How can I get information on countries' views on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the time it was adopted?
Last Updated: May 09, 2018
You can find information on the point of view of States regarding the Declaration of Human Rights by reading speeches and proposals they made during the drafting process. Most of the documentation pertaining to the drafting and the adoption of the Declaration is available from the Library's research guide: Drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Audiovisual Library of International Law also has an extensive historical archives of drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including an introductory note, procedural history, links to the relevant UN documents and audio, videos and photos of the events.
You can also find under the Lecture Series section of the website a two part lecture series on the human rights system of the UN by Professor Emmanuel Decaux (available in French only).
A collection of travaux préparatoires (or documents relating to the negotiating history) can be found in a three volume book edited by William A. Schabas:
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: The Travaux Préparatoires. Edited by William A. Schabas. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013). 3157 p.
In addition, there are many secondary sources such as books and journal articles that are useful in highlighting a particular country's view or perspective on the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Disclaimer: answers are prepared by library staff using resources available at the time of writing. This site may include links and references to third-party databases, websites, books and articles, this does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.