Dignity For All: A Universal Concept with Relative Meaning
Leila Nicolas PhD
"Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is as act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human rights, the right to dignity and a decent life".
Nelson Mandella, Trafalgar Square speech,3 Feb. 2005.
Nowadays, Dignity is the main concept being discussed at the international, academic, and political levels; it has made a central issue of the refugee problems in Europe, in attacking poverty in Africa, in the areas of bioethics, in the homosexual rights, and in the international academic and political contexts.
In their preambles, both The United Nations Charter (1945) and Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) emphasized on the respect of "dignity". It was directly after the WWII, that drafters of the Charter recognized that prevention of war necessitates the respect of human dignity.
The world today is witnessing a wave of progressive changes raising awareness of respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, beginning with the Millennium Development Goals in 2000 and carried on with the Sustainable Development Goals launched by the United Nations in 2015, which referred to “Dignity for All” as a universal goal. With the spread of these ideals, there is an emphasis on the dignity of human beings , which paves the way for a sustainable society that respects all human rights for all people everywhere. Human dignity became attached to human rights, i.e. to conform to human rights is to preserve human dignity. “When we deny others their dignity we risk at the same time losing our humanity”.
Latterly, criticism arose that the notion of dignity which has been widely and repeatedly used by social scientists, politicians, human rights' activists in a variety of contexts is vague. Paradoxically, dignity is at the core of a debate as an argument used by opposing sides when defending or deploring abortion, euthanasia, honor killing or death penalty. As the discourse continues, different approaches to human dignity only add to the confusion and ambiguity of the term over its usefulness and proper applicability in practice.
This research seeks to fill the research gap that exists regarding the definition given by ordinary people to dignity. Most of the publications about dignity refer to ideas and views of academicians, political scientists, and UN practitioners. Little - if any- had asked ordinary people, students, housewives and low - wage workers how do they define dignity.
Besides, The UN has put "dignity for all" as a goal in its post- millennium agenda, without trying to define exactly what is dignity in the Secretary - General understanding. No one has ever asked the UN - post millennium agenda- targeted population: what does dignity really mean for you?.
Trying to fill this gap and answer the main question : Can a concept as vague as human dignity represent a feasible goal for humanity?, this paper utilizes secondary sources about the development of dignity as a notion and concept, and relies on a questionnaire and interviews- conducted by group of university students - choosing a random sample that includes mainly Middle Easterners and Europeans, university students and workers, fresh graduates and elders etc.
This paper will be divided into two main parts; the first part will elaborate the evolution of the concept of dignity throughout history ( philosophically and in international transcripts), and subsequently discuss dignity as a goal of the United Nations. In the second part, we will present the results of the survey and analyze the findings.
Till now, there is no internationally agreed definition as to what is in the term "dignity", some define it as "respect that other people have for you or that you have for yourself". Miriam Webster dictionary defines it as " the quality of being worthy of honor or respect", while Cambridge dictionary defines it as "the importance and value that a person has, that makes other people respect them or makes them respect themselves".
From various definitions, we notice that that dignity is about respect (for self and granted to us by others). To the contrary, dignity is not the same as respect. Dignity is our inherent value and worth as human beings; everyone is born with it. Respect, on the other hand, is earned through one’s actions. It is more than just respect.
Since Greek mythology 2500 BC till now, the concept of dignity has been an ever- changing concept. Sophocles' proverb “Better to die with dignity than to live in shame” is one example of the traces of dignity in the ancient philosophy. However, in Greek and Roman political thought, dignity was given only to people with special status, class and rank.
‘Dignitas hominis’ in classical Roman thought usually meant ‘status of honor and respect’ which was provided to someone only who was worthy of that honor and respect because he has a particular status. Even women, in Greek society, were denied "degnitas". So, appointment to particular public offices brought with it 'dignitas' to male adults.
