American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man (1948)

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Organization of American States

┌─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐
│                                                                                 │
│                      AMERICAN DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS                         │
│                               AND DUTIES OF MAN                                 │
│                                                                                 │
│      (Adopted by the Ninth International Conference of American States,         │
│                            Bogotá, Colombia, 1948)                              │
│                                                                                 │
│ WHEREAS:                                                                        │
│                                                                                 │
│            The American peoples have acknowledged the dignity of the            │
│individual, and their national constitutions recognize that juridical and        │
│political institutions, which regulate life in human society, have as their      │
│principal aim the protection of the essential rights of man and the creation of  │
│circumstances that will permit him to achieve spiritual and material progress    │
│and attain happiness;                                                            │
│                                                                                 │
│            The American States have on repeated occasions recognized that the   │
│essential rights of man are not derived from the fact that he is a national of   │
│a certain state, but are based upon attributes of his human personality;         │
│                                                                                 │
│            The international protection of the rights of man should be the      │
│principal guide of an evolving American law;                                     │
│                                                                                 │
│            The affirmation of essential human rights by the American States     │
│together with the guarantees given by the internal regimes of the states         │
│establish the initial system of protection considered by the American States as  │
│being suited to the present social and juridical conditions, not without a       │
│recognition on their part that they should increasingly strengthen that system   │
│in the international field as conditions become more favorable,                  │
│                                                                                 │
│            The Ninth International Conference of American States                │
│                                                                                 │
│AGREES:                                                                          │
│                                                                                 │
│            To adopt the following                                               │
│                                                                                 │
│                      AMERICAN DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS                         │
│                               AND DUTIES OF MAN                                 │
│                                                                                 │
│                                   Preamble                                      │
│                                                                                 │
│            All men are born free and equal, in dignity and in rights, and,      │
│being endowed by nature with reason and conscience, they should conduct          │
│themselves as brothers one to another.                                           │
│                                                                                 │
│            The fulfillment of duty by each individual is a prerequisite to the  │
│rights of all.  Rights and duties are interrelated in every social and           │
│political activity of man.  While rights exalt individual liberty, duties        │
│express the dignity of that liberty.                                             │
│                                                                                 │
│            Duties of a juridical nature presuppose others of a moral nature     │
│which support them in principle and constitute their basis.                      │
│                                                                                 │
│            Inasmuch as spiritual development is the supreme end of human        │
│existence and the highest expression thereof, it is the duty of man to serve     │
│that end with all his strength and resources.                                    │
│                                                                                 │
│            Since culture is the highest social and historical expression of     │
│that spiritual development, it is the duty of man to preserve, practice and      │
│foster culture by every means within his power.                                  │
│                                                                                 │
│            And, since moral conduct constitutes the noblest flowering of        │
│culture, it is the duty of every man always to hold it in high respect.          │
│                                                                                 │
│                                  CHAPTER ONE                                    │
│                                    Rights                                       │
│                                                                                 │
│┌───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┬───────────────────────┐│
││       Article I.  Every human being has the right to  │Right to life, liberty ││
││life, liberty and the security of his person.          │and personal security. ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article II.  All persons are equal before the   │Right to equality      ││
││law and have the rights and duties established in this │before law.            ││
││Declaration, without distinction as to race, sex,      │                       ││
││language, creed or any other factor.                   │                       ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article III.  Every person has the right freely │Right to religious     ││
││to profess a religious faith, and to manifest and      │freedom and worship.   ││
││practice it both in public and in private.             │                       ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article IV.  Every person has the right to      │Right to freedom of    ││
││freedom of investigation, of opinion, and of the       │investigation, opinion,││
││expression and dissemination of ideas, by any medium   │expression and         ││
││whatsoever.                                            │dissemination.         ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article V.  Every person has the right to the   │Right to protection of ││
││protection of the law against abusive attacks upon his │honor, personal        ││
││honor, his reputation, and his private and family life.│reputation, and private││
││                                                       │and family life.       ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article VI.  Every person has the right to      │Right to a family and  ││
││establish a family, the basic element of society, and  │to protection thereof. ││
││to receive protection therefore.                       │                       ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article VII.  All women, during pregnancy and   │Right to protection for││
││the nursing period, and all children have the right to │mothers and children.  ││
││special protection, care and aid.                      │                       ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article VIII.  Every person has the right to fix│Right to residence and ││
││his residence within the territory of the state of     │movement.              ││
││which he is a national, to move about freely within    │                       ││
