Sixty-five years ago today in Paris, France, the United Nations General Assembly adopted one of modern history’s most influential documents, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), thereby laying the foundation for a global framework of rights which honor freedom, justice and dignity for all human beings.
The effect that the UDHR has had upon the world’s legal systems – national, regional and international – has been profound. Its principles have been absorbed by a range of national constitutions and have laid the basis for a multitude of legally binding human rights treaties. Before the Right to Work was enshrined in many national frameworks and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, it was recognized by Article 23 of the UDHR:
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.