The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

“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.” (

Background InformationThe above statement was pulled directly from the declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948 in Paris, France. The declaration was created due to the disadvantages learned during World War II. It was the first deposition created concerning the rights of all human beings across the globe. The declaration is comprised of 30 articles which “elaborate in subsequent international treaties, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions and laws.”

( During World War II the Allies, which consisted of France, Poland, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and the United States, initiated the Four Freedoms. The Four Freedoms were composed of the Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Fear, and Freedom from Want. If you review the Declaration of Human Rights you will find these four freedoms referred to throughout.

December 10, 1948, the day the Declaration was adopted, is of significant international meaning. It has officially been entitled International Human Rights Day. This document and its significance is internationally recognized. It is officially recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Most Translated Document.” The Declaration stands firmly upon the significance of the described fundamental freedoms and was the foundation of the organization of the International Bill of Rights.

The University of St. Leo has established 6 Core Values including Excellence, Community, Respect, Personal Development, Responsible Stewardship, and Integrity. I would like to focus in on the core value of Community. “Saint Leo University develops hospitable Christian learning communities everywhere we serve. We foster a spirit of belonging, unity, and interdependence based on mutual trust and respect to create socially responsible environments that challenge all of us to listen, to learn, to change, and to serve. ( I have found that there are some concentrated similarities between the Declaration of Human Rights and St. Leo’s Value of Community.

SimilaritiesSt. Leo’s Value of Community is a statement not only made by the school but also by it’s students that they cherish the “belonging, unity and interdependence” of their society. This can be observed and regarded as something deeper than just a statement about the school community but also the global environment and community we are apart of. The Declaration of Human Rights states this in a fashion of greater perspective.

“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.” Another similar statement can be found in 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.” (

St. Leo supports it’s students in serving its community and in creating “socially responsible environments that challenge all of us to listen, to learn, to challenge, and to serve.” ( You can find correlation with the Declaration of Human Rights in Article’s 28 and 29. Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.” (

Last but not least, I have personally found with St. Leo’s value of Community the university wants their students to remember and provide their communities with the importance of love, compassion, acceptance, and unity. That directly correlates with what our nation and the Declaration of Human Rights affirms. I believe Article 18 clearly states this, “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 also gives a similar yet vibrant example of St. Leo’s value, “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.” ( /udhr/index.shtml)

ConclusionThe Declaration of Human Rights and St. Leo’s value of Community were formed as strict guidelines of what they expect of our society and of their students. The Declaration of Human Rights was molded to protect our communities across the globe and also to protect the individual’s rights such as freedom of speech and religion, freedom to own personal property and the right to a just trial. Particular examples of this can be found in Article’s 6, 7, 10 through 12, and 17 through 19. St. Leo’s values strongly align with the almost every article within the Declaration. It is firmly recognized by both the Declaration and by St. Leo that each individual has the right to dignity, peace, justice and most of all freedom.

Works Cited1. Copyright © United Nations 2012


3. Morsink, Johannes (1999). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: origins, drafting, and intent. University of Pennsylvania Press.