Ancient & Modern
History of the Theosophical
Welsh Theosophy presents
A Charter of Human Rights 1936
Theosophists did a great deal to help the victims of Nazi oppression in the
1930s with Peter Freeman very active in this area. The rise of totalitarian
regimes was of great concern and this piece reporting on The T.S. in
A Charter of Human Rights
At the European Congress of the Theosophical Society all National
Societies were invited to form a local Committee to consider National and World
Problems and to make recommendations accordingly. A small committee was
appointed by the National Council with Miss Mary Jones as secretary. As a
result “A Charter of Human Rights” has been drawn up and is being submitted to
the World Congress at
Here is the Charter as presented
A Charter of Brotherhood and Human Rights
Belief in the principle of Human Brotherhood, as an ideal for all men and women the world over, is so universally held by enlightened people that an effort should now be made to define what it implies. In the past the ideal of Brotherhood has been mainly advocated for application by individual men and women in their personal and social relationships.
On account of the rapid development of modern transport and communication with its effect upon commerce and industry, the organization of which now tends to transcend the limitations of national boundaries, and on account of the international character of financial transactions, which have effects upon a continental and worldwide scale, the Nations of the world are now becoming integrated into a single world-wide civilization. Intellectual culture now traverses all national boundaries and is another factor in this integration.
In spite of this modern development the principle of Brotherhood has received little attention in its practical application. No common standard throughout the world in this respect has been recognized. Perhaps it is because of this lack, that international and economic difficulties arise. The Declaration of Brotherhood and Human Rights which follows is an attempt to formulate such a basic standard. It is proposed that this Declaration should be considered by allcountries, and that it should be given practical effect in accordance with the particular circumstances and conditions which exist in each country.
Recognition of Rights implies an equal recognition of Duties. The former cannot exsit without the latter. Nothing therefore, is to be read into this Declaration which may be interpreted as permission for relaxation of the duties which every citizen owes to his family, town, country, and to the whole human race.
A Declaration of Brotherhood and Human Rights
Each man, woman and child of every race, creed, rank, caste and nation is primarily and fundamentally a member of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity.
Every individual shall therefore be entitled to enjoy:-
The right to Life,
2) The right to express his thoughts and opinions freely and without interference, in speech, in writing, in private and in public meeting.
3) The right to fair and impartial trial, and to equal Justice in common with all other individuals without regard to any distinction whatever.
4) The right to hold, advocate and practice any form of Religion or none, without interference or compulsion from any source whatever.
5) The right to reside in any country, irrespective of nationality.
6) The right to complete freedom to Trade with any other citizens of the world whether acting as an individual or as a member of a trading company or group.
7) The right to combine with other individuals, whether in his own country or in other countries, to form international societies or group organizations for the pursuit of any form of human welfare.
8) The right to determine in conjunction with the other citizens in his own country the form and personnel of the Government in his own country.
9) The right to Economic Maintenance
10)The right to education for all children
Brotherhood and Personal Duties
Because Rights can only be maintained by the fulfillment of Duties, the foregoing Declaration of Rights recognizes the following conditions:-
1) Every individual shall comply with the Laws of his Country and of the Country in which he is for the time being resident and shall exercise his rights only in such a manner as will preserve the corresponding rights of others and in accordance with the prevailing standards of courtesy and decency.
2) The right to freedom of Expression of Opinion shall not permit incitation to any act contrary to the Laws for the time being in force, but will permit advocacy of change in such Laws.
3) The right of Religious Freedom shall only be exercised for human progress and shall not confer any permission for cruelty, animal or other sacrifices or the use of any insidious form of mental influences.
4) The right of freedom to Trade shall not prevent any community of nation making laws for the prohibition or regulation of trade in specified articles, and traders and trading companies shall be free to trade only within such limitations.
5) The right of determination of the form and personnel of the Government implies no criticismof, or recommendation of any particular form of government of any particular class of individuals. Each individual shall exercise his right of political self-determination only in his own country and in conjunction with all his fellow citizens.
6) The right of residence in a country other than his own shal not permit any individual to become an economic charge upon such a country.
7) The right of the individual to Economic Maintenance by the community can only be maintained if every individual gives corresponding support to the community. Every nation shall therefore determine the conditions in which such economic maintenance for its citizens is to be obtained.