Human Rights

Human rights are the inalienable fundamental rights to which you are inherently entitled simply because you are a person, regardless of your ethnicity, nationality, language, religion, or any other status. The comprehensive understanding of this concept elucidates the principles of freedom, equality, and respect that underpin civilized societies. This exploration delves into the definition, historical development, and the pressing issues surrounding human rights in various regions. Delving into a detailed list and the categorisation of rights, you will gain insight into the scope of these freedoms. Furthermore, the interaction of cultural perceptions with universal human rights standards is analysed, emphasising why the recognition and enforcement of these rights are paramount for sustained peace, justice, and societal progression. The inclusion of significant human rights conventions, such as those from Geneva and Europe, highlights the global commitment to upholding these essential principles.

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Table of contents

    Understanding Human Rights

    Exploring the notion of human rights offers a profound insight into the values and principles that shape societies and international relations. As you delve into this topic, you’ll uncover the fundamental protections and freedoms all individuals are entitled to, regardless of where they live or who they are.

    Human Rights Definition Explained

    Human Rights are the basic rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world, from birth until death. They apply regardless of where you are from, what you believe or how you choose to live your life. These rights can never be taken away, although they can sometimes be restricted – for example, if a person breaks the law, or in the interests of national security.

    These rights are designed to ensure that individuals are treated fairly and with dignity and to provide protection from abuses such as discrimination, repression, and injustice. Human rights include civil and political rights, such as the right to life, liberty, and freedom of expression; economic, social and cultural rights, such as the right to work, education, and health; and collective rights like the right to development and self-determination.

    Key documents that outline human rights include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the Geneva Convention of Human Rights, and the European Convention of Human Rights. Understanding the full list of human rights can be complex, but it generally includes:

    1. Right to Equality2. Freedom from Discrimination
    3. Right to Life, Liberty, Personal Security4. Freedom from Slavery
    5. Freedom from Torture and Degrading Treatment6. Right to Recognition as a Person before the Law
    7. Right to Equality before the Law8. Right to Remedy by Competent Tribunal
    9. Freedom from Arbitrary Arrest and Exile10. Right to Fair Public Hearing
    11. Right to be Considered Innocent until Proven Guilty12. Freedom from Interference with Privacy, Family, Home and Correspondence
    13. Right to Free Movement in and out of the Country14. Right to Asylum in other Countries from Persecution
    15. Right to a Nationality and the Freedom to Change It16. Right to Marriage and Family
    17. Right to Own Property18. Freedom of Belief and Religion
    19. Freedom of Opinion and Information20. Right to Peaceful Assembly and Association
    21. Right to Participate in Government and in Free Elections22. Right to Social Security
    23. Right to Desirable Work and to Join Trade Unions24. Right to Rest and Leisure
    25. Right to Adequate Living Standard26. Right to Education
    27. Right to Participate in the Cultural Life of Community28. Right to a Social Order that Articulates this Document
    29. Community Duties Essential to Free and Full Development30. Freedom from State or Personal Interference in the above Rights

    Did you know that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, has been translated into over 500 languages?

    The Evolution of the Concept of Human Rights

    The concept of human rights has evolved significantly over time, adapting to societal changes and expanding in scope. What began as a discourse on natural law and the rights of man during the Enlightenment era has now become a universal framework of standards that govern the treatment of individuals worldwide.

    The evolution can be traced back to influential historical documents and events: Magna Carta (1215), Petition of Right (1628), Habeas Corpus Act (1679), English Bill of Rights (1689), and the American Declaration of Independence (1776). These documents gradually laid the foundation for the recognition of individual liberties.

    The French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789) marked a significant development in the codification of individual rights. However, it was the atrocities of World War II that catalysed the international community to formulate a comprehensive statement of fundamental human rights, leading to the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948.

    The development of human rights continued with the establishment of various international treaties and conventions: the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), both adopted in 1966, form the International Bill of Human Rights together with the UDHR.

    Moreover, regional documents such as the European Convention on Human Rights (1950) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (1981) extended the reach of human rights protections. The end of the Cold War and subsequent globalisation further solidified the importance of human rights, leading to the proliferation of human rights organisations and the establishment of international criminal tribunals to address violations.

