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Vulnerable People

National, Ethic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities

The main point of reference for the international community regarding the rights of minorities is the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, adopted by the General Assembly in 1992. It includes a list of rights to which persons belonging to minorities are entitled, including the right to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion and to use their own language. It also contains measures which States could implement to create an environment conducive to the enjoyment of such rights, for example, through encouraging public knowledge of the history, traditions, language and culture of minorities existing within their territories and enabling persons belonging to minorities to participate fully in the economic progress and development of their country. States are also asked to implement national policies and programmes with due regard for minority interests. The cornerstones of the Declaration are the principles of non-discrimination, effective participation and protection and promotion of identity.

The Declaration was inspired by Article 271 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which is the most widely accepted legally binding provision on minorities. In terms of monitoring, human rights treaty bodies (in particular the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and Human Rights Committee) as well as special procedures have been paying increasing attention to situations and rights of persons belonging to minorities.

Since 2005, the focal point at the United Nations is the Independent Expert on minority issues whose mandate is to promote the implementation of the 1992 Declaration. In 2007, the Forum on Minority Issues was established to provide a platform for promoting dialogue and cooperation in that field as well as thematic contributions to the work of the Independent Expert.

Consistent with the provisions of the 1992 Minorities Declaration, the 2001 Durban Declaration and Programme of Action urged Governments to create favorable conditions and take measures that would enable persons belonging to minorities within their jurisdiction to express their characteristics freely and to participate on a non-discriminatory and equitable basis in the cultural, social, economic and political life of the country in which they live. The Durban Programme of Action specifically calls for the creation and implementation of policies that promote a high-quality and diverse police force free from racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. One of the Programme’s recommendations is that in recruiting for public employment, including the police force, States ensure the participation and representation of all groups including minorities. States are also urged
to design, implement and enforce effective measures to eliminate the phenomenon of “racial profiling”.

Although the rights of persons belonging to minorities are being increasingly recognized as an integral part of the anti-discrimination agenda of the international community, much remains to be done to achieve the true meaning of living in dignity and justice, free of racism – as inscribed in the motto for the 2009 Review Conference. The Durban Review Conference will offer an important platform to examine the implementation and impact of anti-discrimination policies and measures aimed at forging multiculturalism and bring expression to additional insights in tackling new forms of discrimination which are increasingly visible and affect minorities adversely.


National or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities within its borders. Persons belonging to minorities aspire to participate in the public, social, economic, cultural and religious life of the societies in which they live, on an equal footing with the rest of the population.

Twenty years ago, UN Member States adopted unanimously the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, an acknowledgment that a gap existed in minority rights protection. This gap persists today.

The Minority Rights Declaration established that States have an obligation to acknowledge and promote the rights of minorities to enjoy their own cultures and identities, to profess and practice their own religions and use their own languages.

The Declaration ushered in a new era for minority rights. It sets essential standards for protection and offers guidance to States as they seek to realize the human rights of minorities.

 

March 2008

Resolution adopted  by the General Assembly

[without reference to a Main Committee (A/61/L.67 and Add.1)]

 

61/295.   United Nations  Declaration  on the Rights  of Indigenous Peoples

The General Assembly,

Taking  note of the  recommendation of the  Human Rights  Coun- cil contained  in its resolution  1/2 of 29 June 2006,1  by which the Council adopted  the text of the United  Nations  Declaration  on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,

Recalling  its resolution  61/178 of 20  December  2006,  by which it decided  to defer consideration of and action  on the Declaration to allow time for further consultations thereon, and also decided to conclude its consideration before the end of the sixty-first session of the General Assembly,

Adopts the United  Nations Declaration  on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples as contained  in the annex to the present resolution.

107th plenary meeting
13 September 2007
Annex
United Nations  Declaration  on the
Rights  of Indigenous Peoples

The General Assembly,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter  of the United Nations, and good faith in the fulfilment of the obligations assumed by States in accordance with the Charter,

Affirming that  indigenous  peoples  are equal  to  all other  peoples, while recognizing  the right of all peoples to be different, to consider themselves different, and to be respected as such,
1.See Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-first Session, Supplement No. 53 (A/61/53), part one, chap. II, sect. A.

