Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Themes: Labor, Laws & Citizen Rights, World History/Global Studies

Adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948. Following this historic act, the Assembly called upon all Member nations to publicize the Declaration and “to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions. . .”

Article 23 addresses labor and the right to organize, as follows:

(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.

(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Questions one might ask students:

  • Why would the United Nations think it important to issue a declaration of human rights?
  • Why would they include the rights of workers in such a Declaration?
  • Do you think it is a good idea to protect people’s rights?
  • How does the legislation proposed by Governor Walker in Wisconsin compare to the UN Declaration of Human Rights?