Freedom from fear

one of the fundamental human rights

Freedom from fear is a fundamental human right. This right was mentioned by American President Franklin D. Roosevelt as one of the Four Freedoms human beings everywhere in the world should have. Roosevelt presented the Four Freedoms at his State of the Union of January 6, 1941, which therefore has been called the Four Freedoms Speech as well.[1]

Freedom from Fear of painter Norman Rockwell of 1943

This right, as well as the other three of the Four Freedoms of Roosevelt, makes part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was accepted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948.[2] Freedom from fear is written down in the introduction tot the UN Declaration.[3]

In his speech Roosevelt described his fourth right as follows:

The fourth is freedom from fear which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor, anywhere in the world.

— Franklin D. Roosevelt, January 6, 1941[1]

In 1943 Norman Rockwell painted his work Freedom from Fear which is one of four paintings he made on Roosevelts Four Freedoms.

Aung San Suu Kyi has named this right many times in speeches and wrote a book with the title Freedom From Fear on it in 1991. Historian David M. Kennedy was inspired by the right as well and in 1991 he brought out his book with the title Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929–1945.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Roosvelt, Franklin Delano (January 6, 1941) The Four Freedoms, American Rethoric
  2. Alfreðsson, Guðmundur S.; Eide, Asbjørn (1999). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A Common Standard of Achievement. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 524. ISBN 90-411-1168-9.
  3. United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights