The International Bill of Human Rights is comprised of three documents:

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)

  • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966)

  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966)

While the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not legally-binding, the two covenants are. Accordingly, they serve as foundational documents in international human rights law.


Children examining the UDHR (via  UN Photo )

Children examining the UDHR (via UN Photo)


Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948

Following the atrocities of World War II, the international community vowed to prevent such grave human rights abuses from occurring in the future.  To do this it created the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which contains thirty articles related to important civil, economic, social, cultural, and political rights. Learn more >


Ratification of the Covenant (via  UN Photo )

Ratification of the Covenant (via UN Photo)


International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966

The UN General Assembly adopted the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 1966. The covenant recognizes equal rights between men and women, the right to work, and the right to health, among others. Learn more >


UN Ambassador from the Philippines signs the Covenant (via  UN PHoto )

UN Ambassador from the Philippines signs the Covenant (via UN PHoto)


International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966

The UN General Assembly adopted the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1966. The covenant protects many important rights which limit the encroachments of government, including the right to life, freedom of speech, and the right to due process. Learn more >