parties.
Adopted and opened for signature and ratification by General Assembly resolution 2106 (XX) of December 21, 1965 entry into force January 4, 1969, in accordance with Article 19. Monitored by Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
Adopted and opened for signature, ratification, and accession by General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI)
December 16, 1966 entry into force March 23, 1976, in accordance with Article 49. Monitored by The Human Rights Committee (OHCHR)
Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) December 16, 1966 entry into force January 3, 1976, in accordance with article 27.
On December 18, 1979, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. It entered into force as an international treaty on September 3, 1981, after the twentieth country had ratified it. By the tenth anniversary of the Convention in 1989, almost one hundred nations have agreed to be bound by its provisions.
Monitored by The Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 39/46 of December 10, 1984 entry into force June 26, 1987, in accordance with article 27 (1). Monitored by Committee against Torture
Adopted and opened for signature, ratification, and accession by General Assembly resolution 44/25 of November 20, 1989
Entry into force September 2, 1990, in accordance with article 49. Monitored by Committee on the Rights of the Child
Adopted by General Assembly resolution 45/158 of December 18, 1990. Monitored by Committee on Migrant Workers
Monitored by Committee on Enforced Disappearances
Monitored by Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The Social, Humanitarian Cultural Affairs Commitee (Third Committee) of the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly, is chaired by H.E. Mr. Hussein Haniff of Malaysia.
The General Assembly allocates to its Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee, commonly referred to as the "Third Committee", agenda items relating to a range of social, humanitarian affairs and human rights issues that affect people all over the world.
Official Document Search
The Official Document System of the UN is a massive database of UN documents. It includes:
1. Official UN Documents from 1993 onwards (with older documents being added gradually). The documents include:
A good introduction: Research Guide http://research.un.org/en/docs/symbols
2. UN Sales Publications, Treaties, and Press Releases are not included in the database. To find UN Sales Publications use UNBISNET. To find Treaties use the UN Treaties database
Human Rights - The system for Human Rights protection: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)