In honor of Human Rights Month, learn something new about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It might just set your higher education degree path in a new direction.

A word clouds lists many words associated with human rights.For those who have a passion for helping others, the violation of human rights can be what drives them to pursue a PhD in human and social services or other human services degree.

How much do you know about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)? Here’s an opportunity to test your knowledge—and perhaps, to learn something new.

The UDHR is a document developed by the United Nations (UN), which is made up of representatives from all over the world. The UN agreed it would be the foundation of international human rights law. Its purpose is to establish a formal set of basic rights to which all members of the human family are entitled.*

With that said, take a few moments to see how much you know about the UDHR:

  • The UDHR protects basic human rights. Can you name any?
    By definition, human rights are the basic rights and freedoms to which every person is considered to be entitled. They can include the rights to life, equality, freedom of thought, security of person, liberty, a fair trial, and freedom from slavery and torture.*

  • The UDHR was drafted as a direct result of what historic event?
    The UN adopted the UDHR on December 10, 1948, following the horrific injustices committed during World War II.*

  • How many specific articles (or laws) can be found in the UDHR?
    There are 30 articles, covering such topics as discrimination, rights of nationality, marriage, religious freedom, property, democracy, employment, equality, education, and even the right to relaxation.*

The founders’ goal was for the UDHR to be enforced by every country, worldwide. In many instances, the “enforcers” of the document are thousands of passionate individuals who chose careers in the human services field and made it their life’s mission to address injustices, or those who work at a grassroots level to effect positive social change. And while these human service programs are making a difference, there is much to be done. Unfortunately, millions of individuals still do not enjoy the basic freedoms outlined in the UDHR.

For those reasons (and many others), the human services field is growing. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of community and social service professionals and managers is projected to grow 21% from 2012 to 2022, faster than the national average for all occupations. If you are interested in a human services program that could prepare you for a fulfilling career focused on human rights, you may want to consider earning a PhD in human and social services. It’s a degree with the potential to change millions of lives around the globe … starting with your own.


*UN General Assembly, 1948, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, on the Internet at http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html.

†Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014–2015 Edition, “Social and Community Service Managers,” on the Internet at www.bls.gov/ooh/management/social-and-community-service-managers.htm.

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