││such territory, and not to leave it except by his own  │                       ││
││will.                                                  │                       ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article IX.  Every person has the right to the  │Right to inviolability ││
││inviolability of his home.                             │of the home.           ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article X.  Every person has the right to the   │Right to the           ││
││inviolability and transmission of his correspondence.  │inviolability and      ││
││                                                       │transmission of        ││
││                                                       │correspondence.        ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article XI.  Every person has the right to the  │Right to the           ││
││preservation of his health through sanitary and social │preservation of health ││
││measures relating to food, clothing, housing and       │and to well-being.     ││
││medical care, to the extent permitted by public and    │                       ││
││community resources.                                   │                       ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article XII.  Every person has the right to an  │Right to education.    ││
││education, which should be based on the principles of  │                       ││
││liberty, morality and human solidarity.                │                       ││
││                                                       │                       ││
││       Likewise every person has the right to an       │                       ││
││education that will prepare him to attain a decent     │                       ││
││life, to raise his standard of living, and to be a     │                       ││
││useful member of society.                              │                       ││
││                                                       │                       ││
││       The right to an education includes the right to │                       ││
││equality of opportunity in every case, in accordance   │                       ││
││with natural talents, merit and the desire to utilize  │                       ││
││the resources that the state or the community is in a  │                       ││
││position to provide.                                   │                       ││
││                                                       │                       ││
││       Every person has the right to receive, free, at │                       ││
││least a primary education.                             │                       ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article XIII.  Every person has the right to    │Right to the benefits  ││
││take part in the cultural life of the community, to    │of culture.            ││
││enjoy the arts, and to participate in the benefits that│                       ││
││result from intellectual progress, especially          │                       ││
││scientific discoveries.                                │                       ││
││                                                       │                       ││
││       He likewise has the right to the protection of  │                       ││
││his moral and material interests as regards his        │                       ││
││inventions or any literary, scientific or artistic     │                       ││
││works of which he is the author.                       │                       ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article XIV.  Every person has the right to     │Right to work and to   ││
││work, under proper conditions, and to follow his       │fair                   ││
││vocation freely, insofar as existing conditions of     │remuneration.          ││
││employment permit.                                     │                       ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Every person who works has the right to receive │                       ││
││such remuneration as will, in proportion to his        │                       ││
││capacity and skill, assure him a standard of living    │                       ││
││suitable for himself and for his family.               │                       ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article XV.  Every person has the right to      │Right to leisure time  ││
││leisure time, to wholesome recreation, and to the      │and to the use thereof.││
││opportunity for advantageous use of his free time to   │                       ││
││his spiritual, cultural and physical benefit.          │                       ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article XVI.  Every person has the right to     │Right to social        ││
││social security which will protect him from the        │security.              ││
││consequences of unemployment, old age, and any         │                       ││
││disabilities arising from causes beyond his control    │                       ││
││that make it physically or mentally impossible for him │                       ││
││to earn a living.                                      │                       ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article XVII.  Every person has the right to be │Right to recognition of││
││recognized everywhere as a person having rights and    │juridical personality  ││
││obligations, and to enjoy the basic civil rights.      │and civil rights.      ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article XVIII.  Every person may resort to the  │Right to a fair trial. ││
││courts to ensure respect for his legal rights.  There  │                       ││
││should likewise be available to him a simple, brief    │                       ││
││procedure whereby the courts will protect him from acts│                       ││
││of authority that, to his prejudice, violate any       │                       ││
││fundamental constitutional rights.                     │                       ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article XIX.  Every person has the right to the │Right to nationality.  ││
││nationality to which he is entitled by law and to      │                       ││
││change it, if he so wishes, for the nationality of any │                       ││
││other country that is willing to grant it to him.      │                       ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article XX.  Every person having legal capacity │Right to vote and to   ││
││is entitled to participate in the government of his    │participate in         ││
││country, directly or through his representatives, and  │government.            ││
││to take part in popular elections, which shall be by   │                       ││
││secret ballot, and shall be honest, periodic and free. │                       ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article XXI.  Every person has the right to     │Right of assembly.     ││
││assemble peaceably with others in a formal public      │                       ││
││meeting or an informal gathering, in connection with   │                       ││
││matters of common interest of any nature.              │                       ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article XXII.  Every person has the right to    │Right of association.  ││
││associate with others to promote, exercise and protect │                       ││
││his legitimate interests of a political, economic,     │                       ││
││religious, social, cultural, professional, labor union │                       ││
││or other nature.                                       │                       ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article XXIII.  Every person has a right to own │Right to property.     ││
││such private property as meets the essential needs of  │                       ││
││decent living and helps to maintain the dignity of the │                       ││
││individual and of the home.                            │                       ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article XXIV.  Every person has the right to    │Right of petition.     ││
││submit respectful petitions to any competent authority,│                       ││
││for reasons of either general or private interest, and │                       ││
