December 08, 2017

Statement of ABA President Hilarie Bass Re: Anniversary of the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2017 — On December 10, 1948, in the wake of two world wars, the new United Nations proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Its central premise – that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” – forms the bedrock of international law.   

The American Bar Association promotes this principle by advocating for diverse populations in America and around the world. We work on behalf of survivors of domestic and sexual violence; persons with disabilities; immigrants; persons experiencing homelessness and poverty; human rights defenders; emerging or struggling democracies; and oppressed populations. Our efforts have taught us that the Universal Declaration is a touchstone across seemingly intractable differences.

On this anniversary in the history of human progress, the ABA calls on all members of the legal profession around the world to renew their commitment as indispensable guardians of human rights and the rule of law.

Go to for the ABA’s new feature that cites case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.


With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.