The United Nations

It was only in 1948 that the official letter containing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was published, which would guarantee, for everyone, their basic rights. The history of this document follows the history of the beginning of the United Nations (UN), which started its activities in February 1945.

What was wanted that year was to avoid further tragedies, such as those that occurred during World War II - for example, the Nazi government's so-called “final solution” against the Jewish people or acts prior to the official beginning of the war, such as arbitrary arrests and the exile of Jews, as well as the enslavement of peoples, other genocides, etc. With the end of World War II, the resulting scenario contained millions of deaths, millions in situations of misery and hunger, and thousands of civilians who had their rights violated by attacks, actions or war crimes.

To develop strategies to avoid new tragedies, representatives from 50 countries met to develop a global body that aimed to guarantee peace and respect between peoples. The first action taken was the formation of a UN Human Rights Commission, which would be responsible for writing a prescriptive document to list all the fundamental rights of human beings. The declaration was completed on June 18, 1948, and approved by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948.

The Declaration consists of 30 articles affirming an individual's rights which, although not legally binding in themselves, have been elaborated in subsequent international treaties, economic transfers, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions, and other laws. The The declaration was the first step in the process of formulating the International Bill of Human Rights, which was completed in 1966, and came into force in 1976, after a sufficient number of countries had ratified them.

In addition to recommendations, strategic actions involving signatory countries to pressure governments to respect human rights within their territories are common, such as economic embargoes, cuts in trade relations, restrictions in free trade zones and restrictions or cuts in foreign relations.


Today, 193 countries are signatories to the UN. This means that, among other things, they must guarantee respect for the basic rights of citizens in their territories. There is no express and objective way for the organization to monitor and regulate compliance with Human Rights, but the laws of most Western democratic countries, as well as their judicial systems, use the articles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to formulate their legal texts and implement legal decisions and measures. In addition to writing the central document dealing with human rights in the world, the UN has the task of ensuring the application of such rights. However, the organization cannot act as a fiscal or regulatory central ordering actions within countries and governments. What the UN can do is, at most, recommendations for signatory countries to follow the precepts set out in the document.


Last modified: Monday, 27 Apr 2020, 02:07