Preamble to the Constitution of October 27th 1946

  1. In the morrow of the victory achieved by the free peoples over the regimes that had sought to enslave and degrade humanity, the people of France proclaim anew that each human being, without distinction of race, religion or creed, possesses sacred and inalienable rights. They solemnly reaffirm the rights and freedoms of man and the citizen enshrined in the Declaration of Rights of 1789 and the fundamental principles acknowledged in the laws of the Republic.

  2. They further proclaim, as being especially necessary to our times, the political, economic and social principles enumerated below:

  3. The law guarantees women equal rights to those of men in all spheres.

  4. Any man persecuted in virtue of his actions in favour of liberty may claim the right of asylum upon the territories of the Republic.

  5. Each person has the duty to work and the right to employment. No person may suffer prejudice in his work or employment by virtue of his origins, opinions or beliefs.

  6. All men may defend their rights and interests through union action and may belong to the union of their choice.

  7. The right to strike shall be exercised within the framework of the laws governing it.

  8. All workers shall, through the intermediary of their representatives, participate in the collective determination of their conditions of work and in the management of the work place.

  9. All property and all enterprises that have or that may acquire the character of a public service or de facto monopoly shall become the property of society.

  10. The Nation shall provide the individual and the family with the conditions necessary to their development.

  11. It shall guarantee to all, notably to children, mothers and elderly workers, protection of their health, material security, rest and leisure. All people who, by virtue of their age, physical or mental condition, or economic situation, are incapable of working, shall have to the right to receive suitable means of existence from society.

  12. The Nation proclaims the solidarity and equality of all French people in bearing the burden resulting from national calamities.

  13. The Nation guarantees equal access for children and adults to instruction, vocational training and culture. The provision of free, public and secular education at all levels is a duty of the State.

  14. The French Republic, faithful to its traditions, shall respect the rules of public international law. It shall undertake no war aimed at conquest, nor shall it ever employ force against the freedom of any people.

  15. Subject to reciprocity, France shall consent to the limitations upon its sovereignty necessary to the organisation and preservation of peace.

  16. France shall form with its overseas peoples a Union founded upon equal rights and duties, without distinction of race or religion.

  17. The French Union shall be composed of nations and peoples who agree to pool or coordinate their resources and their efforts in order to develop their respective civilisations, increase their well-being, and ensure their security.

  18. Faithful to its traditional mission, France desires to guide the peoples under its responsibility towards the freedom to administer themselves and to manage their own affairs democratically; eschewing all systems of colonisation founded upon arbitrary rule, it guarantees to all equal access to public office and the individual or collective exercise of the rights and freedoms proclaimed or confirmed herein.