Plato’s and Aristotle’s works have also contributed to the understanding of dignity though relating dignity closely to social class. Aristotle's books give differentiated meanings of dignity for each social group. Cicero, emphasized that "dignity" is what differentiate man from animals "in their reason and desire .... Man’s mind is developed by study and reflection … . From this we may learn that sensual pleasure is wholly unworthy of the dignity of the human race". 
Monotheistic Religious doctrines, whether that of Judaism, Christianity or Islam, all share a common view of dignity, which is pivotal for every human being and is the basis of everyone’s life, however relating it to abidance of God's will and teachings as it is taught by the religious institution . A human being preserves his God-given dignity and grows in it only if he lives in accordance with moral norms because these norms express the primordial and therefore authentic human nature not darkened by sin. Thus, there is a direct link between human dignity and morality.
In his infamous 'On the Law of War and Peace' (1625), Grotius considered human dignity is inherent for both dead and alive, saying "....[T]he most obvious explanation is to be found in the dignity of man, who surpassing other creatures, it would be a shame, if his body was left to be devoured by beasts of prey".
Thomas Aquinas and Renaissance philosophers, combined the "two God's gifts"; i.e. dignity and reason. Using reason, therefore, came to be closely connected with the idea of dignity, thus dignity is related to responsibility; and Man's ability to choose to be what he wants to be.
Dignity concept kept sticking to God, till Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). Actually, Kant can be regarded as the "the father of the modern concept of human dignity". He was the first to relate dignity to humans; emphasizing that "human dignity requires that individuals should be treated as ends and not simply as means to an end". His remarkable approach lies in his consideration that the humanity of the person is worthy of respect since 'humanity itself is dignity'. For him, dignity is closely tied with value and respect for others stressing the non-instrumentalisation of human persons.
Thanks to The French Revolution (1789) through the provisions of the 'Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen' that "dignity" was extended to every citizen on basis of ‘ the natural dignity of man’ which meant that the value of a human is not to be judged anymore on noble heritage, economic capacity and contribution, but to all citizens equally.
The nineteenth century calls for social reforms widened the scope of dignity and connected between dignity and improvement of social conditions, providing social welfare, and abolition of slavery. Then, it was in the twentieth century, that human dignity was articulated in the international texts and national constitutions.
The German sociologist Jurgen Habermas intrigued that the concept of human dignity, present in antiquity and the thoughts of Kant, only resurfaced at the end of World War II. He noticed that prior to that time, all international conventions and covenants had been related only to human rights, disregarding human dignity. However, despite the common view of the supremacy and precedence of human rights over human dignity, Habermas finds a conceptual connection between both of them. Human rights aim to spread core moral values on all people of the world, thus assuring all the maxims that the UN preaches are effectuated, whereas human dignity is seen to be a prerequisite of the implementation of human rights.
Some authors refer to Dijon Declaration adopted in July 1936, as the first trace of international text referring to human dignity quoting ‘respect for human dignity and civilized behavior ’. Actually, that was an achievement of a nongovernmental organization "The French League of Human Rights" as a Complement to the French revolution "Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen".
Human dignity was a core notion in the Charter of the United Nations (1945). It reads “the peoples of the United Nations” are “determined” to achieve dignity. It is clear that the founding documents of the United Nations linked human rights to human dignity as an apparent reaction to war crimes and massacres committed during WWII.
Likewise, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) in Article I states:”All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
Interestingly, at the first meeting of United Nations Commission on Human Rights, a debate arose between the representatives of the USSR, USA and Lebanon concerning human rights and the position of an individual within his state. The Soviet representative claimed that since the state was indispensable in protecting humans and therefore their rights, the priority should be given to the state, whereas Eleanor Roosevelt - representing the United States of America - defended the need to protect and promote human rights at first. Resolving this issue, Charles Malik of Lebanon suggested that the state should serve human rights since its primary purpose of existence is its people. Consequently, priority was given to human rights.
