Bills of Rights

January 25, 1945

Report Outline
Human Rights and the Preservation of Peace
Evolution of Bills of Rights
Enforcement of Guarantees of Rights

Human Rights and the Preservation of Peace

Early proclamation by the United Nations of an international bill of rights, as part of the charter of a world organization, has been strongly urged by influential groups in both Great Britain and the United States. In support of this plan, it is asserted that a specific declaration of the rights of man throughout the world would clarify Allied peace aims, would provide needed assurance that the principles of the Atlantic Charter will be observed in postwar settlements, and would safeguard democratic institutions under the inevitable expansion of international controls after the war.

Germany and Japan deny the basic human rights of freedom of speech, press, and assembly; they assert the unlimited power of the state over the lives and property of their peoples. It is argued that firm establishment of civil liberties, under international control, would block the rise of new dictatorships in these and other countries after the war and would greatly lessen the danger of another world conflict.

Rights of Man in United Nations Declarations

An international bill of rights would give concrete expression to United Nations principles which so far have been set out only in general terms. The Atlantic Charter expressed the “hope” that the peace after World War II will assure that “all the men in all the lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want.” In subscribing to the Charter, the United Nations went further and declared complete victory of the Allies essential “to defend life, liberty, independence and religious freedom, and to preserve human rights and justice in their own lands as well as in other lands.” The Four Freedoms added freedom of worship and freedom of speech to the “freedom from fear and want” of the Atlantic Charter.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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May 17, 2013  Assisted Suicide
Oct. 16, 2012  Human Trafficking and Slavery
Sep. 20, 2011  Saving Indigenous Peoples
Oct. 30, 2009  Human Rights Issues
Jul. 25, 2008  Human Rights in China
Mar. 26, 2004  Human Trafficking and Slavery
Apr. 30, 1999  Women and Human Rights
Nov. 13, 1998  Human Rights
Jul. 19, 1985  Human Rights in the 1980s
May 18, 1979  Human Rights Policy
Apr. 03, 1968  Human Rights Protection
Mar. 21, 1956  Forced Labor and Slavery
Apr. 27, 1949  Forced Labor
Jan. 25, 1945  Bills of Rights
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