Article 14:
Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.


Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights marks the end of the first phase and the beginning of the second phase in the refugee policy of the 20th century. In 1948, profoundly influenced by the atrocities of World War II, a number of states agreed to formulate a series of declarations on how people should behave towards each other, how power should be administered, and on what the relationship should be between the values of right and wrong. These declarations were collected in the UDHR. It followed logically from having condemned the exercise of certain kinds of power by formulating the UDHR that the international community should also request countries to afford protection to the individuals who are subject to human rights violations. Therefore "the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution" became the 14th human right.

Adapted from Morten Kjaerum in Asbjorn Eide et al, Eds., The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A Commentary (1992) 218.