Considering Some Universally Recognized Principles
The member nations of the United Nations have walked this road before us. They have made the previous declarations.


Extracts and commentary from
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948

As compiled by Kevin Sargeant for use at the Sexual Integrity Forum, Parliament House, Canberra, August 2005.


Following the horrors of World War II, and the evidence displayed therein of human kind at (perhaps) its worst, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In the Preamble, and the thirty (30) articles proclaimed within it, the following may be of special interest to us.
    On this page we have paraphrased and summarized the rights contained within it. In the following pages exact Articles have been quoted in whole or part, and grouped according to principle or ideal. A copy of the complete declaration is available if you would like to view it.

It was agreed that:
1.We all have inherent dignity, and recognition of that dignity is a foundation premise for freedom, justice and peace.
2.All people, in every nation, are equally entitled to these rights.
3.Everyone should be able to live free from fear.
4.We are to operate at a higher standard than mere submission to urges or our perceived needs. Human beings are not merely creatures of instinct and drive, but of reason and decision, ethic and morality, aware of and responsible for both decision and consequence.
5.There is a right to a standard of living adequate for health and well-being.  This declaration restricts itself in application, however perhaps we should consider whether our standards of living, health and well-being are affected by a lack of sexual integrity.
6.The family unit (and its functions) must be protected.
7.Any form of slavery, torture, or degradation is wrong.
8.Women and children are rightly entitled to special care and assistance.
9.Education should strengthen human rights and fundamental freedoms. How far should our understanding of what constitutes "education" extend?
10.Human rights must be both promoted, as well as protected by the rule of law.  Good intentions and trust placed in "human nature" are not enough.
11.All people are entitled to a society that is ordered, not anarchic.
12.Any form of interference or law must give due consideration to a persons privacy, assets, communications and beliefs.
13.Any due consideration given to privacy, belief etc, must be balanced by a greater purpose. In case of a conflict of rights, a greater good must be recognised and protected.
14.All people have a right to participate in and influence government policy.
15.Where a right is indispensable for the preservation of dignity, and the free development of personality, a government should assist this right to be realized.



1.
We all have inherent dignity, and recognition of that dignity is a foundation premise for freedom, justice and peace.
From the Preamble.
"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."
"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"
Article 3.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.


2.
All people, in every nation, are equally entitled to these rights.
Article 2.

Everyone is entitled to all the(se) rights and freedoms 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.

3.
Everyone should be able to live free from fear.

From the Preamble.
"freedom of speech and belief, and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people"
Article 3.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

4.
We are to operate at a higher standard than mere submission to urges or our perceived needs. Human beings are not merely creatures of instinct and drive, but of reason and decision, ethic and morality, aware of and responsible for both decision and consequence.

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.

5.
There is a right to a standard of living adequate for health and well-being.
This declaration restricts itself in application, however perhaps we should consider whether                        our standards of living, health and well-being are affected by a lack of sexual integrity.
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.


6.
The family unit (and its functions) must be protected.
Article 16.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
Article 26.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.


7.
Any form of slavery, torture, or degradation is wrong.
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 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.

8.
Women and children are rightly entitled to special care and assistance.
Article 25.
(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.

9.
Education should strengthen human rights and fundamental freedoms.
How far should our understanding of what constitutes "education" extend? 
Article 26.
(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.

10.
Human rights must be both promoted, as well as protected by the rule of law.
Good intentions and trust placed in "human nature" are not enough.

From the Preamble.
"a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge".
"it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to ... rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law"
Article 6.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
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.


11.
All people are entitled to a society that is ordered, not anarchic.
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.

12.
Any form of interference or law must give due consideration
to a persons privacy, assets, communications and beliefs.
From the Preamble.
"freedom of speech and belief, and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people"
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 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.

13.
Consideration given to privacy, belief etc, must be balanced by a greater purpose. In case of a conflict of rights, a greater good must be recognised and protected.
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 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.

14.
All people have a right to participate in and influence government policy.
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.
15.
Where a right is indispensable for the preservation of dignity and the free development of personality, a government should assist this right to be realized.
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.