Article 2:
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.


The principle of "equality" is implicit in the concept of human rights as belonging to all human beings, and therefore to all equally. Equality in the enjoyment of rights occupies a central place in modern international human rights law, as well as in the constitutional law of many states.

Article 2 deals with the principles of equality and non-discrimination and states in a negative way what Article 1 states in positive terms. Articles 2 and 7 (which concerns "equal protection before the law" and to which Article 2 was linked in earlier versions of the Universal Declaration) are thus the two textual anchors for the non-discrimination theme that runs throughout the document. The list of items in this article is crucial for the protection of members of groups whose minority status is defined by one of the terms on the list.


See Henkin, Human Rights, at 1026.

See also Morsink at 331.

Peter Danchin, Columbia University