The international bill of human rights fact sheet no. 2 (rev. 1)
The International Bill of Human Rights consists of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols. Human rights had already found expression in the Covenant of the League of Nations, which led, inter alia, to the creation of the International Labour Organisation. At the 1945 San Francisco Conference, held to draft the Charter of the United Nations, a proposal to embody a "Declaration on the Essential Rights of Man" was put forward but was not examined because it required more detailed consideration than was possible at the time. The Charter clearly speaks of "promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion" (Art. 1, para. 3). The idea of promulgating an "international bill of rights" was also considered by many as basically implicit in the Charter. The Preparatory Commission of the United Nations, which met immediately after the closing session of the San Francisco Conference, recommended that the Economic and Social Council should, at its first session, establish a commission for the promotion of human rights as envisaged in Article 68 of the Charter. Accordingly, the Council established the Commission on Human Rights early in 1946. At its first session, in 1946, the General Assembly considered a draft Declaration on Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms and transmitted it to the Economic and Social Council "for reference to the Commission on Human Rights for consideration . . . in its preparation of an international bill of rights" (resolution 43 (I)). The Commission, at its first session early in 1947, authorized its officers to formulate what it termed "a preliminary draft International Bill of Human Rights". Later the work was taken over by a formal drafting committee, consisting of members of the Commission from eight States, selected with due regard for geographical distribution.
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