││the right to obtain a prompt decision thereon.         │                       ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││       Article XXV.  No person may be deprived of his  │Right of protection    ││
││liberty except in the cases and according to the       │from arbitrary arrest. ││
││procedures established by pre-existing law.            │                       ││
││                                                       │                       ││
││       No person may be deprived of liberty for        │                       ││
││nonfulfillment of obligations of a purely civil        │                       ││
││character.                                             │                       ││
││                                                       │                       ││
││       Every individual who has been deprived of his   │                       ││
││liberty has the right to have the legality of his      │                       ││
││detention ascertained without delay by a court, and the│                       ││
││right to be tried without undue delay or, otherwise, to│                       ││
││be released.  He also has the right to humane treatment│                       ││
││during the time he is in custody.                      │                       ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││        Article XXVI.  Every accused person is presumed│ Right to due process  ││
││to be innocent until proved guilty.                    │of law.                ││
││                                                       │                       ││
││        Every person accused of an offense has the     │                       ││
││right to be given an impartial and public hearing, and │                       ││
││to be tried by courts previously established in        │                       ││
││accordance with pre-existing laws, and not to receive  │                       ││
││cruel, infamous or unusual punishment.                 │                       ││
│├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌────────────────────────│
││        Article XXVII.  Every person has the right, in │ Right of asylum.      ││
││case of pursuit not resulting from ordinary crimes, to │                       ││
││seek and receive asylum in foreign territory, in       │                       ││
││accordance with the laws of each country and with      │                       ││
││international agreements.                              │                       ││
│└───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┮───────────────────────┘│
│┌─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┬─────────────┐│
││        Article XXVIII.  The rights of man are limited by the    │ Scope of the││
││rights of others, by the security of all, and by the just demands│ rights of   ││
││of the general welfare and the advancement of democracy.         │ man.        ││
│└─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┮─────────────┘│
│                                                                                 │
│                                  CHAPTER TWO                                    │
│                                    Duties                                       │
│                                                                                 │
│┌────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┬──────────────────────┐│
││        Article XXIX.  It is the duty of the individual │ Duties to society.   ││
││so to conduct himself in relation to others that each   │                      ││
││and every one may fully form and develop his            │                      ││
││personality.                                            │                      ││
│├────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌───────────────────────│
││        Article XXX.  It is the duty of every person to │ Duties toward        ││
││aid, support, educate and protect his minor children,   │ children and parents.││
││and it is the duty of children to honor their parents   │                      ││
││always and to aid, support and protect them when they   │                      ││
││need it.                                                │                      ││
│├────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌───────────────────────│
││        Article XXXI.  It is the duty of every person to│ Duty to receive      ││
││acquire at least an elementary education.               │ instruction.         ││
│├────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌───────────────────────│
││        Article XXXII.  It is the duty of every person  │ Duty to vote.        ││
││to vote in the popular elections of the country of which│                      ││
││he is a national, when he is legally capable of doing   │                      ││
││so.                                                     │                      ││
│├────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌───────────────────────│
││         Article XXXIII.  It is the duty of every person│                      ││
││to obey the law and other legitimate commands of the    │                      ││
││authorities of his country and those of the country in  │ Duty to obey the law.││
││which he may be.                                        │                      ││
│├────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌───────────────────────│
││         Article XXXIV.  It is the duty of every        │ Duty to serve the    ││
││able-bodied person to render whatever civil and military│ community and the    ││
││service his country may require for its defense and     │ nation.              ││
││preservation, and, in case of public disaster, to render│                      ││
││such services as may be in his power.                   │                      ││
││                                                        │                      ││
││         It is likewise his duty to hold any public     │                      ││
││office to which he may be elected by popular vote in the│                      ││
││state of which he is a national.                        │                      ││
│├────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌───────────────────────│
││         Article XXXV.  It is the duty of every person  │ Duties with respect  ││
││to cooperate with the state and the community with      │ to social security   ││
││respect to social security and welfare, in accordance   │ and welfare.         ││
││with his ability and with existing circumstances.       │                      ││
│├────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌───────────────────────│
││         Article XXXVI.  It is the duty of every person │ Duty to pay taxes.   ││
││to pay the taxes established by law for the support of  │                      ││
││public services.                                        │                      ││
│├────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌───────────────────────│
││         Article XXXVII.  It is the duty of every person│ Duty to work.        ││
││to work, as far as his capacity and possibilities       │                      ││
││permit, in order to obtain the means of livelihood or to│                      ││
││benefit his community.                                  │                      ││
│├────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┌───────────────────────│
││         Article XXXVIII.  It is the duty of every      │ Duty to refrain from ││
││person to refrain from taking part in political         │ political activities ││
││activities that, according to law, are reserved         │ in a foreign country.││
││exclusively to the citizens of the state in which he is │                      ││
││an alien.                                               │                      ││
│└────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┮──────────────────────┘│
│                                                                                 │
│                  BASIC DOCUMENTS PERTAINING TO HUMAN RIGHTS                     │
│                         IN THE INTER-AMERICAN SYSTEM                            │
│                                                                                 │
└─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘
    
AMERICAN DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF MAN