Geneva Conventions (1948) and its protocols I and II, adopted the respect of human dignity and prohibited humiliating and degrading treatments. Following their adoption, those documents inspired many new independent states to assert the respect of human dignity while drafting their constitutions. Before 1945, only five countries used the term "dignity" in their constitutions, while at the close of 2012, there were 162 countries have done so.
Unfortunately, it is worth pointing out that despite UN’s efforts to propagate human rights and dignity, it fails to acquire credibility and effectiveness. Only in recent decades, dignity has become at the foundation of the international human rights system and subsequently played an irreplaceable role in international courts.
“Dignity for all” as a post-2015 United Nations Development Goal
In the first era of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (2000), the UN didn't mention dignity as one of the promised goals to help poor countries and cutting the amount of extreme poverty worldwide in half by 2015.
It was in 2013, that the UN Secretary - General referred to dignity and correlated it to development in his report “A Life of Dignity for All”, which was an annual report addressing the progress in the implementation of the (MDGs) until 2015, and to make recommendations for further steps to advance the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015.
Fortunately, The MDGs succeeded, even before 2015, in cutting by half extreme poverty around the world, and dropping the estimated share of the developing-world population living on less than $1.25 per day from 43 percent in 1990 to roughly 21 percent in 2010. Many millennium development goals had been reached, not due to the efforts of the United Nations and its partners only, but by many actors around the world have been working towards more development and prosperity such as China, and other rising Asian countries.
The progress was not enough, as Mr. Adib Nehme - ESCWA high official- has stated “Although significant achievements have been made on many of the MDG targets worldwide, progress has been uneven across regions and countries, leaving significant gaps. Millions of people are being left behind, especially the poorest and those disadvantaged because of their sex, disability, ethnicity or geographic location. Targeted efforts will be needed to reach the most vulnerable people.”
"Dignity" became the core in the new UN agenda aiming towards developing all countries of the world from 2015 until 2030. Meeting in September 2015, on the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, the heads of state, governments and high representatives agreed on a plan of action to be implemented between the years 2015 and 2030, which included 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The "Road to Dignity" involved Ending Hunger and All poverty, Transforming All Lives, reducing Inequalities, and Protecting the Planet.
Looking at the 17 goals, it is clear that dignity is now strictly related to development.
Our survey was conducted on March - April, 2016 by a group of researchers residing in Lebanon, through direct interaction with the respondents across Lebanon, and online with non - Lebanese. The sample constituted of 250 questionnaires, which were conducted randomly on heterogeneous populations mainly of Middle Easterners and Europeans, i.e. 85% Arabs and 15% foreigners (EU Nationals 12% and 3% Other).
Age of the respondents:
47% of the respondents are university students (18-25) for they are more likely to know about the UN goals.
Respondents according to their gender:
Most of the Arab respondents were Lebanese, the rest were from Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Tunis, Algeria, Iraq, Egypt and Kuwait. 12% are Europeans; i.e. from the United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Slovakia and Germany. The rest (3%) are Americans, Armenians and Turks.
50 % of the respondents are working, 39% are students, 9% are studying and working, while just 2% are unemployed.
1- How do you understand dignity?
25% related to human rights, freedom and equality
23% related to respect and self-respect
22% a human value
15% a right to a decent life
7% related to integrity and pride
2% related to my nation
4% an abstract notion / non existing notion
The majority refer to dignity as an individual and subjective matter. It is remarkable that those 4% denying the existence of dignity constitute of both Arabs and Europeans.
2- Is dignity a right that belongs to everyone?
90% of the respondents saw dignity as a right belonging to everyone. Out of 10% of those who disagreed; 7% saw it as a right to be deserved and not given, and 3% found the notion too ambiguous to be considered everyone’s right.
The answers (1,2) reveal that dignity is still an ambiguous concept, not defined exactly even in the minds of humans. It was the Palestinians who related dignity to the existence of a homeland.
