Simply because we are human, we hold certain rights. These rights reflect shared values and apply to every human being regardless of the specific laws that their country may hold. Such values also apply to human beings of any race, religion or any other identity marker.
Human rights are a necessary means of protection against oppressors and those who would seek to do us harm. In the case of poor treatment, they allow us to speak up and advocate for ourselves and others through the legal system.
The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights
Though we as human beings inherently have some innate concept of the rights that we should afford others (such as the right to have access to food), simply understanding these principles cannot protect people when a person feels that someone has taken these liberties away. That is why the United Nations created a body of international human rights law.
The Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted in 1945 and 1948, respectively, describe in detail the human rights that all human beings hold. These documents present a framework that lawyers can turn to in order to defend their clients. While the UDHR is not in itself legally binding, many countries use it to create their own constitutions and other laws.
What Are Human Rights?
Human rights are universally granted to every human being regardless of other factors such as their nationality, race, religion and so on. The UDHR created by the United Nations lays out 30 articles with different responsibilities that nations should uphold.
The first article of the UDHR declares that all human beings are born free and equal. The following four articles explain the first entry, clarifying the things that humans are free from. They also expand on the bounds of equality, which are essentially limitless. Gender, race, language, religion, sex or nationality should not detract from your equal status to other human beings.
More specific rights—such as to a fair trial and to peaceful assembly—follow. Some articles are recognizable because they are also included in the US Constitution and the constitutions of other countries. That is the goal of the UDHR: to set a standard that governments can follow in order to protect their citizens. If a government does not follow the standards, other countries can intervene to enforce human rights.
Why Are Human Rights Important?
Human rights laws protect everyone regardless of their identity. The laws arose during the period following World War II and Hitler’s internationally recognized mistreatment of Jews and other minority groups. The writers wanted to make protection an international responsibility. Some nations may refuse to grant basic necessities to their citizens; in those cases, other nations know that they must act, and the UDHR gives them guidelines to follow.
In our own country, the Constitution protects many human rights. This means that if someone treats you in an unjust way, you have the ability to seek justice and compensation using the legal system. Knowing these principles can allow you to safeguard them so that you or others never endure gross mistreatment.
In other countries, citizens may not be protected by the same constitutional security that we have. In these cases, human rights offer the ability and responsibility to act in their defense. Those who are most vulnerable need protection. Human rights show us those who are the most vulnerable and give us a means to help.
A Legal Professional Can Help You To Understand Your Rights
Human rights are the backbone of the values we hold. They protect the things most dear to us, including our own safety and opportunities. For these reasons, it is important to stand up and speak out if someone has limited your human rights.
The difficulty comes in knowing the exact protections that each right gives. One of the best ways to learn more about how your rights can be exercised and what to do if they have been infringed is to speak to a lawyer about human rights and what they mean for you and others around you.
If you suspect that someone has violated the freedoms or safety of you or someone, do not hesitate to contact a legal professional as soon as possible after the incident. The attorneys at The Brown Firm would be happy to assist.
We can guide you through the protections you should have and determine whether your case merits legal action, as well as assist you in pursuing such action if it is possible. Reach out to learn more about your rights and how to seek compensation when they have been violated.