Nelson Mandela said, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can learn to love.”
By knowing all 30 Articles of the UDHR we can be equipped with the knowledge to fight against any injustice anywhere in the world. On this 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration, with all the turmoil that currently exists in the world, it has become more important than ever for people to know their rights, to pass them onto others, and to defend them relentlessly.
The solution to global issues such as poverty, famine, war and political unrest is encompassed by the UDHR, and human rights education is the first step in resolving these issues at a grassroots level.
I hope to see the day when human rights education becomes a mandatory part of every middle school curriculum on every continent across the world, so that every man, woman and child knows and can defend their God-given rights.
Freedom of movement, mobility rights or the right to travel is a human right concept that the constitutions of numerous states respect. It asserts that a citizen of a state in which that citizen is present has the liberty to travel, reside in, and/or work in any part of the state where one pleases within the limits of respect for the liberty and rights of others, and to leave that state and return at any time. Some immigrants’ rights advocates assert that human beings have a fundamental human right to mobility not only within a state but between states.
Billions of women, men and children face levels of deprivation that undermine the right to live with dignity. Hunger, homelessness and preventable disease are not inevitable social problems or simply the result of natural disasters they are a human rights scandal. Even in rich countries, there are people who do not have access to education, health care and housing. Governments often blame a lack of resources, but, in fact, many people face systematic discrimination, while those on the margins of society are often overlooked altogether.
The international community has stood by while individual governments have ignored the human rights of millions of people. International financial institutions have imposed conditions on countries that have led to reduced access to education and health care for people living in poverty.
Elsewhere, those large-scale development projects devoid of any regard for human rights have resulted in widespread homelessness. In many countries, governments do not regulate corporations to ensure that they meet their human rights responsibilities. They allow pollution of the environment and extreme exploitation to continue unchecked.
Violations of economic, social and cultural rights are not a matter of inadequate resources; they are a matter of justice. All human rights are inter-linked and the denial of one leads to denial of others where there is no freedom of expression, for example, there is no right to education.
People’s action around the world has lead to great gains in making economic, social and cultural rights a reality, but much more needs to be done so that everyone has the right to live in dignity.
empower individuals and communities to claim their basic entitlements as human beings.
Throughout history, courageous and visionary people have sought to extend the boundaries of human rights protection to those outside its boundaries, whether it be those living in slavery, workers unprotected against exploitation or women denied the vote.
Of the many concepts employed in law and politics, the concept
of human rights is the most obvious expression of a moral ideal.
As such, it is also a view about, at least, the minimal social
conditions necessary for the existence of a healthy political
order. Yet, the specification, implementation and interpretation
of that ideal has, since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
been dominated by international law.
This fact should be striking for three reasons, all of them implied
in the above description of the ideal. The first is that a moral
ideal would seem to imply that the specification, definition and
interpretation of these rights is not a necessarily legal process—
the ideal is not a legal ideal, that is, unless one believes legal
codification is the only, or principal, way to express these moral
aims, and that legal interpretation is merely the working out of
these aims on a case-by-case basis.
Secondly, the ideal of human rights describes a social order in which
persons have social guarantees against certain abusive forms of behaviour,
or types of usage of state power. Law would normally be thought of as
just one element of such an order, and in fact the efficient operation of
law itself presupposes many other social practices and guarantees, for
example, a certain degree of social stability and confidence in the
Thirdly, there is no obvious reason why all human rights, or all aspects
of human rights, are most appropriately advanced through legal means,
unless that is one thinks that human rights ideals have an efficient
and functioning human rights law as their primary aim.
An additional complication for this simple image of a transference of
human rights aims or ideals into human rights legal aims and practice,
is the kind of laws that are involved. The legal codification of universal
human rights has taken place in international law which, by its nature,
has distinctive features we should be wary of when looking at what it
codifies and how. The way international law codifies human rights is
likely to be sensitive to a number of non-neutral influences, such
as inter-state negotiations, compromise, and the accommodation of
other goals and values than human rights themselves.
Furthermore, it is a significant feature of international human rights
law that, once ratification of international treaties has been achieved,
the process of implementation is state-driven.
Human rights legalized—defining, interpreting, and implementing an ideal
- Başak Çali and Saladin Meckled-García
We witnessed a modest amplification of community-oriented
rights in the body of international norms in the last decades
of the twentieth century, reflecting a sharper understanding
of the importance of community in the construction of personal
and social identity, and of community membership as a focus for
oppression. Indigenous peoples claim recognition as distinctive
human groups with a right to take their own decisions in matters
affecting them, and resist the depredations of others.
An important tendency of indigenous politics has been to search
for adaptations of human rights principles that relate to their
circumstances – reflected in their interventions into ongoing
deliberations towards a UN Declaration, and an American Declaration,
on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. While a considerable amount
has been achieved in the elaboration of instruments specifically
dealing with indigenous rights, what is sometimes characterized
as a form of human rights ‘exceptionalism’ for these groups remains
Whatever recognition they have achieved thus far, a swing of the
pendulum against the recognition or welcoming of difference is
always possible, particularly in times of felt scarcity,globalizing
pressures and the ‘securitization’ of politics and law. Indigenous
peoples are ideal-type endogamous groups: self-defining, rooted
historically, eco-religious, and self-organized – though the groups
are also, as with all human groups, in part the product of interaction
with others, and of non-ideal categorization by racial supremacists,
colonists and the like.
- Patrick Thornberry
The conceptual understanding of human rights is benefited by considering the reasoning that moves the activists and the range and effectiveness of practical actions they undertake, including recognition, monitoring and agitation. It is argued that the richness of practice is critically relevant for understanding the concept and reach of human rights.
Human rights’ is one of the most important and most
interesting subjects. After all, the study of human
rights is essentially about how we treat all other people
with whom we share this planet. In its essence, striving
for the respect of human rights is a quest for
Human rights are about recognizing, honoring and protecting
the human dignity of each one of the six billion people on
this planet. When human rights are not protected, the
victim’s human dignity is thereby ignored. But what this
also does is to deny the humanity in all of us.
We study human rights because they are deeply interested
in making a positive contribution to the world. Our goal
is to build on this interest and this passion. Along with
this, our strong sense is that we want to ‘get into’
human rights because it is
the right thing to do.
Sabine C. Carey
Steven C. Poe