The Universal Declaration of Human Rights(UNHR) was adopted on 10th December 1948 by the United Nations in Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France. Out of the 58 members, 48 voted in favor, 8 were absent, 2 did not vote, and none objected. The atrocities that had been observed at the World War II and the horrors of the holocaust called for an immediate action and thus, UNHR was formed. This year we celebrate the 70th Human Rights Day. The theme that follows is “Stand up for human rights.”
1. To enhance a country’s collective security through interdependence among one another. And empowering the people and developing a knowledgeable community by identifying their common strengths.
2. To accelerate the economic development of poorer countries by boosting trade and financial markets.
3. To promote mutual peace among countries with a positive contribution towards growth. And to ensure human protection globally.
Though the UDHR was adopted 70 years ago, its significance and importance have only grown over time. Today, we see the threat of terrorism, intolerance, and violence so closely, almost in every corner of the world. So, knowing about human rights and standing up for our rights and that of others is our responsibility. The theme for Human Rights Day 2018, “Stand up for human rights” resonates effectively with the situation around us.
Here are the 30 human rights declared in UDHR that everyone is entitled to-
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.”
2. There is no distinction in the rights and freedom based on sex, race, color, language, religion, political opinions, nationality, social status, the political status of the country, or any other status.
3. All people have the right to live, liberty, and safety.
4. The UN strictly prohibits slavery and slave trade of any kind. So, if you witness one, don’t fear to report it.
5. No one can be tortured 0r punished in an inhuman way. Doing so leads to a serious penalty.
6. A person has legal protection as an individual everywhere and anywhere. You can also seek protection from the law if you feel threatened.
7. Everyone is equal before the law. Regardless of gender, caste, nationality, or background.
8. Everyone has the right to seek help from the law when their fundamental rights are violated.
9. No one has the right to arrest a person or send them to exile without proper reason.
10. Everyone has the right to a fair trial in front of the public.
11. Everyone has the right to be termed innocent until proven guilty of a crime.
No one can be declared guilty of a crime that doesn’t count as an offense under national or international law.
12. Everyone has the right for their privacy and the law protects them in case of infringement of privacy, reputation, and family security.
13. Everyone has the freedom to travel and reside in different states of the country and also in different countries. Everyone has the freedom to return to their country.
14. Everyone has the right to seek asylum in other countries. However, this rights isn’t applicable if the person has violated the principles of the United Nations.
15. Everyone has the right to a nationality and the desire to change it.
16. After attaining the legal age of marriage, everyone has the right to marry and form a family without limitation due to race, nationality, or religion. Both spouses must consent to the marriage. The state and the law are accountable for the protection of the family.
17. Everyone can own property individually or with others and no one can take away this right from them.
18. Everyone has the right to choose, practice and teach their religion.
19. Everyone has the right to their opinions and thoughts. Also, they have the freedom to share their opinions through any medium of their choice.
20. Everyone has the right to hold peaceful meetings. But along with this, no one can force anyone to be a part of an association.
21. Everyone has the right to participate in the political affairs of their country either directly or by choosing the representative of their choice. Everyone has the right to vote for their preferred representative. Each vote carries equal weight.
22. Everyone has the right to social security and is entitled to the economic, social, and cultural rights that the state and the country provide for the development of an individual.
23. Everyone has the right to freedom to work and of choice of employment. There must be equal pay for women and men doing the same work. Moreover, every worker has the right to form an alliance with fellow workers and defend their interests.
24. Everyone has the right to rest. Workdays shouldn’t be too long and workers should be able to include rest and leisure in their daily lives. Workers have the right to get periodic holidays with pay.
25. Everyone has the right to basic living necessities, i.e. food, clothing, shelter, and social services. Everyone has the right to security in case of sickness, unemployment, the death of husband, disability, old age, or other lack of livelihood.
26. Everyone has the right to education. Education should be accessible to everyone regardless of their backgrounds. Primary education should be free and elementary education should be compulsory. Education should focus on developing an individual and their personality. Education should strengthen the understanding of human rights and freedom and tolerance of opinions and beliefs different from that of an individual.
27. Everyone has the right to contribute to the scientific and creative community and protect their contribution, both morally and materially.
28. There must be a social and international order that protects everyone’s rights and freedom.
29. Everyone has duties towards their community and nation. Fulfilling one’s duties while exercising their rights and duties leads to a complete development of one’s personality. The law should, therefore, protect the rights and freedom of every individual.
30. No person, group, or a country has the right to impede the rights mentioned in the Declaration. So, next time someone tries to violate any one of the mentioned rights, speak up.
Have we pursued human rights as we should have?
As I complete writing the set of rights mentioned in the Declaration, I can’t help but recall instances that I’ve witnessed either directly or through media where these rights were violated. It is sad and calls for a pressing need to “Stand up for human rights.” I urge you all to be aware of your rights and of others and stand up for it, when and where required.
“A right is not what someone gives you; it’s what no one can take from you.” – Ramsey Clark
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