3. Has your understanding of dignity improved with age?
82% of the respondents have experienced a change in their understanding for dignity, while 12% have maintained the same understanding without any change as they grew older.
4- How do you evaluate the correlation between dignity and the following conditions?
Around One third of the respondents see no correlation between dignity and financial situation.
More than 75% have pointed to a strong correlation between dignity and both justice and equality.
A little over 50% find a strong correlation between dignity and security. Note that security concerns and instability in the Arab region may explain the high percentages (more than 50%) correlating dignity and security.
Almost 50% see a strong correlation between dignity and both national affiliation and a clean environment. It is important to note that the survey was conducted during a garbage crisis in Lebanon, this may explain the high percentages that correlate dignity to clean environment.
N.B: Whereas national affiliation is strongest amongst Middle Easterners, a clean environment was more important to Europeans and - to some extent - Lebanese respondents.
Less than 50% strongly correlate dignity to free education. Most of those aged between 18 and 25, and have defined dignity as related to human rights, fundamental freedoms and equality.
Whilst almost 75% find a strong correlation between dignity and both equal opportunities and retirement insurance benefits. The majority of those are Arabs living in developing countries, and still striving for their basic rights.
5. Dignity is:
It is remarkable that none of the respondents, of which 85% were Arabs, related dignity to religion. While 42% reasserted that dignity is a human right and 43% as a basis of all human rights and not a right by itself.
The ambiguity of the concept is thus reconfirmed, for 15% said that dignity is a personal feeling Hence, not a right, even though 90% of the respondents in (Q.2) have already stated that dignity is a human right.
what the respondents are sure of ( through their answers) that dignity is not related to religion or by the abidance of religious - moral teachings, which contradicts with the religious definition of human dignity.
6. Do you consider that you live in a complete dignity?
Only 33.3% consider themselves living in complete dignity. The result shows that even after the progress and success in achieving the Millennium Development Goals; 66.7% of the respondents still consider they don't live in complete dignity.
it is important to note that both EU nationals and Arabs alike said that they don't live in complete dignity.
7. Is your State playing a role in maintaining your dignity?
40.4% of the respondents live in countries where their dignity is not maintained by the State. Just 16.2% considers feel that their states play a significant role in maintaining their dignity.
The result was surprising noting that EU nationals and Arabs alike constitute this majority.
65% find dignity as inherent to a human being, 21% see dignity as acquired through one’s doings and Just 2% relate their dignity to adhering to the principles of their religions. Of those who do not relate dignity to any of the given options (12%), some see dignity as regulated through constitutions and laws (2%), or as both inherent and should be maintained through work and behavior (4%), while 5% related dignity to having other rights and freedoms, while 1% find dignity to be too vague as a concept.
We see that the respondents are unsure of what is dignity. 65% ascertain dignity as inherent to a human being, and most of them are Europeans. While the 21% relating dignity to one’s own achievements are mostly Arabs and have to constantly prove themselves in a society where law is of the fittest, and human rights are not respected.
Once again, the relation between dignity and religious practices gets a negligible amount of acceptance.
9. Mention a thing, act or law that affects your dignity:
24% discrimination and racism
21% discriminatory laws/lack of laws
13% disrespect for people and their rights
2% lack of political participation
5 % unemployment
3% statelessness and displacement
7% no answer
Given that most of the respondents live in developing countries, it is not surprising to see corruption and discrimination at the top of the list of things that violate their human dignity. Most of the Europeans didn't answer this question, or said that they have never felt that their dignity is being affected negatively.
10. Do you know United Nation’s definition of “Dignity for all”?
Only 34% of the respondents know the UN definition and the goal of “Dignity for All”, more than 50% do not. Noting that 48% of the respondents are University students (39% students + 9% working and studying), it means that the UN outreach strategy promoting the post- Millennium agenda needs improvement.
11. If yes, do you think that the UN’s efforts to achieve "dignity for all" are sufficient?
Just around 6% feels that the UN is doing sufficient efforts to achieve dignity for all goals. More than half of the respondents see the efforts of the United Nations are insufficient.