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Affirming also that  all peoples contribute to the diversity and rich- ness of civilizations and cultures, which constitute the common  heri- tage of humankind,

Affirming further that all doctrines,  policies and practices based on or advocating  superiority  of peoples  or individuals on  the  basis of national  origin or racial, religious, ethnic or cultural differences are racist, scientifically false, legally invalid, morally condemnable and socially unjust,

Reaffirming that indigenous  peoples, in the exercise of their rights, should be free from discrimination  of any kind,

Concerned that indigenous peoples have suffered from historic injus- tices as a result  of, inter  alia, their  colonization  and  dispossession of their lands, territories  and resources, thus preventing  them  from exercising, in particular,  their  right  to  development in accordance with their own needs and interests,

Recognizing  the urgent  need  to respect and promote the inherent rights of indigenous  peoples which derive from their political, eco- nomic and social structures  and from their cultures,  spiritual tradi- tions, histories and philosophies, especially their rights to their lands, territories and resources,

Recognizing also the urgent  need to respect and promote the rights of indigenous  peoples  affirmed  in treaties,  agreements  and  other constructive  arrangements  with States,

Welcoming the  fact that  indigenous  peoples  are organizing  them- selves for political, economic,  social and cultural enhancement and in order  to bring to an end all forms of discrimination  and oppres- sion wherever they occur,

Convinced  that  control  by indigenous  peoples  over developments affecting them  and their lands, territories  and resources will enable them to maintain and strengthen their institutions, cultures and tra- ditions, and to promote their development in accordance with their aspirations and needs,

Recognizing that respect for indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditional  practices contributes to sustainable and equitable  devel- opment  and proper management of the environment,

Emphasizing  the  contribution of the  demilitarization of the  lands and territories  of indigenous  peoples to peace, economic  and social
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progress  and  development, understanding  and  friendly  relations among nations and peoples of the world,

Recognizing in particular the right of indigenous  families and com- munities to retain shared responsibility for the upbringing, training, education and well-being of their children, consistent with the rights of the child,

Considering that the rights affirmed in treaties, agreements and other constructive  arrangements  between  States and  indigenous  peoples are, in some  situations,  matters  of international concern,  interest, responsibility and character,

Considering  also that  treaties,  agreements  and  other  constructive arrangements, and the relationship they represent, are the basis for a strengthened partnership  between indigenous  peoples and States,

Acknowledging that the Charter  of the United  Nations, the Interna- tional Covenant  on Economic,  Social and Cultural  Rights2  and the International Covenant  on Civil and Political Rights,2 as well as the Vienna Declaration  and  Programme of Action,3  affirm the  funda- mental importance  of the right to self-determination of all peoples, by virtue  of which  they freely determine  their  political status  and freely pursue their economic,  social and cultural development,

Bearing in mind  that  nothing in this Declaration  may be used to deny any peoples their right to self-determination, exercised in con- formity with international law,

Convinced that  the recognition of the rights of indigenous  peoples in this Declaration  will enhance  harmonious and cooperative  rela- tions between the State and indigenous  peoples, based on principles of justice, democracy,  respect for human  rights, non-discrimination and good faith,

Encouraging  States  to  comply  with  and  effectively implement  all their  obligations  as they apply to  indigenous  peoples  under  inter- national instruments, in particular those related to human  rights, in consultation and cooperation with the peoples concerned,

Emphasizing that the United  Nations has an important and continu- ing role to  play in promoting and  protecting the  rights  of indig- enous peoples, 

2.See resolution  2200  A (XXI), annex.
3.A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.

