1789: Declaration of the Rights of Man

Passed during the French Revolution as a collaboration between General Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of the Rights of Man became a formative document in the history of human rights. The declaration defines a single set of individual and collective rights for all men. Influenced by the doctrine of natural rights, these rights are held to be universal.

Read the Declaration here.

1959: The U.N. Declaration on the Rights of the Child

In 1924, the League of Nations drafted the first human rights document approved by an inter-governmental institution. After considering a number of options, including that of drafting an entirely new declaration, the United Nations resolved in 1946 to adopt the document, in a much expanded version, as its own statement of children's rights. 

Read the Declaration here.

1973: Minimum Age Convention (No. 138)

Adopted in 1973 by the International Labour Organization, the Minimum Age Convention requires ratifying states to pursue a national policy designed to ensure the effective abolition of child labour and to raise progressively the minimum age for admission to employment or work. The convention (number C138 of ILO) replaced several similar ILO conventions in specific fields of labour.

Read the full text of the convention here.

1999: Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No. 182)

The Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, known in short as the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, was adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 1999 as ILO Convention No 182. By ratifying this Convention No. 182, a country commits itself to taking immediate action to prohibit and eliminate the worst forms of child labour. The ILO's International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) is responsible for assisting countries in this regard as well as monitoring compliance. 

Read the full text of the convention here.

2011: Convention on Domestic Workers (No. 189)

The Convention on Domestic Workers, formally the Convention concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers is a convention setting labour standards for domestic workers.  The main rights given to domestic workers as decent work are daily and weekly rest hours, entitlement to minimum wage, and to choose the place where they live and spend their leave. Ratifying states parties also take protective measures against violence and should enforce a minimum age which is consistent with the minimum age at other types of employment. 

Read the full text of the convention here