Preamble section 8:
NOW, THEREFORE, 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.


  1. Human Rights Education
  2. Universities and Human Rights
  3. Non-Governmental Organizations
  4. Human Rights Education and the Internet

Human Rights Education

Mary Robinson, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has recently stated that:

It is thanks to the Universal Declaration that human rights have established themselves everywhere as a legitimate political and moral concern, that the world community has pledged itself to promote and protect human rights, that the ordinary citizen has been given vocabulary of complaint and inspiration, and that a corpus of enforceable human rights law is developing in different regions of the world through effective regional mechanisms.1

At the World Conference on Human Rights in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (in particular at para. 33 of section I ) it was stated that human rights education, training and public information were essential for the promotion and achievement of stable and harmonious relations among communities and for fostering mutual understanding, tolerance and peace. The Conference recommended that States should strive to eradicate illiteracy and should direct education towards the full development of the human personality and the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It called on all States and institutions to include human rights, humanitarian law, democracy and rule of law as subjects in the curricula of all learning institutions in formal and non-formal settings.

Pursuant to a suggestion of the World Conference, the UN General Assembly, in its Resolution 49/184 of 23 December 1994, proclaimed the 10-year period beginning on 1 January 1995 as the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education, and welcomed the Plan of Action for the Decade contained in the report of the Secretary-General. Subsequently, the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has developed a specific project funded by the Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights to implement some of the components of the Programme of Action.


See further


1. Mary Robinson quoted in Reflections on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A Fiftieth Anniversary Anthology at 257.

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Peter Danchin, Columbia University