Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions

September 7, 2011

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions affirms rights including freedom from violence and the right to life, longevity, and liveability. The declaration is a response to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948), which is often critiqued for being too Western-centric to be truly representative of universal values. The Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University proposed the idea of drafting a Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions to a World Conference coalition meeting to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the original Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This document has been widely used and publicized ever since. Founded on the notion that all religions, regardless of traditions or doctrines, can affirm certain fundamental rights, makes the Universal Declaration a prime example of the global ethic at work.

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