Declaration of Universal Natural Rights

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Declaration of Universal Natural Rights
Created31 December 1937 to 13 December 1939
Ratified16 December 1939
LocationKesselbourg City
PurposeHuman rights

The Declaration of Universal Natural Rights, or DUNR, was a joint declaration made by various states on the subject of natural rights, or human rights. It was a direct result of the horrors of the Great War, and was unprecedented, due to its universal scope, the breadth of its ambit, and the wide support it garnered. It is considered customary international law.

The text of the DUNR follows:


Whereas all human beings are endowed with reason and conscience,

Whereas natural rights inhere in beings with reason and conscience,

Whereas it is necessary to declare natural rights in a document to be universally known,

As the representatives and governments of all people, the International Assembly declares:

Statute I

Everyone is equal in the rights they hold, and is entitled unconditionally to all rights detailed in this Declaration.

Statute II

Everyone has the right to the security and safety of their own person.

Statute III

Everyone has the right to freedom of belief, association and expression.

Statute IV

Everyone has the right to personal property.

Statute V

Everyone has the right to be equal before the law.

Statute VI

Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and assembly.

Statute VII

Everyone has the right to living standards, or the opportunity to attain them.

Statute VIII

Everyone has the right to contact with other people or the community.

Statute IX

Everyone has the right to a legal nationality.

Statute X

Everyone has the right to remedies to violations of their natural rights.


The remarkable brevity of the document is because of the inability of the parties who wrote it to agree on more exact wording. To this end, it is open to a wide range of interpretations; for example, some argue that "living standards" in Statute VII includes sleep, while other countries consider sleep deprivation a legal method of torture under the DUNR. The document was written before the existence of the internet; increasingly, Statute VIII has been thought of as relating to the internet, demonstrating the document's wide interpretative range.


The Declaration of Universal Natural Rights was quickly translated into many languages because of its importance and universality. While it was officially issued in a number of languages, the Gaullican version is usually the one which subsequent (unofficial) translations work from.

Both because of the text's inherent notability, as well as because of the accessibility provided by its many existing translations, it is conventional in linguistics to use the Declaration as a demonstrative sample of a language. It is most common to use the Preamble, exclusive of titles, for this purpose. Sometimes, this poses difficulties, as some languages are used only in cultures without clear conceptions of some of the terms used, such as natural rights, documents or the International Assembly. In some cases, novel constructions invented by linguists for terms in the Declaration have entered mainstream usage in the documented language.