The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Turns 60

On Wednesday, December 10, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, considered the foundation of international human rights law and the first universal statement on the basic principles of inalienable human rights, turned 60.  The declaration was passed in 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.” 

Article 25(1) of the Declaration states:

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.

In honor of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Physicians for Human Rights have written a letter to President-Elect Obama asking him to fulfill the promise of Universal Human Rights.

Among other requests, the Physicians for Human Rights ask Obama to:

  1. Ensure that the prohibition against torture will be unambiguously enforced and that health professionals are no longer involved in interrogations.
  2. Invest in global health, specifically addressing women’s rights and health, and the health workforce needs of disease-burdened countries.
  3. Commit to realizing the right to the highest attainable standard of health in the United States.

Read more about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including its Guinness World Record for being the most translated work, here.

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