    The dynamic and expansive nature of human rights is evident in its ability to adapt to contemporary issues such as digital privacy, climate change, and the rights of refugees and migrants. New discussions around these topics showcase the ongoing need to review and reformulate human rights doctrines as global societal norms evolve. It is crucial to remember that these rights, while universally aimed, are subject to interpretative differences across cultures, leading to an ongoing dialogue regarding their application in varying contexts.

    Human Rights Issues by Country

    Human rights issues by country cover a wide spectrum, from limitations on freedom of speech and assembly to more grievous abuses such as forced labour and genocide. These issues often stem from governmental policies, cultural practices, or conflict, and they can vary significantly from one nation to another. A comparative study of different countries' human rights records provides a deeper understanding of global challenges and the work that needs to be done to protect these vital rights.

    Notable Human Rights Violations Globally

    The scope of human rights violations globally is vast and deeply concerning. A cross-country examination reveals systematic abuses that are both historical and ongoing. Torture, wrongful imprisonment, and suppression of free speech are common in authoritarian regimes. Ethnic cleansing and genocides, as witnessed in the late 20th century in regions like Rwanda, and ongoing persecution of ethnic groups in places like Myanmar, are among the most egregious violations of human rights.

    In some countries, discrimination often leads to a lack of access to justice or education for certain groups. Gender-based violence remains a persistent global issue, with many societies still confronting the challenge of protecting women and LGBTQ+ individuals. The suppression of political opponents, journalists, and human rights defenders is yet another violation that is prevalent in numerous countries.

    Child labour and human trafficking continue to be widespread forms of exploitation, trapping millions in cycles of poverty and abuse. Moreover, refugees and migrants are frequently subject to rights abuses; many face perilous journeys and detention in host countries that fail to uphold international standards for humane treatment.

    The International Criminal Court (ICC) is an intergovernmental organisation and international tribunal that has the jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.

    Human Rights Progress and Challenges Around the World

    Human rights progress and challenges vary greatly by region and are influenced by factors such as governance, culture, economic development, and social norms. Some countries have seen substantial improvements thanks to robust legal systems, increased awareness, and international cooperation. These success stories often involve the enactment of legislation to protect the rights of workers, women, children, and minority groups.

    However, in many parts of the world, the situation remains dire. Armed conflicts, corruption, and a lack of will to enforce existing laws hinder progress. In some countries, governments have introduced oppressive laws under the guise of national security, which strip citizens of their basic rights and freedoms.

    Countries with democratic institutions have generally been more successful in implementing human rights protections; however, even these countries can face setbacks due to political polarization, economic crises, or security concerns.

    Furthermore, digital rights are an emerging area where progress is challenged. The unrestricted surveillance and censorship in some countries threaten the freedom of expression and right to privacy.

    Exploring human rights progress exposes the complex interplay between international covenants and national laws. For instance, while the Geneva Convention of Human Rights establishes standards for humane treatment during war, actual compliance may vary widely. Similarly, despite the European Convention of Human Rights setting a binding precedent for member states of the Council of Europe, enforcement mechanisms can be inconsistent.

    Global institutions like the United Nations actively work to address human rights issues, often creating special commissions or appointing rapporteurs to investigate and report on the situation in various countries. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) play a crucial role as well, documenting abuses and advocating for change.

    The interdependency between peace, security, development, and human rights also highlights the need for a holistic approach to addressing global challenges. Investors, companies, and consumers increasingly acknowledge their roles in influencing human rights practices through ethical business practices and responsible sourcing of goods.

    Sustainable Development Goal 16 of the United Nations aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable institutions at all levels, thus highlighting the intrinsic connection between human rights and development.

    Human Rights List and Categories

    A comprehensive understanding of human rights includes knowledge of the lists and categories that encompass the full range of entitlements and freedoms considered to be universal. This understanding is crucial to grasp the scope, significance, and complexities of human rights, informing the ways in which societies and legal frameworks are structured to protect individuals and groups.

    Fundamental Rights and Freedoms

    Fundamental rights and freedoms form the core of human rights protections around the world, ensuring the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family. At the heart of these rights are basic tenets such as the right to life, liberty, and personal security, providing protection against actions that would threaten the core of human existence and autonomy.

    Other foundational freedoms include:

    • Freedom of speech and expression, allowing individuals to communicate their ideas and opinions freely.
    • Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, affirming one's right to hold beliefs without interference.
    • Freedom from torture and inhumane treatment, prohibiting cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatments or punishments.
    • Freedom from discrimination, ensuring equality before the law and protection against discriminatory practices.
    • Freedom from arbitrary arrest, recognising the right to a fair trial and due process within the legal system.

