American Declaration on the rights and duties of man

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Adopted by the Ninth International Conference of American States on May 2, 1948 in Bogota.

Relevant Provisions of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of man

Article 1

Every human being has the right to life, liberty and the security of his person.

Article 2

Right to equality before the law, without distinction as to race, language, creed or any other factor.

Article 3

Right to religious freedom and worship.

Article 4

Right to freedom of investigation, opinion, expression and dissemination.

Article 5

Right to protection of honor, personal reputation, and private and family life.

Article 9

Right to inviolability of the home.

Article 10

Right to inviolability and transmission of correspondence.

Article 17

Right to recognition of legal personality and civil rights.

Article 18

Right to a fair trial.

Every person may resort to the courts to ensure respect for his legal rights. There should likewise be available to him a simple, brief procedure whereby the courts will protect him from acts of authority that, to his prejudice, violate any fundamental constitutional rights.

Article 21

Right of assembly.

Article 22

Right of association.

Article 25

Right of protection from arbitrary arrest.

No person may be deprived of his liberty except in the cases and according to the procedures established by pre-existing law. No person may be deprived of liberty for non fulfillment of obligations of a purely civil character.

Every individual who has been deprived of his liberty has the right to have the legality of his detention ascertained without delay by a court, and the right to be tried without undue delay or, otherwise, to be released. He also has the right to humane treatment during he is in custody.

Article 26

Right to due process of law.

Every person accused of an offense has the right to be given an impartial and public hearing, and to be tried by courts previously established in accordance with pre-existing laws, and not to received cruel, infamous or unusual punishment.

Legal Enforcement

The American Declaration on Human Rights automatically binds all 35 Member States of the Organization of American States.

Note: Contrary to legal texts usually adopted as Declarations, the American Declaration was held as a source of international obligations for the Member States of the OAS by the Commission and the Court, even if the Declaration was not adopted as a treaty.

The Inter American Commission on Human Rights ruled so in the James Terry Roach and Jay Pinkerton case on September 22, 1987[1] ; and the Inter American Court on Human Rights confirmed that ruling in its advisory opinion Interpretation of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man Within the Framework of Article 64 of the American Convention on Human Rights on July 14, 1989[2].

The OAS Member States are the following: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela.


  1. IACHR, Resolution No. 3/87, Case 9647, James Terry Roach and Jay Pinkerton (United States), Annual Report 1986-1987, September 22, 1987, paras. 46-49. Source: http://www.oas.org/en/iachr/mandate/Basics/intro.asp#_ftn4
  2. I/A Court H.R., Interpretation of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man Within the Framework of Article 64 of the American Convention on Human Rights. Advisory Opinion OC-10/89, July 14, 1989. Series A No. 10, paras. 35-45. Source: http://www.oas.org/en/iachr/mandate/Basics/intro.asp#_ftn4

See International Law