Basically, human rights are things that every person deserves. No matter who you are, what your social status is, or what religion you practice, all people are entitled to certain rights and freedoms. The right to life, the right to vote, the right to free speech, the right to a fair trial and the right to work are all part of the human rights lexicon.
While the term is often used in a vague or general manner, the concept of human rights is not necessarily uncontroversial. While many individuals and governments believe that their government should protect human rights, others contend that a more pragmatic approach would be to limit the scope of government to its most essential functions and leave other matters to the individual. The issue of slavery is an example of this. The first international treaties on human rights were largely based on mutual commitments between countries. In 1976, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was entered into force. The corresponding Second Optional Protocol was signed in 1989.
Human rights can be viewed as a set of laws, a set of regulations, a set of moral and ethical guidelines or a set of standards. While some human rights are guaranteed by law, others may be suspended or derogated in times of national emergency. Some of these legal measures are enacted by governments to make them more secure. There are also international institutions designed to promote and protect human rights. These include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Bill of Human Rights and the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
The human rights movement was born out of the aftermath of World War II, when terrible atrocities occurred. This led to the creation of a body of international law to protect the rights of the displaced and oppressed. Although the United States played a prominent role in the war, human rights are not just a matter of US policy. In fact, every culture in the world is enamoured with these principles.
The human rights movement started in the 19th century, but the concepts were not formally enshrined until the end of the 20th century. The best known human rights document is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration is now a recognized inspiration for more than 70 international human rights treaties. Among other things, it demonstrates that all humans are equal in dignity.
In order to implement the UDHR, every country must make a commitment to human rights. In addition to establishing human rights laws, a country should also provide effective legal means for asserting the rights guaranteed by the UDHR. Moreover, all people must be in a position to determine how their rights will be realized. In addition, the UDHR is being applied regionally.
In the end, human rights are the result of a symbiotic relationship between human beings and their governments. While no one can be denied human rights on the basis of tradition, forced action demeans the human spirit.