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Believing that  this Declaration  is a further  important step forward for  the  recognition, promotion and  protection of the  rights  and freedoms of indigenous  peoples and in the development of relevant activities of the United  Nations system in this field,

Recognizing  and  reaffirming  that  indigenous  individuals  are enti- tled without  discrimination  to all human  rights recognized  in inter- national  law, and  that  indigenous  peoples  possess collective rights which are indispensable  for their existence, well-being and integral development as peoples,

Recognizing  that  the  situation  of indigenous  peoples  varies from region  to region  and from country  to country  and that  the signifi- cance of national  and regional  particularities  and various historical and cultural backgrounds  should be taken into consideration,

Solemnly proclaims the following United  Nations Declaration  on the Rights  of Indigenous Peoples  as a standard  of achievement  to  be pursued  in a spirit of partnership  and mutual  respect:

Article 1
Indigenous peoples have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collec- tive or as individuals, of all human rights and fundamental  freedoms as recognized  in the Charter  of the United  Nations,  the Universal Declaration  of Human Rights4 and international human rights law.

Article 2
Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the  exercise of their  rights,  in particular  that based on their indigenous  origin or identity.

Article 3
Indigenous peoples have the right  to self-determination. By virtue of that  right  they freely determine  their  political status  and  freely pursue their economic,  social and cultural development.

Article 4
Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right  to self-determination, have the right to autonomy or self-government  in matters relating to

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Resolution 217 A (III).
their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for financ- ing their autonomous functions.

Article 5
Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct  political,  legal, economic,  social and  cultural  institutions, while retaining  their  right  to participate  fully, if they so choose,  in the political, economic,  social and cultural life of the State.

Article 6
Every indigenous  individual has the right to a nationality.

Article 7
1.    Indigenous individuals have the rights to life, physical and men- tal integrity, liberty and security of person.

2.    Indigenous peoples have the collective right to live in freedom, peace and security as distinct  peoples and shall not  be subjected  to any act of genocide  or any other  act of violence, including  forcibly removing children of the group to another  group.

Article 8
1.    Indigenous peoples  and  individuals  have the  right  not  to  be subjected  to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture.

2.    States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention  of, and redress for:

(a)    Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity  as distinct  peoples, or of their cultural  values or ethnic identities;

(b)    Any action  which  has the  aim or  effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources;

(c)    Any form of forced population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights;

(d)    Any form of forced assimilation or integration;

(e)    Any form  of propaganda  designed  to  promote or  incite racial or ethnic discrimination  directed against them.

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Article 9
Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right  to belong  to an indigenous  community  or nation,  in accordance with the traditions and customs of the community  or nation concerned.  No discrimina- tion of any kind may arise from the exercise of such a right.

Article 10
Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories.  No relocation  shall take place without  the free, prior and informed  consent  of the  indigenous  peoples  concerned  and  after agreement  on just and fair compensation and, where possible, with the option  of return.

Article 11
1.    Indigenous peoples have the right to practise and revitalize their cultural traditions  and customs. This includes the right to maintain, protect  and develop the past, present  and future  manifestations  of their  cultures,  such as archaeological  and  historical sites, artefacts, designs,  ceremonies,  technologies and  visual and  performing  arts and literature.

2.    States shall provide redress through effective mechanisms, which may include restitution, developed  in conjunction with indigenous peoples, with respect to their cultural, intellectual, religious and spir- itual property  taken without  their free, prior and informed  consent or in violation of their laws, traditions  and customs.

Article 12
1.    Indigenous peoples have the right to manifest, practise, develop and teach  their  spiritual and religious  traditions,  customs  and cer- emonies; the right  to maintain,  protect,  and have access in privacy to their religious and cultural sites; the right to the use and control of their ceremonial objects; and the right to the repatriation  of their human remains.

2.    States shall seek to enable the access and/or repatriation  of cer- emonial objects and human remains in their possession through fair, transparent  and effective mechanisms developed in conjunction with indigenous  peoples concerned.
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Article 13
1.    Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit  to future  generations  their histories, languages, oral tradi- tions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and persons.

2.    States shall take effective measures to  ensure  that  this right  is protected and also to ensure that indigenous peoples can understand and be understood in political, legal and administrative proceedings, where necessary through the provision of interpretation or by other appropriate  means.

Article 14
1.    Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control  their educational  systems and  institutions providing  education  in their own languages, in a manner appropriate  to their cultural methods  of teaching and learning.

