Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Let’s have a closer look at some of most important articles in the UDHR:

Article 3: everyone has the right to life, liberty and security

Article 3 states that no one has the right to kill you. Consider what this might mean for issues such as abortion, euthanasia, and capital punishment.

Everyone has the right to freedom. No one can imprison you without a legal reason.

Everyone has the right to feel safe. You should expect not to be hurt, threatened, or tortured.

Article 12: everyone has the right to privacy

Article 12 protects your right to privacy. The government, corporations, and individuals cannot interfere with your family, mail, phone line, digital communication, or your business premises.

There can be no arbitrary interference in your private life.

‘Arbitrary’ means without a good reason.

An invasion of your privacy may be possible for legal reasons, for example, if you are a suspect in a crime. If someone invades your privacy for personal reasons, you can take them to court.

Article 21: everyone has the right to a say in government

Article 21 guarantees your right to democratic representation, which means electing people to represent you in local, national and European government.

In Northern Ireland, we vote for local councillors, Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), Members of Parliament (MPs), and Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).

Article 23: everyone has the right to a decent job

Article 23 guarantees your right to find work to support yourself and your family. It ensures that you are paid as much as anyone else doing the same work. This right is guaranteed in Northern Ireland by The Equal Pay Act 1970.

Article 25: everyone has the right to good health

Article 25 guarantees our right to health care. In Northern Ireland, this is provided for free by the NHS. Other countries have different systems, and most of them are not free.

If you are unemployed or seek benefits in these countries, Article 25 ensures that the government will pay for your health care.

Article 26: everyone has the right to education

Article 26 ensures that all children have the right to a free primary education. Education is compulsory until the age of 16 in Northern Ireland.

The article also provides for specialist training, such as apprenticeships. Universities and colleges should be available for citizens to take part in education.