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New cartoonist: Olivier Ploux

Cartoon Project - 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

UNHR combined logo

This year, the world celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The Universal Declaration of Human rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 and is a milestone document in the history of human rights. It was the first document setting out the fundamental human rights to be universally protected and the Declaration recognizes the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. Around the world, we see that human rights are increasingly under pressures and space for civil society, journalists and cartoonists is shrinking. It is therefore imperative that we continue to work together to make sure that the next generation is educated about their rights and the Declaration and what better way to do that than through cartoons.

The United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and the government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands together with the Cartoon Movement wish to celebrate this momentous occasion by launching a cartoon contest.

The project

This project is not only open to Cartoon Movement cartoonists, but to all cartoonists around the world. Everyone is invited to draw a cartoon for every article (or multiple articles) of the Universal Declaration. The cartoon can relate to any aspect of the respective article. Multiple cartoons will be drawn per article and an open voting process will then determine what cartoon best represents the content of the right contained in the article.

Once all the cartoons have been prepared, an online platform (Facebook) will be created. On this platform all cartoons will be displayed and OHCHR and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in collaboration with the Cartoon Movement and several schools around the world, will ensure that younger people (age 11 – 19 years) vote for the best cartoon for each article. The cartoons will also be distributed via the respective social media channels of OHCHR and the Kingdom of the Netherlands to invite everyone who is interested to vote to do so. When several cartoons per article receive a similar number of votes the organizers of this project will help select the winning cartoon.

The winning cartoon per article will be printed and an art exhibition will be organized in The Hague or Geneva in the fall of 2018. This exhibition will be co-sponsored by the OHCHR, The Netherlands and the Cartoon Movement.

Further instructions

As the aim of this project is to reach out to younger generations and raise awareness about the importance of the UDHR, it is important for the cartoons to be:

-Understandable for younger people between 11 – 19 years of age;

-Understandable for people with different cultural and political backgrounds from all regions of the world and therefore not limited to one conflict, world leader or situation;

-Understandable for persons that do not speak English (or do not speak the language used).

-Add the article you are illustrating clearly in the title or description of your cartoon.

-IMPORTANT: As the objective is to unite around the Declaration and illustrate its principles, the cartoons should not mention any specific countries, political figures or issues that would go against the values of the United Nations. The organizers reserve the rights to preselect for the voting process only the cartoons complying with these recommendations.

Submitting cartoons

Cartoons can be upload to our project newsroom UN Human Rights. If you are not a registered member of Cartoon Movement you will need to make an account. After you have an account you can upload your cartoons via this link, selecting the subroom 'UN Human Rights' from the drop-down menu.

This project will open for submissions between Tuesday June 12 and Friday July 20.


For the exhibition 30 cartoons will be determined by popular vote as best reflecting the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For each selected cartoon the artist will receive 100 euro.

Articles of the UDHR (shortened)

Art. 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

Art. 2: Everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms in the declaration, without discrimination.

Art. 3: Everyone has the right to life.

Art. 4: No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.

Art. 5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Art. 6: Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Art. 7: All are equal before the law.

Art. 8: Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals.

Art. 9: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrests, detention or exile.

Art. 10: Everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing by an independent tribunal.

Art. 11: Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Art. 12: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy.

Art. 13: Everyone has the right to freedom of movement.

Art. 14: Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.

Art. 15: Everyone has the right to a nationality.

Art. 16: Men and women of full age, without limitations, have the right to marry and to found a family.

Art. 17: Everyone has the right to own property.

Art. 18: Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Art. 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

Art. 20: Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

Art. 21: Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country.

Art. 22: Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security.

Art. 23: Everone has the right to work, to free choice of employment and to just and favourable conditions of work.

Art. 24: Everyone has the right to rest and leisure.

Art. 25: Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family.

Art. 26: Everyone has the right to education.

Art. 27: Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community.

Art. 28: Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this declaration can be fully realized.

Art. 29: Everone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.

Art. 30: Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity aimed at the destruction of any of the rights set forth herein.

For more information, including the full text of the Universal Declaration, please visit this page.

For more information of the campaign on the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, please visit


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