Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)


Early human rights law enacted by the United Nations did not specially mention violence against women, although they are still relevant. In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.[1] Although this document was not originally binding on member states, it has received such wide acceptance as an outline of foundational human rights principles that it has been recognized as a binding expression of customary law and an authoritative interpretation of the UN Charter itself.[2] The Human Rights Council, a body created to promote and protect the rights upheld in the UN Charter, conduct a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of human rights in countries around the world. The Human Rights Council monitors violence against women in many countries during the UPR.

[1] Universal Declaration of Human Rights, G.A. res. 217A (III), U.N. Doc A/810 at 71 (1948), available at http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml.

[2] See Antonio Augusto Cancado Trindade, “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Audiovisual Library of International Law,http://untreaty.un.org/cod/avl/ha/udhr/udhr.html (“The Universal Declaration, moreover, is today widely recognized as an authoritative interpretation of human rights provisions of the Charter of the United Nations itself, heralding the transformation of the social and international order to secure the enjoyment of the proclaimed rights.”).