    These rights are viewed as universal and inalienable; indivisible; interdependent and interrelated. Recognised in international norms and agreements such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, they form a standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.

    Despite their universal recognition, fundamental rights and freedoms can be subject to limitations in certain circumstances, such as during states of emergency or for the protection of national security, public order, public health, or morals. However, any limitation imposed must be legally justifiable, necessary, and proportionate to the specific need it addresses.

    Some freedoms, like freedom from torture, are considered non-derogable—meaning they cannot be suspended for any reason, even during wartime or other emergencies<.

    Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

    Economic, social, and cultural rights are categories of human rights that ensure an individual’s capacity to fully participate in the cultural, societal, and economic life of their community. These rights include:

    • The right to work in just and favorable conditions.
    • The right to social security.
    • The right to an adequate standard of living, including adequate food, clothing, and housing.
    • The right to health, providing for access to healthcare and the underlying determinants of health, such as clean water and sanitation.
    • The right to education, ensuring primary education is compulsory and available to all.
    • The right to participate in cultural life, including the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications.

    Unlike civil and political rights, which demand restrain from state and non-state actors, economic, social, and cultural rights often require active intervention by the state to create conditions necessary for the fulfilment of these rights.

    Enshrined within various international legal instruments, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the fulfilment of these rights is commonly pursued through progressive realisation based on maximum available resources. It implies that states should work gradually towards achieving the full enjoyment of these rights, while immediately ensuring the rights to non-discrimination and minimum essential levels of each of the rights.

    It is also recognised that these rights are interrelated, interdependent, and indivisible from civil and political rights. For example, the right to education is essential for effective participation in society and to exercise other fundamental rights.

    Challenges in realising economic, social, and cultural rights often arise from poverty, inequality, and social injustice. Many argue that without addressing these underlying issues, it is difficult to ensure equal and fair access to these rights. Monitoring and enforcing these rights can also be difficult because of their broad nature and the wide variety of roles that different players (governments, corporations, international organisations, civil society) must undertake to fulfill them.

    Moreover, the cultural adaptability of these rights allows for their implementation to be modified based on cultural variations and economic capabilities, potentially leading to conflicts over the universality of said rights. Nonetheless, the universality of human rights necessitates that they be afforded to everyone, without discrimination, implying a universal floor of rights to which all people are entitled.

    Cultural Impacts on Human Rights

    The intersection of culture and human rights is a complex and multifaceted subject. Views on human rights can vary widely across different cultural contexts, affecting how rights are understood, prioritised, and implemented. These cultural impacts on human rights shed light on the universality of human rights and the ways that various societies interpret and apply these rights.

    Diverse Cultural Perspectives on Rights

    Diverse cultural perspectives on rights significantly influence the implementation and perception of human rights around the world. Each culture has its distinct values, beliefs, and historical experiences that shape its understanding of what rights are necessary and how they should be observed. While some cultures may place a strong emphasis on individual rights and freedoms, others might prioritise community welfare and collective rights.

    Culture refers to the ideas, customs, social behaviour, and traditions of a particular society or group. It greatly determines the extent to which human rights are respected, protected, and fulfilled in that society.

    In regions where communal or collectivist values are prominent, such as in many Asian, African, and Indigenous communities, collective rights such as the right to cultural integrity or community property may be more significant. Here, the individual's obligations towards the community often take precedence over personal liberties. The traditional systems of justice and collective decision-making are inherent to upholding their cultural fabric, which can sometimes lead to conflicts with the individualistic viewpoint of human rights as promoted by Western philosophies.

    Conversely, in Western societies with a liberal democratic tradition, individual autonomy and civil and political rights tend to dominate human rights discourse. Here, the right to express oneself, the right to participate in governance, and the freedom from state interference in personal lives are often highlighted. This disparity can create friction in international relations, compounding the challenge of creating a universally accepted set of human rights standards that all cultures endorse.

    Religious beliefs also significantly modulate the perception and practice of human rights. For instance, some societies may incorporate the principles of their dominant religions into their legal system, influencing their stance on rights related to gender, freedom of religion, and speech. This cultural interplay deeply impacts the lived reality of human rights, especially when religious codes and human rights principles intersect.

