What Are Human Rights?

Human rights are the basic freedoms and protections that belong to every single one of us

All human beings are born with equal and inalienable rights and fundamental freedoms.

Human rights are based on dignity, equality and mutual respect – regardless of your nationality, your religion or your beliefs.

Your rights are about being treated fairly and treating others fairly, and having the ability to make choices about your own life. These basic human rights are:

  • Universal They belong to all of us – everybody in the world
  • Inalienable They cannot be taken away from us
  • Indivisible and interdependent Governments should not be able to pick and choose which are respected
  • Human Rights can be violated Although they are inalienable, they are not invulnerable. Violations can stop people from enjoying their rights, but they do not stop the rights from existing.
  • Human Rights are essential They are essential for freedom, justice, and peace.

What is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)?

In 1948, following the traumatic events of World War II, representatives from the 50 member states of the United Nations banded together to create a list of the rights everyone around the world should enjoy.

Under the guidance of Eleanor Roosevelt, then-first lady of the United States and a politician, diplomat and activist in her own right, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was born.

Article 1 states: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

There are 30 actions in the Declaration of Human Rights – 30 rights of everyone on this planet. The remaining articles include the right to asylum, the right to freedom from torture, the right to free speech and the right to education. Do you you know them all?

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