2.    Indigenous individuals, particularly children,  have the right  to all levels and  forms of education  of the  State  without  discrimina- tion.

3.    States shall, in conjunction with indigenous  peoples, take effec- tive measures, in order  for indigenous  individuals, particularly chil- dren,  including  those  living  outside  their  communities, to  have access, when possible, to an education  in their own culture and pro- vided in their own language.

Article 15
1.    Indigenous peoples have the right  to the dignity and diversity of their cultures,  traditions,  histories and aspirations which shall be appropriately reflected in education  and public information.

2.    States shall take effective measures, in consultation and coopera- tion  with the  indigenous  peoples  concerned,  to  combat  prejudice and eliminate discrimination  and to promote tolerance, understand- ing and good relations among indigenous  peoples and all other seg- ments of society.

Article 16
Indigenous peoples have the right to establish their own media in their own languages and to have access to all forms of non-indigenous media without  discrimination.

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2.    States shall take effective measures to ensure that  State-owned media duly reflect indigenous cultural diversity. States, without prejudice  to  ensuring  full freedom  of expression,  should  encour- age privately owned media to adequately reflect indigenous  cultural diversity.

Article 17
1.    Indigenous individuals and peoples have the right to enjoy fully all rights  established  under  applicable  international and  domestic labour law.

2.    States  shall in  consultation and  cooperation with  indigenous peoples take specific measures to protect  indigenous  children  from economic  exploitation  and from performing  any work that  is likely to be hazardous  or to interfere with the child’s education,  or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental,  spiritual, moral or social development, taking  into  account  their  special vulnerability and the importance  of education  for their empowerment.

3.    Indigenous individuals have the right not to be subjected to any discriminatory  conditions  of labour  and, inter alia, employment  or salary.

Article 18
Indigenous peoples have the right to participate in decision-making in matters  which would affect their rights,  through representatives chosen  by  themselves  in  accordance  with  their  own  procedures, as well as to maintain  and develop their  own indigenous  decision- making institutions.

Article 19
States shall consult and cooperate  in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned  through their own representative  institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopt- ing  and  implementing legislative or  administrative  measures  that may affect them.

Article 20
1.    Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and develop their political, economic  and social systems or institutions, to be secure in the  enjoyment  of their  own means of subsistence  and  develop- ment,  and  to  engage  freely in all their  traditional  and  other  eco- nomic activities.

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2.    Indigenous peoples deprived of their means of subsistence and development are entitled  to just and fair redress.

Article 21
1.    Indigenous peoples  have the  right,  without  discrimination, to the improvement of their economic and social conditions, including, inter alia, in the areas of education,  employment, vocational training and retraining,  housing,  sanitation,  health and social security.

2.    States shall take effective measures and, where appropriate,  spe- cial measures to ensure continuing improvement of their economic and social conditions. Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs of indigenous  elders, women, youth,  children and persons with disabilities.

Article 22
1.    Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs of indigenous  elders, women,  youth,  children and persons with dis- abilities in the implementation of this Declaration.

2.    States shall take measures, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, to ensure that indigenous women and children enjoy the full protection and guarantees against all forms of violence and discrimination.

Article 23
Indigenous peoples  have the  right  to  determine  and  develop  pri- orities and  strategies  for exercising their  right  to  development. In particular, indigenous  peoples have the right to be actively involved in developing and determining health, housing and other  economic and  social programmes  affecting  them  and,  as far as possible,  to administer such programmes  through their own institutions.

Article 24

1.    Indigenous peoples have the right to their traditional  medicines and to maintain their health practices, including the conservation of their vital medicinal plants, animals and minerals. Indigenous indi- viduals also have the right to access, without  any discrimination, to all social and health services.

2.    Indigenous individuals have an equal right to the enjoyment  of the highest attainable standard  of physical and mental health. States shall take the necessary steps with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of this right.

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Article 25
Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise  occupied  and  used  lands,  territories,  waters and  coastal seas and  other  resources  and  to  uphold   their  responsibilities  to future generations  in this regard.

