1. All Members shall give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter, and shall refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action.
  2. The Organization shall ensure that states which are not Members of the United Nations act in accordance with these Principles so far as may be necessary for the maintenance of international peace and security.
  3. Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter Vll.


  1. Cite Evidence The government of a country is inflicting terrible human rights abuses on members of the opposition party. Based on the excerpt, can the United Nations intervene? Cite the part(s) of the charter that support your opinion.
  2. Explain an Argument Several years of drought in western Asia have led to widespread famine. The UN arranges to bring convoys of food to starving people. One country, a member of the UN, does not want to let relief workers come inside its borders. Does any part of the charter cited here support or rebut the country's position? Explain your answer.
  3. Draw Conclusions Has the United Nations been successful in its mission “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”? Explain your answer.

[ Universal Declaration of Human Rights ]


The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted this declaration on December 10, 1948. The document sets forth the basic liberties and freedoms to which all people are entitled.

Primary Source

Article 1 All human beings are born free and equal in dignity [worthiness] and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act toward one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2 Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction [difference] of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status….

Article 3 Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4 No one shall be held in slavery or servitude….

Article 5 No one shall be subjected [forced to undergo] to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading [humiliating] treatment or punishment.

Article 9 No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 13 Everyone has the right to freedom of movement….

Article 18 Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion… Article 19 Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression….

Article 20 Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association….

Article 23 Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment …

Article 25 Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate [satisfactory] for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

Article 26 Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages….


  1. Analyze Interactions How do you think the U.S. Bill of Rights might have influenced this declaration?
  2. Determine Author's Purpose Why do you think the members of the United Nations wrote this declaration, and what did they hope it would accomplish?
  3. Determine Central Ideas Based on this passage, how would you define the term “human rights”?

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Table of Contents

World History Topic 1 Origins of Civilization (Prehistory–300 B.C.) Topic 2 The Ancient Middle East and Egypt (3200 B.C.–500 B.C.) Topic 3 Ancient India and China (2600 B.C.–A.D. 550) Topic 4 The Americas (Prehistory–A.D. 1570) Topic 5 Ancient Greece (1750 B.C.–133 B.C.) Topic 6 Ancient Rome and the Origins of Christianity (509 B.C.-A.D. 476) Topic 7 Medieval Christian Europe (330–1450) Topic 8 The Muslim World and Africa (730 B.C.-A.D. 1500) Topic 9 Civilizations of Asia (500–1650) Topic 10 The Renaissance and Reformation (1300–1650) Topic 11 New Global Connections (1415–1796) Topic 12 Absolutism and Revolution Topic 13 The Industrial Revolution Topic 14 Nationalism and the Spread of Democracy (1790–1914) Topic 15 The Age of Imperialism (1800–1914) Topic 16 World War I and the Russian Revolution (1914–1924) Topic 17 The World Between the Wars (1910–1939) Topic 18 World War II (1930–1945) Topic 19 The Cold War Era (1945–1991) Topic 20 New Nations Emerge (1945–Present) Topic 21 The World Today (1980-Present) United States Constitution Primary Sources 21st Century Skills Atlas Glossary Index Acknowledgments