The high percentage of “No Answer” is probably due to not knowing the efforts undertaken by the United Nations, and thus not being able to assess the results of unknown work, which confirms our previous conclusion that the UN outreach strategy has been failing.
12. .Mention a right that you do not truly exercise:
29% the right to security and health
26% political rights
16% freedom of speech
4% right to a clean environment
3% right to free education
3 % right to self determination
2% right to cheap entertainment
8 % none
Respondents living in developing countries, emphasized on their right to vote (26%) or freedom of speech, (16%), plus basic human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Europeans said they strive for their right to cheap entertainment, and some of them had never thought of a right they have never exercised.
13. In your opinion, does dignity vary between developing and developed countries?
Yes 82% No 14% 4% no answer
14. In your opinion, does the understanding of dignity vary between rich and poor?
Yes 72% No 20% 8% no answer
Although less than 25% of the respondents believed of a strong correlation between dignity and financial situation in Q3, 82% realize that the concept varies between developing and developed countries, and 72 % see that dignity vary between rich and poor.
15.In your opinion, is dignity a new concept that appeared with the emergence of human rights, or it has been since the dawn of humanity?
47% started with humanity
25% appeared and evolved with human rights
18% appeared with humanity but evolved along human rights
3% dignity is an ever-evolving concept
3% dignity is not felt/implemented
4% no answer
16. Do you think that respecting human rights and providing dignity for all creates a better world?
91.8% think that respecting human rights and providing dignity for all creates a better world, which confirms the new vision of the UN on Post- millennium goals and road map.
Our research prove that:
ü The term "human dignity" has no accepted definition, it is so ambiguous that it hasn't just been defined by various respondents in different ways, but even, defined diversely by the same respondent.
ü Despite its ambiguity, the notion coheres with certain ideas, like inherent rights, having certain value and respect.
ü Justice and equality, equal opportunities and retirement insurance benefits are regarded as essential for a dignified life.
ü dignity is also attached to the right of a people to self-determination.
ü The definition of dignity is affected by culture, nationality and life experiences.
ü people’s definitions also varied with respect to the age, financial status, living conditions, and the place they live.
ü Respondents' views vary according to social status; working respondents strive for more security and health, more respect, whereas students showed a desire for more freedoms, free education and freedom of speech.
ü Some still believe that dignity is not a right by itself but rather as deserved status acquired through one’s doings!. It was astonishing that some people in the 21st century, still believe in a concept that has changed dramatically since the enlightenment era, and the French revolution.
ü Dignity raises a conflict between theory and practice; in theory, dignity is a right belonging to everyone, irrespective of financial status, however in practice, dignity is still strongly tied to wealth and financial stability. for example: many of the respondents have refused to strongly correlate dignity to financial status, even though they mostly agreed that dignity does differ between rich and poor. Likewise, they saw a difference in dignity between developed and developing nations.
ü Almost half of the respondents do not feel that efforts of the United Nations are enough and sufficient, and this shows a lack of trust in the international organization charged with the mission of spreading and maintaining human rights and dignity for all people everywhere.
ü As the lack of human rights protection in general is more common in Arab countries, perhaps the gap in the perception of dignity between Europeans and Arabs can be clarified in the words of Mr. Adib Nehme: “Having dignity is experienced as being the opposite of experiencing humiliation of the self. A clear understanding of dignity therefore emerges when it is lost. Surely, it is often easier for a human being to know when his dignity is violated than to be aware of when his dignity is intact. Feelings such as in the case of being a victim of inequality perpetrated on him, which makes the rich richer and the poor poorer, while 10 super rich billionaires are drawing out the greater part of the global wealth; these reflect what dignity for all is all about.”
Hence, dignity is a universal concept but as clearly demonstrated, it’s a universal concept with relative meaning. It’s relative related to age, gender, nationality, social status, life experiences, and financial situations.