    Understanding diverse cultural perspectives on rights is pivotal in grasping the challenges in establishing a global human rights framework. For example, in some Middle Eastern countries, Sharia law plays a crucial role in shaping the legal system, which can have a profound impact on women's rights, freedom of expression, and the rights of sexual minorities. In terms of measuring these effects, the 'cultural relativism' critique against the 'universalist' perspective on human rights argues that all human rights standards should be applied in light of the cultural context, raising questions about the consistency of human rights enforcement across cultures.

    Balancing Universality and Cultural Specificity

    As a fundamental concept in the human rights discourse, the balance between the universality of rights and cultural specificity is both necessary and contentious. The universality principle asserts that all humans inherently possess human rights, irrespective of cultural, social, or political backgrounds. The United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) encapsulates this notion by setting common standards of rights for all peoples and nations.

    However, the application of universal human rights in culturally specific contexts can produce challenges. Local customs, traditions, and values may not always align neatly with the universal human rights framework. As such, the notion of universality comes under scrutiny when confronted with indigenous rights, religious laws, and historical practices unique to certain cultures.

    Attempts to balance these considerations include the concept of 'cultural relativism', which suggests that human rights should be interpreted within the context of a culture's values and beliefs. While this approach advocates for respect towards different cultural norms, it can also be used to justify human rights abuses by labeling them as 'cultural practices'.

    To find balance, many human rights advocates and international bodies promote 'constructive dialogue' and 'cross-cultural understanding'. These efforts aim to integrate universal human rights standards with local cultural practices in a respectful way. Encouraging participation from various cultural representatives in the formation of international human rights laws is seen as a way to ensure the relevance and applicability of human rights in diverse contexts.

    International human rights instruments have also evolved to better accommodate cultural differences. For example

    • The ICCPR and ICESCR both acknowledge the significance of national and regional particularities and socio-economic conditions.
    • The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples acknowledges the importance of respecting the traditions and customs of indigenous peoples.

    Despite these advances, the balance between human rights universality and cultural specificity remains an ongoing challenge. The key is to ensure that cultural variance does not translate into the infringement of fundamental human rights and that international human rights standards are applied flexibly yet firmly to protect individuals' inherent dignity globally.

    Delving deeper, the balance involves grappling with difficult questions such as the limits of cultural practices and the potential imposition of certain cultural norms over others in the name of human rights. It is essential to strive for a careful distinction between legitimate cultural practices and those that undermine the dignity or rights of individuals or groups. This intricate balance requires ongoing discussion and adaptation of human rights laws and practices, ensuring they are inclusive and sensitive to the various cultural contexts in which they operate.

    Why Are Human Rights Important?

    Human rights are the bedrock of societal function and harmony, offering a fundamental framework within which individuals are protected and empowered to live with dignity and equality. These rights, inherent to all human beings, are not only crucial for personal development but also for the maintenance of international peace and security. They act as universal standards that guide the law, policies, and practices that shape societies.

    Significance of Human Rights in Everyday Life

    In everyday life, human rights play an indispensable role in safeguarding freedoms, ensuring fair treatment, and providing the opportunity for all individuals to strive for a better life. These rights encompass various domains of existence, from the most basic rights like the right to life, liberty, and personal security, to economic, social, and cultural rights that contribute to an individual’s well-being and development.

    On a daily basis, human rights could manifest as the freedom to express opinions without fear, the right to practice one’s religion freely, or the right to assemble and associate. They underpin ethical standards in educational and work environments, thereby fostering non-discriminatory practices, empowering marginalized groups, and advocating for equitable access to resources and opportunities.

    Basic human rights also ensure access to essential services such as healthcare and education, which are instrumental in enhancing the quality of life and promoting individual and collective advancement. They provide protection to individuals from exploitation and abuses, such as forced labour, trafficking, and wrongful detainment, and they enshrine the right to be heard before an impartial tribunal, should there be a need for legal redress.

    Additionally, the impact of human rights extends to cultural and social arenas, supporting the right to participate freely in the cultural community, engage in dialogue, and benefit from scientific advancements. Ensuring these rights for all aids in building inclusive societies where diversity is celebrated and protected.

    Without a doubt, the principles and values embodied in human rights are essential for nurturing environments in which justice, equality, and freedom are not just aspirational concepts but everyday realities. They form a safety net that protects the most vulnerable, and a platform for individuals to challenge injustices and seek improvements, providing a common language of rights shared across diversities.

