The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR), 1948 contains civil,
political, economic, social and cultural rights. India is a signatory to the
declaration. The constitution of India which came into force on 26th January
1950 was greatly influenced by the declaration. The essence and the philosophy
behind the UNDHR and the constitution of India are same. The Constitution of
India recognizes these rights of the people and shows deep concern towards them.
Constitution guarantees most of the human rights contained in Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. Part III of the constitution contains civil and
political rights, whereas economic, social and cultural rights have been
included in Part IV of the Constitution.
The philosophy and objective of the Constitution of India is enshrined in the
preamble which include equality, justice, liberty, fraternity and protection of
the dignity of an individual. For the fulfilment of this objective Part III of
the constitution guarantees fundamental rights to people which are essential for
the development of an individual personality, these rights include right to
equality, the right to freedom, the right against exploitation, the right to
freedom of religion, cultural and educational rights and the right to
constitutional remedies. It is the duty of the central as well as state
Governments to provide adequate conditions to each individual to enjoy their
human rights. The constitution through Directive Principles of State Policy
enshrined in the Part IV of the Constitution, ascertains the duties on the
government to work for the welfare of the people and protection of human rights
of the people. These are guiding principles for the state to make policies
regarding distributive justice, right to work, right to education, social
security, just and humane conditions of work, for promotion of interest of
weaker section, raise the standard of nutrition and standard of living and to
improve public health, protection and improvement of environment and ecology
etc. so that each individual can enjoy rights to the fullest.
A number of fundamental rights guaranteed to individuals in Part-III of the
Constitution and socio-economic rights given in Part-IV of the constitution are
similar to the provision of the UNDHR.
|Universal Declaration of Human
|Constitution of India
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are
endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a
spirit of brotherhood.
|Preamble of the Indian Constitution
WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a
SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its
citizens: JUSTICE, Social, Economic and Political; LIBERTY of thought,
expression, belief, faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and of
opportunity; and to promote among them all FRATERNITY assuring the dignity
of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation; IN OUR
CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY
ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.
|No discrimination based on race, colour, sex,
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this
Declaration(Universal Declaration of Human Rights), without distinction of
any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or another
opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or
place of birth
|Equality Before Law & Equal Protection of Law
without any discrimination
|Article 7 - All are equal before the law and
are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.
|Article 7(2) - All are entitled to equal
protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and
against any incitement to such discrimination.
Article 14 of the Indian Constitution - The State shall not deny to any
person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within
the territory of India.
|Right to Participate in the government of his
|Article 21 (1) Everyone has the right to take
part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen
representatives. (2) Everyone has the right to equal access to public
service in his country. (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the
authority of government; this shall be expressed in periodic and genuine
elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held
by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
|Article 16(1) of the Indian Constitution, there
shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to
employment or appointment to any office under the State.
|Right to freedom of opinion and expression
|Article 19 everyone has the right to freedom
of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions
without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas
through any media and regardless of frontiers.
|According to Article 19(1) (a) of the Indian
Constitution, all citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and
|Right to freedom of peaceful assembly and
|According to Article 20(1) of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful
assembly and association.
|Article 19(1)(b) of the Indian Constitution,
all citizens shall have the right to assemble peaceably and without arms.
|Right to work and free choice of employment
|Article 23 Everyone has the right to work, to
free choice of employment, to just and favorable 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 favorable 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.
|Article 16(1) gives right to public employment
and as per Article 19(1)(c) of the Indian Constitution, all citizens shall
have the right to form associations or unions or co-operative societies.
|Right to freedom of movement and residence
within the territory of a State.
|Article 13(1) everyone has the right to freedom
of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
|Article 19(1)(d) of the Indian Constitution,
citizens shall have the right to move freely throughout the territory of
|Right to own property
|Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights says that everyone has the right to own property alone as well
as in association with others. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his
|Article 31 of the Constitution gives Right to
own property Article 17 sub-clause (f) omitted. Persons not to be deprived
of property save by authority of law - no person shall be deprived of his
property save by authority of law.
|Freedom from Ex-Post-facto laws
|Article 11 everyone charged with a penal
offense has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according
to the law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees
necessary for his defense. No one shall be held guilty of any
penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a
penal offence, under the national or international law, at the time when it
was committed Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was
applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
|Article 20(1) of the Indian Penal Code provides
Protection in respect of conviction for offences including the rights
against ex post facto laws, double jeopardy and freedom from self
incrimnation. It says that No person shall be convicted of
any offence except for violation of a law in force at the time of the
commission of the Act charged as an offence, nor be subjected to a penalty
greater than that which might have been inflicted under the law in force at
the time of the commission of the offence. (2) No person shall be prosecuted
and punished for the same offense more than once. (3) No person accused of
any offense shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.
|Freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention or
|Article 9 No one shall be subjected to
arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
|Article 22 provides specific rights to arrested
and detained persons, in particular the rights to be informed of the grounds
of arrest, consult a lawyer of one's own choice, be produced before a
magistrate within 24 hours of the arrest, and the freedom not to be detained
beyond that period without an order of the magistrate. The Constitution also
authorizes the State to make laws providing for preventive detention subject
to certain other safeguards present in Article 22.
Article 21 provides protection of life and personal liberty it says that no
person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to
procedure established by law
|Freedom from slavery or servitude
|Article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights says that no one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and
the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
|The Constitution of India: Article 23 of the
Indian Constitution -Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labor
(1) Traffic in human beings and begar and other similar forms of forced
labor are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an
offense punishable in accordance with law. (2) Nothing in this article shall
prevent the State from imposing compulsory service for public purposes, and
in imposing such service the State shall not make any discrimination on
grounds only of religion, race, caste or class or any of them
|Right to freedom of thought, conscience, and
|Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights says that everyone has the right to freedom of thought,
conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion
or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in
public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice,
worship and observance.
|Article 25 of the Indian Constitution gives
rights to freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and
propagation of religion. It says all persons are equally entitled to
freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and
|Economic, social and cultural rights
everyone as a member of society, has the right to social security, and is
entitled to realization through National effort and international
co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each
state of the economic social and cultural rights indispensable for his
dignity and the development of his personality.
Protection of interest of minorities - (1) Any section of the citizens
residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct
language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the
|Right to choose kind of education
|Article 26(3) of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education
that shall be given to their children.
|Article 21A Right to Education a fundamental
right of every child by virtue of the Right of Children to Free and
Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act (RTE) which came into
force on 1 April 2010.Article 30(1) o the Indian Constitution says that all
minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to
establish and administer educational institutions of their choice
|Article 8 right to effective remedy
|Article 8 (of the Universal Declaration of
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent National
Tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted to him by the
constitution or by law.
|Article 32 of the Indian Constitution-
Remedies for enforcement of rights conferred by this part (Part III) -
The right to move the supreme court by appropriate proceeding for the
enforcement of the rights conferred by this part is guaranteed
|Right to social security
|Article 22 of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social
security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and
international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and
resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights
indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
|Article 39 of DPSP lays down certain principles
of policy to be followed by the State, including providing an adequate means
of livelihood for all citizens, equal pay for equal work for men and women,
proper working conditions, reduction of the concentration of wealth and
means of production from the hands of a few, and distribution of community
resources to "subserve the common good"
Articles 41�43 of DPSP mandate the State to endeavour to secure to all
citizens the right to work, a living wage, social security, maternity relief
and a decent standard of living.
To conclude, international norms related to human rights as given in the UN
Declaration are fully incorporated in Indian Constitution.