American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man
(Adopted by the Ninth International Conference of American States,
Bogotá, Colombia, 1948)
The American peoples have acknowledged the dignity of the individual, and their national constitutions recognize that juridical and political institutions, which regulate life in human society, have as their principal aim the protection of the essential rights of man and the creation of circumstances that will permit him to achieve spiritual and material progress and attain happiness;
The American States have on repeated occasions recognized that the essential rights of man are not derived from the fact that he is a national of a certain state, but are based upon attributes of his human personality;
The international protection of the rights of man should be the principal guide of an evolving American law;
The affirmation of essential human rights by the American States together with the guarantees given by the internal regimes of the states establish the initial system of protection considered by the American States as being suited to the present social and juridical conditions, not without a recognition on their part that they should increasingly strengthen that system in the international field as conditions become more favorable,
The Ninth International Conference of American States
To adopt the following
AMERICAN DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS
AND DUTIES OF MAN
All men are born free and equal, in dignity and in rights, and, being endowed by nature with reason and conscience, they should conduct themselves as brothers one to another.
The fulfillment of duty by each individual is a prerequisite to the rights of all. Rights and duties are interrelated in every social and political activity of man. While rights exalt individual liberty, duties express the dignity of that liberty.
Duties of a juridical nature presuppose others of a moral nature which support them in principle and constitute their basis.
Inasmuch as spiritual development is the supreme end of human existence and the highest expression thereof, it is the duty of man to serve that end with all his strength and resources.
Since culture is the highest social and historical expression of that spiritual development, it is the duty of man to preserve, practice and foster culture by every means within his power.
And, since moral conduct constitutes the noblest flowering of culture, it is the duty of every man always to hold it in high respect.
Article I. Every human being has the right to life, liberty and the security of his person. Right to life, liberty and personal security.
Article II. All persons are equal before the law and have the rights and duties established in this Declaration, without distinction as to race, sex, language, creed or any other factor. Right to equality before law.
Article III. Every person has the right freely to profess a religious faith, and to manifest and practice it both in public and in private. Right to religious freedom and worship.
Article IV. Every person has the right to freedom of investigation, of opinion, and of the expression and dissemination of ideas, by any medium whatsoever. Right to freedom of investigation, opinion, expression and dissemination.
Article V. Every person has the right to the protection of the law against abusive attacks upon his honor, his reputation, and his private and family life. Right to protection of honor, personal reputation, and private and family life.
Article VI. Every person has the right to establish a family, the basic element of society, and to receive protection therefore. Right to a family and to protection thereof.
Article VII. All women, during pregnancy and the nursing period, and all children have the right to special protection, care and aid. Right to protection for mothers and children.
Article VIII. Every person has the right to fix his residence within the territory of the state of which he is a national, to move about freely within such territory, and not to leave it except by his own will. Right to residence and movement.
Article IX. Every person has the right to the inviolability of his home. Right to inviolability of the home.
Article X. Every person has the right to the inviolability and transmission of his correspondence. Right to the inviolability and transmission of correspondence.
Article XI. Every person has the right to the preservation of his health through sanitary and social measures relating to food, clothing, housing and medical care, to the extent permitted by public and community resources. Right to the preservation of health and to well-being.
Article XII. Every person has the right to an education, which should be based on the principles of liberty, morality and human solidarity. Likewise every person has the right to an education that will prepare him to attain a decent life, to raise his standard of living, and to be a useful member of society. The right to an education includes the right to equality of opportunity in every case, in accordance with natural talents, merit and the desire to utilize the resources that the state or the community is in a position to provide. Every person has the right to receive, free, at least a primary education. Right to education.
Article XIII. Every person has the right to take part in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts, and to participate in the benefits that result from intellectual progress, especially scientific discoveries. He likewise has the right to the protection of his moral and material interests as regards his inventions or any literary, scientific or artistic works of which he is the author. Right to the benefits of culture.
Article XIV. Every person has the right to work, under proper conditions, and to follow his vocation freely, insofar as existing conditions of employment permit. Right to work and to fair remuneration.
Every person who works has the right to receive such remuneration as will, in proportion to his capacity and skill, assure him a standard of living suitable for himself and for his family.
Article XV. Every person has the right to leisure time, to wholesome recreation, and to the opportunity for advantageous use of his free time to his spiritual, cultural and physical benefit. Right to leisure time and to the use thereof.
Article XVI. Every person has the right to social security which will protect him from the consequences of unemployment, old age, and any disabilities arising from causes beyond his control that make it physically or mentally impossible for him to earn a living. Right to social security.
Article XVII. Every person has the right to be recognized everywhere as a person having rights and obligations, and to enjoy the basic civil rights. Right to recognition of juridical personality and civil rights.
Article XVIII. Every person may resort to the courts to ensure respect for his legal rights. There should likewise be available to him a simple, brief procedure whereby the courts will protect him from acts of authority that, to his prejudice, violate any fundamental constitutional rights. Right to a fair trial.
Article XIX. Every person has the right to the nationality to which he is entitled by law and to change it, if he so wishes, for the nationality of any other country that is willing to grant it to him. Right to nationality.
Article XX. Every person having legal capacity is entitled to participate in the government of his country, directly or through his representatives, and to take part in popular elections, which shall be by secret ballot, and shall be honest, periodic and free. Right to vote and to participate in government.