    Deepening the understanding of human rights in everyday life uncovers the intricate ways in which these rights intersect with various societal factors such as governance, culture, and the economy. For instance, the right to education is not merely about access to schooling but also encompasses quality and inclusivity; it influences economic empowerment, reduces inequalities, and strengthens other rights like political participation and freedom of speech. Similarly, the right to a fair trial is more complex than the provision of a legal representative; it involves ensuring impartiality of the judiciary, transparency of proceedings, and appropriate redress mechanisms that uphold the rule of law and democracy.

    Human Rights as a Foundation for Peace and Justice

    Human rights are indispensable in establishing and sustaining peace and justice at both national and international levels. Rather than being abstract concepts, they are actionable directives that demand accountability and encourage cooperation among states, communities, and individuals. Peace, in the context of human rights, is not merely the absence of war or conflict but also the presence of justice, inclusion, and opportunities for all.

    Justice, underpinned by human rights, provides the practices and institutions necessary to manage conflicts, crimes, and disputes in a manner that respects the rights and dignity of all persons involved. It ensures equality before the law, fair representation, and consequences for violators, which are critical for maintaining societal trust and cohesion.

    Furthermore, the concept of transitional justice, which comes into play after a period of conflict or dictatorship, relies heavily on human rights principles such as truth, reparations, and guarantees of non-recurrence. These help societies in healing, reconciling, and rebuilding sustainably while ensuring that past abuses do not repeat.

    At an international level, human rights create common ground upon which countries can build partnerships. By adhering to shared human rights norms, states lay the groundwork for trust and engage collaboratively in addressing global challenges such as poverty, terrorism, and environmental crises.

    Respect for human rights is seen as a keystone for good governance and democracy, with the promotion and protection of these rights being indicative of a state’s legitimacy in the eyes of its citizens and the international community. When human rights are protected and upheld, they contribute to the development of just societies where individuals and groups can exist peaceably together, participate actively in their governance, and are protected against abuses.

    Policies and practices grounded in human rights not only prevent conflict but also help to resolve it when it does occur. The adherence to human rights standards helps create an atmosphere where dialogue is possible, and where grievances can be addressed constructively, without resorting to violence.

    In summary, human rights are elemental to peace and justice as they enable each individual to contribute to, and benefit from, society. Upholding these rights promotes an environment of stability and civility, which is conducive to economic and social progress.

    Geneva Convention of Human Rights

    The Geneva Convention of Human Rights is a cornerstone of international humanitarian law, primarily focused on the protection of individuals in times of armed conflict. While the term 'Geneva Convention of Human Rights' is not commonly used as a standalone term, it is understood to refer to the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols that lay down the standards of international law for humanitarian treatment during war.

    The Geneva Conventions, adopted in 1949 and revised in subsequent protocols, consist of four treaties that establish the legal basis for the treatment of the wounded and sick, shipwrecked members of armed forces at sea, prisoners of war, and civilians during war.

    The Geneva Conventions are supplemented by Additional Protocols that further refine and extend protections to those affected by conflicts. They emphasise the necessity of humane treatment, prohibition of torture, and the protections for those not actively participating in hostilities, including the medical personnel and humanitarian workers.

    Signatories to the Conventions are not only obliged to follow the standards set forth in times of war but also to enact legislation to provide effective penal sanctions for persons committing, or ordering to be committed, any of the grave breaches of the conventions.

    The application of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols is of tremendous importance in safeguarding the rights of individuals during the chaos of armed conflict. Ensuring that these rights are respected is the joint responsibility of states, non-state actors, and the international community.

    A deeper examination of the Geneva Conventions reveals how they adapt over time to changes in warfare and conflict, addressing new challenges such as the rise of non-state actors and the need for the protection of internally displaced persons. Their enduring relevance calls for constant vigilance, education, and advocacy to ensure that all parties in conflict adhere to these universal standards, and that violations are met with appropriate consequences.

    European Convention of Human Rights

    The European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) is a pivotal international treaty aimed at protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe. Opened for signature in 1950, the convention established the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), allowing individuals an unprecedented ability to bring cases against member states for human rights violations.

    The European Convention on Human Rights enshrines rights such as the right to life, prohibition of torture, right to a fair trial, right to respect for private and family life, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression, and prohibition of discrimination.

