Human rights are integral to our society, but what exactly do they mean? From the right to freedom of speech to the right to education and healthcare, human rights protect individuals from discrimination and ensure their basic needs are met. As we navigate life, understanding human rights and how they impact our daily lives is crucial for building a more just and equitable world.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the meaning behind human rights and why they matter now more than ever.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a document that the United Nations created in 1948. The record contains 30 articles that detail different human rights. Some human rights described in the declaration include the right to life, liberty, and security; freedom from torture and degrading treatment; the right to a fair trial; and freedom of expression and assembly. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is important because it sets out the basic rights that all humans should have.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 16, 1966. The ICCPR is part of the International Bill of Human Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. The ICCPR sets out civil and political rights inherent to all human beings, including the right to life, liberty, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association.
State parties to the ICCPR must ensure that everyone within their jurisdiction enjoys these rights without discrimination. One hundred sixty-eight countries have ratified the ICCPR.
The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 16, 1966, and in force since January 3, 1976. The ICESCR is part of the International Bill of Human Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
The ICESCR guarantees the economic, social, and cultural rights set out in the UDHR: freedom from want and hunger (Article 11); the right to work (Article 6); the right to just and favorable conditions of work (Article 7); the right to form and join trade unions (Article 8); the right to housing (Article 11); the right to an adequate standard of living (Article 12); the right to education (Article 13); and the right to participate in cultural life (Article 15).
To ensure that everyone enjoys these rights, regardless of race, gender, religion, or nationality, States Parties to the ICESCR must take steps “to the maximum of their available resources” toward their realization. This obligation is known as “progressive realization.” It acknowledges that these rights may not be immediately achievable but requires States Parties to take steps towards their realization over time.
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is an international treaty adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly. The Convention defines what constitutes discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination.
Since its adoption, CEDAW has been ratified by 189 countries. Of these, 167 have also ratified its Optional Protocol, which establishes an international complaints mechanism allowing individuals to bring claims of violations of their rights under the Convention directly to the Committee.
The Convention is widely recognized as one of the most important human rights treaties. It has been key in shaping national laws and policies to promote gender equality and empower women worldwide.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child
The Convention on the Rights of the Child, or CRC, is an international treaty that recognizes the human rights of children. The CRC was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1989 and ratified by 196 countries.
The CRC provides a comprehensive set of standards for protecting children’s rights. It covers all aspects of a child’s life, from birth to adulthood. The CRC sets out the basic rights all children are entitled to, such as the right to life, survival, and development; the right to be free from violence, abuse, and exploitation; and the right to education and health care.
The CRC also establishes special protections for children in armed conflict, refugee children, migrant children, street children, disabled children, and other vulnerable groups.
The CRC is the most widely-ratified human rights treaty in history, and its provisions have been incorporated into the domestic laws of many countries. In ratifying the CRC, states commit to taking all appropriate measures to ensure its provisions are implemented at the national level.
How are human rights violated?
Human rights are violated in many ways. One way is through physical violence, such as torture, rape, and murder. Another way is denying people their civil and political rights, such as the right to a fair trial or vote. Sometimes human rights are violated by denying people their economic, social, and cultural rights, such as education or health care.
What can you do to support human rights?
There are many things you can do to support human rights. You can start by educating others about human rights and how they are violated. You can also take action to defend the rights of those who are being denied their rights. This might include speaking out against discrimination, participating in peaceful protests, or donating to organizations that protect human rights. Finally, you can vote for political candidates who support human rights and pressure your government to uphold human rights standards.
Human rights are fundamental rights to which every human being is entitled regardless of gender, race, class, or any other factor. They serve as a framework for all societies and governments to ensure the well-being and dignity of everyone. It is important to understand these human rights to protect them and ensure that they can be enjoyed by everyone everywhere. We must work together to uphold these values so that we may live our lives free from discrimination, persecution, or abuse.