Article 26
1.    Indigenous peoples have the right  to the lands, territories  and resources which they have traditionally  owned,  occupied  or other- wise used or acquired.

2.    Indigenous peoples  have the  right  to  own,  use,  develop  and control  the lands, territories  and resources that they possess by rea- son of traditional  ownership  or other  traditional  occupation or use, as well as those which they have otherwise acquired.

3.    States shall give legal recognition and protection to these lands, territories  and resources. Such recognition shall be conducted with due respect to the customs, traditions and land tenure systems of the indigenous  peoples concerned.

Article 27
States  shall establish  and  implement, in conjunction with  indige- nous  peoples  concerned,  a fair, independent, impartial,  open  and transparent  process, giving due recognition to indigenous  peoples’ laws, traditions,  customs and land tenure  systems, to recognize  and adjudicate the rights of indigenous  peoples pertaining to their lands, territories  and  resources,  including  those  which  were traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used. Indigenous peoples shall have the right to participate in this process.

Article 28
1.    Indigenous peoples have the right to redress, by means that can include restitution or, when this is not possible, just, fair and equita- ble compensation, for the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used, and which have been  confiscated,  taken,  occupied,  used or damaged  without their free, prior and informed consent.

2.    Unless otherwise freely agreed upon  by the peoples concerned, compensation shall take the form of lands, territories  and resources

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Equal in quality, size and legal status or of monetary  compensation or other  appropriate  redress.

Article 29
1.    Indigenous peoples have the right to the conservation  and pro- tection of the environment and the productive capacity of their lands or  territories  and  resources.  States  shall establish  and  implement assistance programmes  for indigenous  peoples for such conservation and protection, without  discrimination.

2.    States shall take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous  materials shall take place in the lands or ter- ritories of indigenous  peoples without  their free, prior and informed consent.

3.    States shall also take effective measures  to  ensure,  as needed, that  programmes   for  monitoring, maintaining   and  restoring  the health of indigenous  peoples, as developed and implemented by the peoples affected by such materials, are duly implemented.

Article 30
1.    Military activities shall not take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples, unless justified by a relevant public interest or otherwise freely agreed with or requested  by the indigenous  peoples concerned.

2.    States  shall undertake   effective consultations with  the  indig- enous  peoples  concerned,  through appropriate  procedures  and  in particular  through their  representative  institutions, prior  to  using their lands or territories for military activities.

Article 31
1.    Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control,  protect and develop their  cultural  heritage,  traditional  knowledge  and tra- ditional  cultural  expressions,  as well as the  manifestations  of their sciences, technologies and  cultures,  including  human  and  genetic resources,  seeds, medicines,  knowledge  of the  properties  of fauna and flora, oral traditions,  literatures,  designs, sports and traditional games and visual and performing  arts. They also have the right  to maintain,  control,  protect  and  develop  their  intellectual  property over such cultural  heritage,  traditional  knowledge,  and  traditional cultural expressions.

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2.    In conjunction with indigenous  peoples, States shall take effec- tive measures to recognize and protect  the exercise of these rights.

Article 32
1.    Indigenous peoples  have the  right  to  determine  and  develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands or territories and other  resources.

2.    States shall consult and cooperate  in good  faith with the indig- enous  peoples concerned  through their own representative  institu- tions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories  and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utiliza- tion or exploitation  of mineral, water or other  resources.

3.    States shall provide effective mechanisms for just and fair redress for any such activities, and  appropriate  measures shall be taken  to mitigate  adverse environmental, economic,  social, cultural or spiri- tual impact.

Article 33
1.    Indigenous peoples have the right to determine  their own iden- tity or membership  in accordance with their customs and traditions. This does not  impair the right  of indigenous  individuals to obtain citizenship of the States in which they live.

2.    Indigenous peoples have the right  to determine  the structures and to select the membership  of their institutions in accordance with their own procedures.

Article 34
Indigenous peoples have the right  to promote, develop and main- tain their institutional  structures  and their distinctive customs, spiri- tuality, traditions,  procedures,  practices and, in the cases where they exist, juridical systems or customs,  in accordance with international human rights standards.