    Member states of the Council of Europe, including countries that go beyond the geographical boundaries of continental Europe, are bound by the Convention’s provisions. They commit to ensuring the human rights recognised in the Convention and undertake to abide by the final judgments of the ECtHR in cases to which they are parties.

    Furthermore, the Convention established several mechanisms for enforcing these rights, including the European Court of Human Rights, which has jurisdiction to hear allegations of human rights abuses by signatory states. The Court’s decisions have fostered the evolution of a dynamic and influential European human rights law system.

    The impact of the ECHR extends beyond individual cases. Its jurisprudence influences national legislations and practices, leading to broader systemic changes within the legal and political frameworks of member states. This creates a coherent and robust human rights protection system throughout Europe.

    The European Convention of Human Rights has played a key role in many critical societal changes, advancing rights of marginalized groups, shaping policies on privacy and surveillance, and influencing debates on issues such as euthanasia and same-sex marriage.

    The ECHR’s mandate to protect and promote human rights offers a model on how regionally agreed standards can foster stability, peace, and cooperation among states, and ultimately, improve the lives of individuals within those states.

    Human Rights - Key takeaways

    • Human Rights Definition: Rights and freedoms inherent to all individuals, regardless of nationality or identity, covering civil, political, economic, social, and cultural dimensions.
    • Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): A key document adopted by the United Nations, outlining fundamental human rights that are universally protected.
    • Geneva Convention of Human Rights: Refers collectively to treaties outlining humanitarian treatment standards during war, not a standalone document.
    • European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR): A treaty ensuring the protection of human rights in Europe, with an established court (ECtHR) to address violations.
    • Cultural Relativism vs Universality in Human Rights: A debate on the application of human rights in the context of cultural specificity and universal principles.
    Frequently Asked Questions about Human Rights

    What are the 10 basic human rights? 

    1. All human beings are free and equal

    2. No discrimination

    3. Right to life

    4. No slavery

    5. No torture and inhuman treatment

    6. Same right to use law

    7. Equal before the law

    8. Right to be treated fair by the court

    9. No unfair detainment

    10. Right to a fair trial

    What are the main points of the human rights act 1998? 

    The main points of the Human Rights Act 1998 are taken from the European Convention of Human Rights. The main points work to safeguard people's human rights and to allow anybody to appear before British Court if they feel these rights have been violated.

    What are the causes of human rights violations?

    Human rights violations can arise from not respecting human rights, not having laws in place to protect people or even just ignoring the existing laws.

    What are the 5 basic human rights?

    1. All human beings are free and equal

    2. No discrimination

    3. Right to life

    4. No slavery

    5. No torture and inhuman treatment

    What are the 30 human rights? 

    1. The right to be free and equal

    2. The right to not be discriminated against

    3. The right to life, freedom and safety

    4. The right to not be held in slavery

    5. The right to not be tortured

    6. The right to fair and equal legal protection 

    7. The right for the law to apply to everyone and to treat everybody equally

    8. The right to legal support if necessary

    9. The right to not be detained without cause

    10. The right to a fair trial if convicted of a crime

    11. The right to be considered innocent until proven guilty if accused of a crime

    12. The right to privacy - nobody should enter our homes or read private documentation without good cause

    13. The right to free movement within and beyond our country

    14. The right to seek asylum in another country if we are in need of protection

    15. The right to be a citizen of a country, unless there is good reason why we shouldn't be

    16. The right to marry (or not marry!) as we choose

    17. The right to own property

    18. The right to believe and think what we want / believe

    19. The right to freely express what we think and believe

    20. The right to form/be part of/not be part of peaceful groups

    21. The right to vote on political matters, for all votes to have the same influence and for votes to remain anonymous

    22. The right to develop using resources available in the country

    23. The right to employment and equal pay in our chosen employment

    24. The right to rest and take time off from working

    25. The right to food, water, shelter, clothing and healthcare

    26. The right to education

    27. The right to participate in the arts and sciences, and for our work to be protected

    28. The right to live in a peaceful society with adequate protection of the other human rights

    29. The right to have the law guarantee our human rights and the responsibility to help allow communities to develop as much and as fairly as possible

    30. The right to not have the human rights violated by any individual, group or government

    Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

    How many countries still use torture as of 2014?

    As of 2013, how many UN Watch and UN Human Rights Council resolutions have condemned Israel as a percentage of all country-specific resolutions?

    What is the name of the piece of UK law that addresses human rights?


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