Article 22:
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

general introduction

This article introduces the economic, social, and cultural rights of the Declaration. This special attention could mean that these rights are not as important as the older civil and political rights, which is why their realization is said to depend on the resources of each state. Alternately, it could mean that they are just as important, but that the drafters wanted to call special attention to them because they were so newly recognized. A few delegations were initially inclined towards the first view, but the majority came to hold the second view. The call for "international cooperation" overlaps Article 28. This article has an impact on the discussion of rights across borders. All of these issues are pertinent to the theme of the organic unity of the document.1

The Commission's formulation of universal norms for minimum social and economic entitlements, represents important progress in modern human rights law. Some of the members of the Commission wanted to emphasize this "new" category of international human rights to including an introductory article to the section of the UDHR dealing with economic, social, and cultural rights, and in the last phase of the Commission's work an umbrella article was formulated for this purpose. Hence, Article 22 precedes the five subsequent article which declare the rights to work (Article 23), to rest and leisure (Article 24), to an adequate standard of living (Article 25), to education (Article 26), and the right to participate freely in the cultural life of the community (Article 27).

1. Johannes Morsink, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Origins, Drafting, and Intent (1999) 334.

Adapted from Bard-Anders Andreassen in Asbjorn Eide et al, Eds., The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A Commentary (1992) 320.