Article 35
Indigenous peoples have the right to determine  the responsibilities of individuals to their communities.
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Article 36
1.    Indigenous peoples, in particular those divided by international borders,  have the right  to maintain  and develop contacts,  relations and cooperation, including activities for spiritual, cultural,  political, economic  and social purposes,  with their  own members  as well as other  peoples across borders.

2.    States, in consultation and  cooperation with  indigenous  peo- ples, shall take effective measures to facilitate the exercise and ensure the implementation of this right.

Article 37
1.    Indigenous peoples have the right  to the recognition, observ- ance and enforcement of treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements  concluded  with States or their successors and to have States honour and respect such treaties, agreements  and other  con- structive arrangements.

2.    Nothing in this Declaration  may be interpreted as diminishing or eliminating the rights of indigenous  peoples contained  in treaties, agreements  and other  constructive  arrangements.

Article 38
States,  in  consultation and  cooperation with  indigenous  peoples, shall take the appropriate  measures, including  legislative measures, to achieve the ends of this Declaration.

Article 39
Indigenous peoples  have the  right  to  have access to  FINANCIAL and technical assistance from States and through international coopera- tion, for the enjoyment  of the rights contained  in this Declaration.

Article 40
Indigenous peoples have the right to access to and prompt  decision through just and fair procedures  for the resolution  of conflicts and disputes with States or other  parties, as well as to effective remedies for all infringements  of their  individual and collective rights.  Such a decision shall give due  consideration to  the  customs,  traditions, rules and  legal systems of the  indigenous  peoples  concerned  and international human rights

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Article 41
The  organs  and  specialized agencies of the  United  Nations  system and other intergovernmental organizations shall contribute to the full realization of the provisions of this Declaration  through the mobiliza- tion, inter alia, of FINANCIAL cooperation and technical assistance. Ways and means of ensuring  participation  of indigenous  peoples on issues affecting them shall be established.

Article 42
The United  Nations, its bodies, including the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and specialized agencies, including  at the coun- try level, and States shall promote respect for and full application of the provisions of this Declaration  and follow up the effectiveness of this Declaration.

Article 43
The rights recognized  herein constitute the minimum  standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous  peoples of the world.

Article 44
All the  rights  and freedoms  recognized  herein  are equally guaran- teed to male and female indigenous  individuals.

Article 45
Nothing  in  this  Declaration   may  be  construed  as  diminishing or  extinguishing  the  rights  indigenous  peoples  have now  or  may acquire in the future.

Article 46
1.    Nothing in this Declaration  may be interpreted as implying for any State, people, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act contrary to the Charter  of the United  Nations or construed as authorizing or encouraging  any action which would dismember  or impair, totally or in part,  the  territorial  integrity  or political unity of sovereign and independent States.

2.    In  the  exercise of the  rights  enunciated in the  present  Dec- laration,  human  rights  and  fundamental   freedoms  of  all shall be respected.  The  exercise of the  rights  set forth  in this Declaration shall be subject  only to  such limitations  as are determined by law and in accordance with international human rights obligations.  Any such limitations  shall be non-discriminatory and  strictly necessary solely for the  purpose  of securing  due  recognition and respect  for the rights and freedoms of others and for meeting the just and most compelling  requirements of a democratic  society.

3.    The provisions set forth in this Declaration  shall be interpreted in accordance  with the principles of justice, democracy,  respect for human  rights,  equality,  non-discrimination, good  governance  and good faith.

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

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.

 Article 1.

  • All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

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.

Article 3.

  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.

  • No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave  TRADE  shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.

  • No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.

  • Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
  • Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7.

  • All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8.

  • Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.

  • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10.

  • Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11.

  • (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
  • (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12.

  • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
  • (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
  • (2) 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 15.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
  • (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16.

  • (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
  • (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
  • (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
  • (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18.

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
  • (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
  • (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
  • (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

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

Article 23.

  • (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.

Article 24.

  • Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
  • (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
  • (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
  • (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.

  • (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
  • (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28.

  • Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

     

Article 29.

  • (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
  • (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
  • (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30.

  • Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

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