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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

The Impact on Human Rights

and Responsibilities

Senior Division Website
by Elliot Choy, Henry Su and Max Toubin

Process Paper

For this years National History Day Project Theme on Rights and Responsibilities, we
have decided to base our project around the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human
Rights. We are creating a website to reveal the impact of this document on the history of human
rights and responsibilities. We chose this topic because this document has inspired us to find out
the true reality of the rights being taken and the responsibilities that no one has bothered to
shoulder. Our topic is important because it shows the difference between reality and assumption
when it comes to this topic.

To conduct research for our project, the obvious source would be the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights written by the United Nations in 1948 after the end of World War
II. This source gave us the rights of everybody around the world. Furthermore, this source was
able to provide us something to center our project around. Another source we were able to find
that revolved around the document was a video about The Story of Human Rights uploaded by
Human Rights Video Education. This gave an overall summary on what led up to the creation of
this document and its impacts before and after it was written.

Another source included many interviews with a variety of professors at numerous
universities. Other valuable sources to our project included the many speeches written by famous
Civil Rights Leaders, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. These sources gave
us insight on events in history that occurred directly with the violation of human rights and
responsibilities. All these sources helped aid the creation of this project.

We encountered some problems with our project research because with human rights
being such a broad topic, it was difficult to find specific examples in which human rights were
violated. There were many broad examples, but the details in which those actions violated the
Declaration directly were hard to find because many of those are implied. Furthermore, it was
difficult to find sources on the responsibility issue because many of those responsibilities were
also implied by human nature. Therefore, it was much easier to find secondary sources and facts
about those rights and responsibilities compare to the primary sources and interviews.

Our topic of human rights fit into this years theme on rights and responsibilities because
we focus on how there are basic human rights that everyone deserves as well as human
responsibilities to respect the rights for everybody. This project is important because it shows
although all humans are guaranteed basic human rights, many are deprived of them due to the
lack of responsibility that others demonstrate that depriving them of those rights. There have
been many more documents and contracts that support the need for those rights and
responsibilities, such as the Magna Carta, but the effect of them will be minimal if each
individual does not step up and do his or her part in history.