Reactions to Afua Hirsch’s opinion piece on 2018’s anniversaries of the founding of the NHS and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
In reminding us of the 70th anniversary yet to come on 10 December 2018 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Celebrate the NHS at 70. But don’t forget what inspired it, Journal, 27 June), Afua Hirsch missed an opportunity to reflect that it was a Briton, HG Wells, whose The Rights of Man provided the source for much of the text of the declaration. Thus, through the work of the drafting committee chaired by a Canadian, John Peters Humphrey, the UK played a key underpinning role in its drafting.
The declaration was the principal driver in the development of the 1950 European convention on human rights, which adopted much of the UDHR but also established a court for the enforcement of the convention: the European court of human rights. Another Briton, Sir David Maxwell Fyfe, played a key part in the development of the convention.