Hence, we go back to our main Question: Can a concept as vague as human dignity represent a feasible goal for humanity?.
I suppose that, using a universal concept with relative meaning and no specified definitions, make the UN benefits this 'constructive ambiguity'. dignity can mean everything and sometimes it means different things according to the culture, economic standing and backgrounds of diverse societies. thus, the UN implementation can take diverse means to tailor a population - based solutions under the wide umbrella of "dignity".
Thus, from our findings we can recommend that first of all, the UN should creatively use the 'constructive ambiguity' to adapt diverse solutions based on country's own characteristics; traditions, culture, laws, norms…and second, the UN should work on its outreach strategy, and try to publicize post- agenda goals especially in classrooms.
In a world where money is the motivator and interests are the fuel, there can be no true implementation of human rights, no respect for human dignity and no security for a human being, if we don't stand for our humanity.
In our minds, dignity reflects the legacy of Kant’s philosophy and signifies enjoying freedom, having an expanding scope of rights. Every person has a value, so does every act and thought; therein lies dignity. Although the notion became generally accepted and recognized as a value regardless of the socio-cultural differences, and became as an indispensable part of political, social and bioethical discourses, it has no accurate widely accepted definition and no uniform application in reality.
The ambiguity of the concept makes it hard to ascertain, whether dignity is just one amongst all the human rights, a consequence of the latter, or the causative of such rights. Similarly, what could be noticed is confusion between the concept of human dignity as something which is inherent in all human beings, and the term “dignity” or “dignified” in connotation with status and self-respect in every-day usage. One of the contemporary philosophers, Thomas Christiano, views dignity as a value, but with relative weight. Not only has dignity a different meaning for every human, considering his innate uniqueness, it also entails paradoxes, is relative, and its interpretation vary radically with time, place and person.
While achieving all the Sustainable Development Goals will definitely lead to creation of a better world, cooperation with local policy makers is needed to make a noticeable change in lives of ordinary people. Therefore, the 'constructive ambiguity' shaped in the term dignity can be the most effective way to implement tailor- made solutions for different societies.
Christiano Thomas, Annual Review of Law and Ethics, Verlag Duncker and Humblot, Berlin, 2008.
Habermas Jurgen, “The Concept of Human Dignity and the Realistic Utopia of Human Rights”, Metaphilosophy, volume 4, issue 4, July 2010.
Sensen Oliver, Kant on Human Dignity, Walter de Gruyter & Co, Germany, 2011.
Sophocles. Antigone, translated by E. H. Plumptre. Vol. VIII, Part 6. The Harvard Classics. New York: P.F. Collier & Son, 1909–14; Bartleby.com, 2001, available at: www.bartleby.com/8/6/
Markhgeim M.V., Novikova A.E., Tonkov E.E. , Pozharova L.A., Personal Dignity in the ancient Philosophical-Legal Agenda, Medwell Journals, 2015,Russia, available at: http://docsdrive.com/pdfs/medwelljournals/sscience/2015/1273-1276.pdf
Macmillian, Macmillian English Dictionary for advanced learners, Second Edition, Macmillian Publishers Limited, United Kingdom, 2007.
J. McArthur, “Own the Goals: What the Millennium Development Goals Have Accomplished”, in Foreign Affairs, March/April 2013 Issue, available at:
Riley Stephen, Human dignity: comparative and conceptual debates, 6 INT’L J. L. IN CONTEXT 117, 131, 2010.
Rosen M., Dignity: Its History and Meaning, Harvard University Press, USA, 2012.
Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), An Arab Perspective on the Post 2015 Agenda:National targets, regional priorities and global goal, United Nations, 2014.
Constitutión Política de los Estdos Unidos Mexicanos [C.P] as amended, Diario Official de la Federación [DO]. art. 3(1)(c), 5 de Febrero de 1917 (Mex.); Const. of Weimar Germany, 1919, art. 151 (F.R.G); Const. of Finland, 1919, Sec. 1(1); Const. of Ireland, 1922, pmbl.; Const. of Cuba, 1940, art. 20.
