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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a foundation of international law, providing a legal basis for protection against violations of basic human values such as discrimination, torture, and arbitrary arrest. It was 60 years ago that the UN General Assembly adopted the document in Paris. The vote was 48 in favor, none against, with eight abstentions, all from Soviet bloc states. The need for a global declaration of human rights arose amid the horrors of World War II and its aftermath. The document was championed by former U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who was a UN delegate.