The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was drafted by the UN Commission on Human Rights in the aftermath of the World War II in an attempt to address the wrongs of the past and plan for a better future for all. 

With contributions from President Jimmy Carter, UNESCO Secretary General Audrey Azoulay and the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, this collection of essays, Contemporary Human Rights Challenges: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its Continuing Relevance, by leading international experts offers a timely contemporary view on the UDHR and its continuing relevance to today’s issues.

Reflecting the structure of the UDHR, the chapters, written by 28 academics, practitioners and activists, bring a contemporary perspective to the original principles proclaimed in the Declaration’s 30 Articles. It will be a stimulating accessible read, with real world examples, for anyone involved in thinking about, designing or applying public policy, particularly government officials, politicians, lawyers, journalists and academics and those engaged in promoting social justice.

Examined through these universal principles, which have enduring relevance, the authors grapple with some of today’s most pressing challenges, some of which, for example equality and gender related rights, would not have been foreseen by the original drafters of the Declaration, who included Eleanor Roosevelt, René Cassin and John Humphrey.

The essays cover a wide range of topics such as an individual’s right to privacy in a digital age, freedom to practise one’s religion and the right to redress, and make a compelling and detailed argument for the on-going importance and significance of the Declaration and human rights in our rapidly changing world.

chapter |6 pages

Introduction by the editors

ByCarla Ferstman, Alexander Goldberg, Tony Gray, Liz Ison, Richard Nathan, Michael Newman

part I|32 pages

Reflections on the Declaration’s foundation articles and some cross-cutting themes

chapter 1|10 pages

The foundations

Articles 1 and 2
ByBertrand G. Ramcharan

chapter 2|12 pages

Not alone – the origins, significance and legacy of Article 29

ByFrancesca Klug

chapter 3|8 pages

Terrorism and the development of thinking on human rights

ByJohn Alderdice

part II|71 pages

The rights of the individual

chapter 4|12 pages

Article 3

Everyone [including women] has the right to life, liberty and security of person
ByRashida Manjoo

chapter 5|15 pages

Articles 2 and 7

Equality and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: progress and challenges for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) equality
ByRebecca Hilsenrath, Charles Hamilton

chapter 6|12 pages

Article 4

No-one to be held in slavery or servitude: provisions that are not as redundant as many had assumed
ByMike Dottridge

chapter 7|12 pages

Article 5

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
ByCarla Ferstman

chapter 8|16 pages

Holocaust property theft and restitution

The right to an effective remedy under Article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
ByMichael J. Bazyler, Kristen L. Nelson

part III|25 pages

The rights of the individual in civil and political society

chapter 9|11 pages

Article 12

The right to privacy
ByLorna Woods

chapter 10|10 pages

Article 15

The right to a nationality
ByLaura van Waas

part IV|32 pages

Spiritual, public and political freedoms

chapter 11|7 pages

Religious liberties and the need for moral universalism

ByRowan Williams

chapter 12|12 pages

Articles 18 and 19

When freedom of religion is pitted against freedom of expression
ByGeorge R. Wilkes

part V|50 pages

Economic, social and cultural rights

chapter 16|12 pages

A promise of Sustainable Development Goal 4

Right to education and right to human rights education as a path to inclusion
ByEva Sobotka

chapter 17|13 pages

Safeguarding heritage in armed conflict – how UNESCO protects the human right to culture

ByGiovanni Boccardi, Léonie Evers

part VI|6 pages

The challenge of hope

chapter 18|4 pages

Challenges for the human rights movement

ByJimmy Carter