Redclift, Michael. "Sustainable development (1987–2005): an oxymoron comes of age." Sustainable development 13.4 (2005): 212-227.
Doody, Justin, “Are more sustainable societies happier?”, March 15, 2015, available at: http://deliver2030.org/?p=6817.
Smith C., “The UN Human Rights Council and the Inherent Dignity of the Human Person”, available at: http://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1272&context=hrbrie.
Stewart Francis, “One flaw in the sustainable development goals may make the difference between success and failure”, The Elders, September 17, 2015 available at: http://theelders.org/article/one-flaw-sustainable-development-goals-may-make-difference-between-success-and-failure
UN General Assembly, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 10 December 1948, 217 A (III), available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b3712c.html.
United Nations, Charter of the United Nations, 24 October 1945, 1 UNTS XVI, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b3930.html.
Sustainable Development knowledge platform,Sustainable Development Goals, avaiable at: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs.
United Nations, Synthesis Report of the Secretary-General on the Post-2015 Agenda, USA, 2014, available at: http://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/reports/SG_Synthesis_Report_Road_to_Dignity_by_2030.pdf.
United Nations Secretary-General, “A life of dignity for all : accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015”, New York, 26 July 2013 (A/68/202).
Global Reporting Initiative, Global Reporting Initiative Statement , USA, 2015 https://www.globalreporting.org/resourcelibrary/GRI_Statement_UN_SG_Synthesis_Report_Post2015.pdf.
 Paper presented at the Academic Council on UN System - Annual meeting " Meeting the Challenges of Development and Dignity", Fordham University, NY, 16 -18 June, 2016.
 It reads "We the peoples of the united nations determined to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person..."
 It assures that "....[R]ecognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world".
 M. Rosen, Dignity: Its History and Meaning, Harvard University Press, USA, 2012.
 Macmillian, Macmillian English Dictionary for advanced learners, Second Edition, Macmillian Publishers Limited, United Kingdom, 2007.
 Donna Hicks, What Is the Real Meaning of Dignity, Apr 10, 2013. Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dignity/201304/what-is-the-real-meaning-dignity-0
 Christopher McCrudden, Human dignity and judicial interpretation of human rights. EJIL 19 (2008), 655 – 724.
 M. V. Markhgeim, A. E. Novikova, E. E. Tonkov ,L. A. Pozharova, Personal Dignity in the ancient Philosophical-Legal Agenda, Medwell Journals, 2015,Russia, available at: http://docsdrive.com/pdfs/medwelljournals/sscience/2015/1273-1276.pdf
 Quoted in Christopher McCrudden, op.cit, p. 657.
In Judaism, 'Kevod HaBeriyot' means 'honor and 'dignity', is related to those who honor God, citing this verse "it is said: 'For those who honor Me (God) I will honor, and those who scorn Me shall be degraded' (Samuel I 2:30)" Mishnah (Avot 4:1).
For Russian Orthodox Church view, see:
http://orthodoxrights.org/documents/russian-church-freedom-and-rights/i-human-dignity-as-a-religious-and-ethical-category [ accessed May 2, 2016].
For Catholic view, see:
http://www.catholicsocialteaching.org.uk/themes/human-dignity/ [ accessed May 2, 2016].
For Islamic view:
http://islamicstudies.islammessage.com/Article.aspx?aid=534[ accessed May 2, 2016].
 HugoGrotius, De Jure Belli ac Pacis (trans. A.C. Campbell, London, 1814), Bk II, chap. 19.
for more about this idea, see:
P. della Mirandola, On the Dignity of Man (trans. C. Glenn Wallis, ed. Hackett Publishing Company, 1965, with an Introduction by Paul J.W. Miller),p. 5.
and; Arieli, ‘ On the Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for the Emergence of the Dignity of Man and His Rights ’ , in D. Kretzmer and E. Klein, The Concept of Human Dignity in Human Rights Discourse, 2002, pp. 1-9.
