Sunday, November 30, 2014

" Know Your Rights "

"All human beings, whatever their cultural or historical background, suffer when they are intimidated, imprisoned or tortured . . . . We must, therefore, insist on a global consensus, not only on the need to respect human rights worldwide, but also on the definition of these rights . . . for it is the inherent nature of all human beings to yearn for freedom, equality and dignity, and they have an equal right to achieve that."    Tenzin Gyatso - 14th Dalai Lama

         Imagine for a moment. If someone came up to you on the street asking for your definition of  "human rights", how would you respond? We may think we know when our rights have been violated but what rights are protected by law? It appears to be a deceptively easy question. What exactly are our "human rights"? Human rights are basic rights and freedoms that all people are entitled to regardless of nationality, sex, race, religion, national or ethnic origin, language, or other status. Human rights include political  and civil rights, the right to life, liberty and the freedom of expression. Human rights include social, economic and cultural rights. The right to participate in culture, the right to food, the right to education and the right to work are all included in the definition  of human rights. Human rights are protected and upheld by national and international laws and treaties.

  The universality of human dignity is the cornerstone of international human rights law. At first emphasized in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights in 1948, the principal of universal human rights has been restated in a number of international human rights resolutions conventions, and declarations.  For example, The 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights, reiterated that it is the duty of States(countries) to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems. But how do we make these statements a reality for billions of men, women and children  worldwide who continue to suffer horrible atrocities each day? How do we turn words into reality? It is imperative that we understand our human rights in order to protect ourselves and protect the rights of human beings all around the globe. 

     December 10th has been designated Human Rights Day commemorating the day in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights clarifies 30 basic human rights:  

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.

Article 2.

  • Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, 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.
  • Article 3.

    • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person

 Please continue Articles  4-30  here: