Primary Source Documents

Looking to include primary sources and discussions about human rights in existing curriculum? Our staff has curated a collection of historical documents related to human rights that educators can add into existing lessons.

U.S. Declaration of independence (via  wikimedia commons )

U.S. Declaration of independence (via wikimedia commons)

Historical documents

The documents listed here were created prior to the 20th century.  They are both legal documents and literary or other cultural documents that influenced society’s perception of the value and domain of human rights.

Code of Hammurabi

Cyrus Cylinder

Constitution of Medina

Magna Carta

English Bill of Rights

Virginia Declaration of Rights

U.S. Declaration of Independence

Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen

Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the Female Citizen

 
Children reading the universal declaration of human rights (via  un photo )

Children reading the universal declaration of human rights (via un photo)

Modern Documents

The documents listed here are from the 20th and 21st centuries. Originating from around the world, these documents demonstrate the international community’s dedication to protecting and promoting human rights.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Convention on the Crime and Punishment of Genocide

European Social Charter

African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights

Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action

Declaration of Human Duties and Responsibilities

Arab Charter

ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

 
Children's Day in Bulgaria, 1928 (via  Wikimedia Commons )

Children's Day in Bulgaria, 1928 (via Wikimedia Commons)

Documents by Theme

The following pages include documents related to major topics in the field of human rights. These lists are not exhaustive, but do illustrate some of the international community’s work in these fields.

Children

Civil & Political Rights

Gender & Sexuality

Indigenous Peoples

International Bill of Human Rights

Migration & Refugees

Persons with Disabilities

Racial Discrimination

Slavery, Trafficking, and Enforced Disappearance

Torture