“human dignity” is to be found in central documents relating to the
international human rights protection such as the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, the United Nations Covenant on Social and Civil Rights, as well
as in European declarations about the protection of human rights such as the
Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and, of particular
relevance to Germany, in Article 1 of the German constitution. These documents
identify human dignity as the basis for a commitment to human rights – although
it often remains unclear what is actually meant by this term. Not only in
expert circles of jurists and philosophers but in the general public debate as
well, there are uncertainties and fundamental queries as to the respect for
The Church sees its role as an advocate of the dignity of every human being which must be absolutely respected. So the German Commission for Justice and Peace in 2009 has set up a working group of international experts on “Human Dignity and Human Rights” which is to offer clarifications from the church perspective to this debate.
For further reading:
Menschenwürde. Impulse zum Geltungsanspruch der Menschenrechte
Human Dignity and Human Rights
Conference record "Defending Human Dignity and Human Rights. A Challenge for International Cooperation"