AMERICAN DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF
(Approved 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
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
|Article III. Every person has the right freely
to profess a religious faith, and to manifest and practice it both in public and in
||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 therefor.
||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
|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
||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
||Right to education.
|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
|Every person has the right to receive, free,
at least a primary 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.
||Right to the benefits of culture.
|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.
|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
|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
|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
||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
|Article XXI. Every person has the right to
assemble peaceably with others in a formal public meeting or an informal gathering, in
connection with matters of common interest of any nature.
||Right of assembly.
|Article XXII. Every person has the right to
associate with others to promote, exercise and protect his legitimate interests of a
political, economic, religious, social, cultural, professional, labor union or other
||Right of association.
|Article XXIII. Every person has a right to own
such private property as meets the essential needs of decent living and helps to maintain
the dignity of the individual and of the home.
||Right to property.
|Article XXIV. Every person has the right to
submit respectful petitions to any competent authority, for reasons of either general or
private interest, and the right to obtain a prompt decision thereon.
||Right of petition.
|Article XXV. No person may be deprived of his
liberty except in the cases and according to the procedures established by pre-existing
||Right of protection from arbitrary arrest.
|No person may be deprived of liberty for
nonfulfillment of obligations of a purely civil character.
|Every individual who has been deprived of his
liberty has the right to have the legality of his detention ascertained without delay by a
court, and the right to be tried without undue delay or, otherwise, to be released. He
also has the right to humane treatment during the time he is in custody.
|Article XXVI. Every accused person is presumed
to be innocent until proved guilty.
||Right to due process of law.
|Every person accused of an offense has the
right to be given an impartial and public hearing, and to be tried by courts previously
established in accordance with pre-existing laws, and not to receive cruel, infamous or
|Article XXVII. Every person has the right, in
case of pursuit not resulting from ordinary crimes, to seek and receive asylum in foreign
territory, in accordance with the laws of each country and with international agreements.
||Right of asylum.
|Article XXVIII. The rights of man are limited
by the rights of others, by the security of all, and by the just demands of the general
welfare and the advancement of democracy.
||Scope of the rights of man.
|Article XXIX. It is the duty of the individual
so to conduct himself in relation to others that each and every one may fully form and
develop his personality.
||Duties to society.
|Article XXX. It is the duty of every person to
aid, support, educate and protect his minor children, and it is the duty of children to
honor their parents always and to aid, support and protect them when they need it.
||Duties toward children and
|Article XXXI. It is the duty of every person
to acquire at least an elementary education.
||Duty to receive instruction.
|Article XXXII. It is the duty of every person
to vote in the popular elections of the country of which he is a national, when he is
legally capable of doing so.
||Duty to vote.
|Article XXXIII. It is the duty of every person
to obey the law and other legitimate commands of the authorities of his country and those
of the country in which he may be.
||Duty to obey the law
|Article XXXIV. It is the duty of every
able-bodied person to render whatever civil and military service his country may require
for its defense and preservation, and, in case of public disaster, to render such services
as may be in his power.
||Duty to serve the community and
|It is likewise his duty to hold any public
office to which he may be elected by popular vote in the state of which he is a national.
|Article XXXV. It is the duty of every person
to cooperate with the state and the community with respect to social security and welfare,
in accordance with his ability and with existing circumstances.
||Duties with respect to social
security and welfare.
|Article XXXVI. It is the duty of every person
to pay the taxes established by law for the support of public services.
||Duty to pay taxes.
|Article XXXVII. It is the duty of every person
to work, as far as his capacity and possibilities permit, in order to obtain the means of
livelihood or to benefit his community.
||Duty to work.
|Article XXXVIII. It is the duty of every
person to refrain from taking part in political activities that, according to law, are
reserved exclusively to the citizens of the state in which he is an alien.
||Duty to refrain from political
activities in a foreign country.
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