How did the Universal Declaration of Human Rights come about?

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How did the Universal Declaration of Human Rights come about?

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The newly established United Nations set up a Human Rights Commission, chaired by Roosevelt’s widow, Eleanor. After 18 months’ deliberation it drafted a Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. British representatives were frustrated that it had moral but no legal obligation. It was not until 1976 that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights came into force, giving a legal status to most of the UDHR. Meanwhile, a Congress of Europe had met in May 1947 in The Hague under Winston Churchill. He proposed a European Charter of Human Rights. Discussions began when the Council of Europe was established in May 1949. The debates over the Convention (as it became), were long and heated but the final document was signed in Rome in November 1950. Britain had been worried about the effect on its colonies and its sovereignty, but was the first to ratify it on 8 March 1951. It came into force in September 1953. The enforcement process, via

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