 Bognetti, ‘ The Concept of Human Dignity in European and U.S. Constitutionalism ’ , in G. Nolte (ed.), European and US Constitutionalism, Science and Technique of Democracy No. 37 (2005), at 75, 79.
 Kant, ‘ Metaphysics of Morals ’ , Section 38 of the Doctrine of Virtue (Ak. 6:462).
 Oliver Sensen, Kant on Human Dignity, Walter de Gruyter & Co, Germany, 2011.
 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, 1789, Art. 6: ‘ [a]ll citizens, being equal in the eyes of the law, are equally eligible to all dignities and to all public positions and occupations, according to their abilities, and without distinction except that of their virtues and talents.
 T. Paine, Rights of Man : Part the First (1791).
 : ‘ [g]ive him food and shelter;/When you have covered his nakedness, dignity will follow by itself. ’ 34 34 Cancik, supra note 11, at 36
Bolivar, the Latin American military leader, statesman, and icon, justified the
abolition of slavery as a ‘ shameless violation of human dignity ’ and laws
perpetuating it as ‘ sacrilege ’ . 35
One of the decrees of the French Republic established as a result of the revolution of 1848 abolished slavery as ‘ an affront to human dignity ’ . 36
35 Simón Bolivar, Message to the Congress of Bolivia (Lima, 25 May 1826), quoted in Carozza, supra note 33, at 301.
 Jurgen Habermas, “The Concept of Human Dignity and the Realistic Utopia of Human Rights”, Metaphilosophy, volume 4, issue 4, July 2010, pages 464-480.
 The Dijon Declaration, 1936, translated in H.G. Wells, The Rights of Man or What Are We Fighting For? (1940).
United Nations, Charter of the United Nations, 24 October 1945, 1 UNTS XVI, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b3930.html.
 UN General Assembly, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 10 December 1948, 217 A (III), available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b3712c.html.
 C. Smith, “The UN Human Rights Council and the Inherent Dignity of the Human Person”, available at: http://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1272&context=hrbrie.
 identical text in all the four conventions: ‘ Respect for the personality and dignity of human beings constitutes a universal principle which is binding even in the absence of any contractual undertaking".
 Constitutión Política de los Estdos Unidos Mexicanos [C.P] as amended, Diario Official de la Federación [DO]. art. 3(1)(c), 5 de Febrero de 1917 (Mex.); Const. of Weimar Germany, 1919, art. 151 (F.R.G); Const. of Finland, 1919, Sec. 1(1); Const. of Ireland, 1922, pmbl.; Const. of Cuba, 1940, art. 20.
 United Nations Secretary-General, “A life of dignity for all : accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015”, New York, 26 July 2013 (A/68/202).
 J. McArthur, “Own the Goals: What the Millennium Development Goals Have Accomplished”, in Foreign Affairs, March/April 2013 Issue, available at:
 Stated by Me. Adib Nehme on a visit to ESCWA in Beirut, Lebanon. Me. Nehme is Regional Advisor at the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) based in Beirut. Currently he is working on governance issues, national dialogue, and had worked previously in ESCWA as regional advisor on poverty, MDGs and social statistics.
Global Reporting Initiative, Global Reporting Initiative Statement , USA, 2015 https://www.globalreporting.org/resourcelibrary/GRI_Statement_UN_SG_Synthesis_Report_Post2015.pdf
 Me. Adib Nehme, op.cit.
 On the connection between the legal usage of “dignity” and its usage in common language, see Stephen Riley, Human dignity: comparative and conceptual debates, 6 INT’L J. L. IN CONTEXT 117, 131, 2010.
 Thomas Christiano, Annual Review of Law and Ethics, Verlag Duncker and Humblot, Berlin, 2008.