The Importance of Human Rights

posted in: News | 0

Many people know that they have basic rights just by being born – such as the right to food and a safe place to live. But human rights are much more than that. They are about the dignity we all deserve to receive from society, whether that comes from our governments or from our work environment. When we don’t get this dignity we need to stand up and speak out about it – which is why human rights are so important.

Unlike property rights (which can be taken away by someone else), human rights are intrinsic to our nature as humans. They are the things we can never lose simply by being alive. We have a duty to protect these rights from those who would harm or violate them.

However, we can limit our enjoyment of certain rights in some circumstances. For example, if we commit a crime and are found guilty, we might be deprived of our liberty. This is because human rights are not absolute. Instead, they are subject to a number of limitations, called ‘derogations’.

These derogations can be used to protect the safety of others or prevent the outbreak of a serious public emergency. However, they must be based on genuine and urgent needs and are not arbitrary. They must also be proportionate and necessary to the threat to the individual’s life, liberty or property.

The concept of human rights evolved over time and became increasingly accepted internationally in the nineteenth century, with the abolition of slavery and widespread access to education being major advances. By the end of World War II the horrific atrocities that had occurred led to an international consensus on the importance of human rights, culminating in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

In the twentieth and 21st centuries, further treaties and conventions have been created to expand the list of rights and clarify their meanings. Some of these new rights are extremely specific and impose particular obligations on states, while others are intended to empower individuals by affirming their value as human beings.

The fundamental idea behind the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is that all human beings are born equal and have a right to life, liberty and security of person. They also have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right is essential because it is the basis of personal autonomy, or the ability to decide what to do, believe and think for yourself.

Despite the importance of these ideas, it is important to note that not every question of social justice or wise governance can be considered a human rights issue. In fact, it is often difficult to determine which norms should be included in the human rights framework. Many political movements would like to see their main concerns categorized as human rights, because this would allow them to seek recognition and support at the international level. But the human rights movement cannot thrive if it becomes perceived as mostly a leftist program.