Human rights are a set of rights that are justifiably something everyone is entitled to. A right is the ability to be entitled to be treated in a just and moral way, along with legal entitlement to be protected physically and emotionally from outside forces. It is something that people need and also should have direct access to - as it supports life.
The United Nations published the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and created a guideline for what fundamental human rights were for the first time in history. These rights have been translated into 500 global languages.
Although this Declaration is universally recognized, it is not globally upheld. Below is the Declaration of Human Rights, as taken directly from the United Nations. In bold we have commented and given an explanation of what each article means. We have also included examples of how either human rights are not being carried out or how the Declaration has beneficially impacted the global community. There remains a long process ahead until what has been written on paper and enacted, is carried out universally amongst all nations and peoples. With more education and consequently, more people doing the right thing, we continue to progress.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.
Article 1. 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.
While this is the general idea it is a true rarity to find a nation where there is cohesive peace and “the spirit of brotherhood.” According to the Insider Monkey, there are 11 top countries when it comes to upholding Human Rights including: Slovenia, New Zealand, Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Luxembourg, Belgium, Canada, San Marino and Norway as the number one.
Article 2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
The Declaration is enforced in several key ways. The first is the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which monitors how states abide by and fulfill their individual duties under the Declaration. Further, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner, the Human Rights Council, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Committee on the Rights of the Child are all entities that have been established to enforce the document and to carry out its mission.
Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
What is life, liberty and security of person? Claiming Human Rights explains that life is something that is inherent, that it cannot be taken by someone, and only in response to the highest criminal act can someone receive the death penalty.
Article 4. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
Slavery and servitude still exists - despite it being illegal in every country in the world. Slavery may no longer look like it once was. In today’s world, slavery exists as forced labour, child slavery, marital and sex slavery and more. Today, due to population growth as well as extreme corruption and crime, there are more slaves in the world today than ever before. According to the Global Slavery Index there were an estimated 45.8 million people throughout 167 countries bound to some form of modern slavery in 2016.
Article 5. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
These past couple years there have been an extreme rise in conflicts - from the refugee crises to terrorism, from gun shootings to continuous internal conflict in unstable states. According to Foreign Policy, as of 2017 the top conflicts concerning human rights are: Syria and Iraq, Turkey, Yemen, Lake Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Ukraine, and Mexico. In each of these cases there are people who are raped, civilians who are hurt and then killed, and parties tortured. Check out this insightful article below to better understand the happenings of 2017 and just how dire the situations are.
Article 6. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
First and foremost, people are seen as people and ones with emotions, needs and desires. Across the world, there are people who are advocating on behalf of their fellow citizens in order to create a better world. Some of the best human rights advocates and advocates for change are Human Rights Watch, International Amnesty and Refugees International, among many more. To donate to any of these or to another NGO that is fighting to make a difference, follow this link: https://www.fundsforngos.org/featured-articles/worlds-top-ten-human-rights-organisations/
This was just a brief introduction to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To see the additional 24 articles, visit: