Human Rights

Let’s start with some basic human rights definitions:

Human: noun
A member of the Homo sapiens species; a man, woman or child; a person.

Rights: noun
Things to which you are entitled or allowed; freedoms that are guaranteed.

Human Rights: noun
The rights you have simply because you are human.

If you were to ask people in the street, “What are human rights?” you would get many different answers. They would tell you the rights they know about, but very few people know all their rights.

As covered in the definitions above, a right is a freedom of some kind. It is something to which you are entitled by virtue of being human.

Human rights are based on the principle of respect for the individual. Their fundamental assumption is that each person is a moral and rational being who deserves to be treated with dignity. They are called human rights because they are universal. Whereas nations or specialized groups enjoy specific rights that apply only to them, human rights are the rights to which everyone is entitled—no matter who they are or where they live—simply because they are alive.

Yet many people, when asked to name their rights, will list only freedom of speech and belief and perhaps one or two others. There is no question these are important rights, but the full scope of human rights is very broad. They mean choice and opportunity. They mean the freedom to obtain a job, adopt a career, select a partner of one’s choice and raise children. They include the right to travel widely and the right to work gainfully without harassment, abuse and threat of arbitrary dismissal. They even embrace the right to leisure.

In ages past, there were no human rights. Then the idea emerged that people should have certain freedoms. And that idea, in the wake of World War II, resulted finally in the document called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the thirty rights to which all people are entitled.

The Universal Declaration of Human

1. We Are All Born Free & Equal

We are all born free.

We all have our own thoughts and ideas.

We should all be treated in the same way.

2. Don’t Discriminate

These rights belong to everybody,

whatever our differences

3. The Right to Life

We all have the right to life,

and to live in freedom and safety.

4. No Slavery

Nobody has any right to make us a slave.

We cannot make anyone our slave.

5. No Torture

Nobody has any right to hurt us or to torture us.

6. You Have Rights No Matter Where You Go

I am a person just like you!

7. We’re All Equal Before the Law

The law is the same for everyone.

It must treat us all fairly.

8. Your Human Rights Are Protected by Law

We can all ask for the law to help us

when we are not treated fairly.

9. No Unfair Detainment

Nobody has the right to put us in prison

without good reason and keep us there,

or to send us away from our country.

10. The Right to Trial

If we are put on trial this should be in public.

The people who try us should

not let anyone tell them what to do.

11. We’re Always Innocent Till Proven Guilty

Nobody should be blamed for doing

something until it is proven. When people

say we did a bad thing we have the right to show it is not true

12. The Right to Privacy

Nobody should try to harm our good name.

Nobody has the right to come into our home,

open our letters, or bother us or our family without a good reason.

13. Freedom to Move

We all have the right to go where we want

in our own country and to travel as we wish.

14. The Right to Seek a Safe Place to Live

If we are frightened of being badly treated in our own country,

we all have the right to run away to another country to be safe.

15. Right to a Nationality

We all have the right to belong to a country

16. Marriage and Family

Every grown-up has the right to marry

and have a family if they want to.

Men and women have the same rights when they are married,

and when they are separated.

17. The Right to Your Own Things

Everyone has the right to own things or share them.

Nobody should take our things from us without a good reason.

18. Freedom of Thought

We all have the right to believe in what we want to believe,

to have a religion, or to change it if we want.

19. Freedom of Expression

We all have the right to make up our own minds,

to think what we like, to say what we think,

and to share our ideas with other people.

20. The Right to Public Assembly

We all have the right to meet our friends

and to work together in peace to defend our rights.

Nobody can make us join a group if we don’t want to.

21. The Right to Democracy

We all have the right to take part

in the government of our country.

Every grown-up should be allowed to choose their own leaders.

22. Social Security

We all have the right to affordable housing,

medicine, education, and childcare,

enough money to live on and medical help if we are ill or old.

23. Workers, Rights

Every grown-up has the right to do a job,

to a fair wage for their work, and to join a trade union.

24. The Right to Play

We all have the right to rest from work and to relax.

25. Food and Shelter for All

We all have the right to a good life.

Mothers and children, people who are old,

unemployed or disabled, and all people

have the right to be cared for.

26. The Right to Education

Education is a right.

Primary school should be free.

We should learn about the United Nations

and how to get on with others.

Our parents can choose what we learn.

27. Copyright

Copyright is a special law that protects

one’s own artistic creations and writings;

others cannot make copies without permission.

We all have the right to our own way of life

and to enjoy the good things that art, science and learning bring

28. A Fair and Free World

There must be proper order

so we can all enjoy rights and freedoms

in our own country and all over the world.

29. Responsibility

We have a duty to other people,

and we should protect their rights and freedoms.

30. No One Can Take Away Your Human Rights