Language Rights = Human Rights

UHRI and Wikitongues call on you to add your voice!

Language identity is a human right as defined in Article 22 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which states that all individuals are entitled to “the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for [his/her] dignity and the free development of [his/her] personality.”

Enacted by the United Nations in 1948, the UDHR forms the basis for modern human rights law and governance. In recognition of language’s central role in sustaining communities’ cultural identity, the UDHR has been translated into over 500 languages. While the Declaration already holds the Guinness World Record for the most translated document, the UN continues to add new translations regularly.

Universal Human Rights Initiative (UHRI) is leading the UDHR Audio/Video Project, an effort in partnership with the UN and other NGOs, including Wikitongues, to record native speakers reading the UDHR in all 500+ translations. This is an ambitious global initiative which unifies the struggles for language rights and human rights. We are letting the world know that these two issues are synonymous, while improving access to the UDHR for millions.

Each recording of the UDHR represents a meaningful accomplishment. The UDHR Audio/Video Project maximizes the impact of these recordings by integrating them with illustrations and text from the Declaration into UHRI’s UDHR Web App.

The resulting presentation is a powerful human rights educational tool that can be easily distributed over the internet. Links to specific language presentations are sent to human rights NGOs and schools in the areas where that language is spoken.

To date, the UDHR Web App includes 65 recorded languages, with more being added all the time. The App has been viewed in over 155 countries by speakers of 125+ languages.

UHRI recognizes that language rights and human rights are inextricably connected and we are proud to partner with Wikitongues on the UDHR Audio/Video Project. Together, we challenge our global communities to achieve the ambitious goal of protecting individual languages and promoting universal human rights. Add your voice by contributing a UDHR recording in your language!

For more information about UHRI and the UDHR Audio/Video Project, please visit the UHRI website. If you are interested in recording the UDHR in your language, please contact the UDHR Audio/Video Project at