Understanding Human Rights

Often you hear people refer to ‘human rights’ and think it just the fundamental rights and privileges (you probably don’t even know what types there are). However, human rights go deeper than the surface, you know. They are essentially an entire system that is so vital to humanity’s reality from generation to generation.

To speak of something, you must first understand its merits and the reasons for its presence. Therefore, it is only fair if you get to comprehend all the merits of human rights. Only this way will you be able to stand up for what’s truly yours and everybody else’s.

So, let’s discuss.

What Are Human Rights?

These are rights we have because we exist as humans. They are principles that ensure all people live with justice, dignity, equality, freedom, and peace. They are also definite to everyone without division of any case, race, sex, color, religion, language, political or any other opinion, national or social origin, possessions, birth, or another standing. Moreover, human rights are necessary to the full growth of individuals and the public.

A lot of people regard human rights as a set of moral values that spread to everyone. Human rights are similarly a part of international law, enclosed in treaties and assertions that clarify specific rights that states must maintain. Equally, countries often slot in human rights in their own national, state, and local acts.

Because they are universal and inherent to us all, they range from the most basic; right to life to those that make life worth living, such as education, food, work, liberty, and health.

The UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights), assumed by the UN General Assembly in 1948, was the first legal document to layout the ultimate human rights to be globally protected. Even after turning 70 in 2018, the UDHR remains the grounds of all international human rights law. Its 30 articles offer the central beliefs and building blocks of present and future human rights accords, resolutions, and other legal tools.

Why Are Human Rights Important?

Because they are so important, you will have authors like Patricia Yunghanns and other human rights activists defend them. They are essential to your existence because;

1.Human rights ensure all people have their basic needs met. Everyone requires access to food and water, shelter, medicine, and clothes. With this in everybody’s life, people will have a starting point level of dignity. Sadly, millions still miss these basic needs; hence human rights activists’ need to fight for them.

2.Human rights protect vulnerable groups from abuse. There are groups of people such as disabled and LGBT who are a constant target of abuse globally. Various human rights organizations focus on such groups who receive abuse even from those in power and protect them.

3.Human rights allow people to stand up to societal corruption. The notion of human rights is to allow people to speak up when they encounter corruption and abuse. Because no society is perfect, there are fundamental specific rights like the right to group. Therefore, human rights empower people to stand up to corruption from workplaces and government.

4.Human rights encourage freedom of expression and speech. This allows people to speak out their ideas and expressions, not afraid of whether people will like it or not. More so, they should not be afraid of any danger from the government. Also, it protects people who want to argue and debate on specific issues presented by society.

5.Human rights give people the freedom to practice their religion or not. Religion violence is common oppression globally. Therefore, human rights recognize the significance of a person’s spiritual beliefs and religion, allowing them peace. Also, not having a religion is a human right.

6.Human rights encourage equal work opportunities. Having the right to work allows people to make a living and prosper in society. Therefore human rights provide a guideline on how workers should receive equal treatment.

7.Human rights allow people to love who they choose. It is a fundamental and crucial human right to be able to choose your romantic life. This protects people in the LGBT and women who forcefully end up marrying those they don’t want.

8.Human rights provide access to education. It is a human right for everyone to receive an education and especially in those areas with so much poverty. Most governments and organizations, combined with a concern for human rights, make available schools and supplies to reduce or stop poverty.

9.Human rights protect the environment. The climatic change has significant effects on people hence the integration of human rights. Whatever happens to our world and lands directly affects our well-being. Everybody has the right to clean air, soil, and water to continue living.

What Are The Characteristics Of Human Rights?

There are five major characteristics of human rights. These include;

  • Universal: Human rights belong to everybody. It states they apply equally to everyone across the world.
  • Inalienable: Human rights are unchallengeable. This means you cannot lose them because they link to human existence.
  • Interconnected: Human rights are related or dependable with one another.
  • Indivisible: Human rights are inseparable and do not belong in isolation. It shows that the pleasure of one’s rights should be equal to another’s. Nobody is more important than the others.
  • Non-discriminatory: Human rights deserve respect without any form of bias.

Who Should Sustain Human Rights?

Within the accords of human rights, governments have the primary responsibility to protect and promote human rights. However, it is not alone responsible for the government to ensure human rights excel.

To quote the UDHR, “Every individual and every organ of society … shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance.”

This shows that individuals, civil society, and businesses also have a significant role in promoting and respecting human rights.

When a government approves a human rights agreement, it undertakes a legal duty to respect, protect, and fulfill the rights confined in the treaty. Governments are indebted to ensure that human rights are safe by equally inhibiting human rights dishonor against people in their regions and providing actual resolutions for those with dishonored rights. Therefore, the government should;


This means that a state should not interfere or deprive an individual of accessing their rights. By this, a government needs to;

  • Sign international human rights accords.
  • Form constitutional securities of human rights.
  • Ensure ways for people victims of human rights violations to seek legal solutions either locally or internationally.

It states that the government must protect the individual from private sectors violating their human rights. For instance, a nation should;

  • Educate its people about human rights and the benefits of respecting each other.
  • Arraign perpetrators of human rights violations such as those in domestic violence.
  • Cooperate with international societies in preventing and prosecuting violations of human rights.

The government needs to make sure people enjoy their human rights. This is what it should do;

  • Funding public education campaign with the right to vote.
  • Provide free and high-quality free education.
  • Ensure all people have access to food by funding food relief programs.
  • From a public defendant system that allows everyone the right to a lawyer.

How Do Rights Become Law?

International human rights law offers a vital outline for assuring all people’s rights, irrespective of where they live. International human rights law comes in many diverse types of documents such as treaties, conventions, charters, and covenants. Even though there are different official names, such documents are all regarded as treaties and ensure the same result under international law. This law states that countries that approve an agreement are legally beheld to protect the rights it defines.

The human rights accord course begins at the United Nations or a comparable international body. Legal and issue professionals first outline the treaty. After the draft is complete, the UN or other body will organize a meeting between councils of occupied countries to discuss the treaty’s final standings or details. It can be a long process if many countries want to be part of the drafting procedure. Even Non-governmental organizations are occasionally permitted to offer references in some of the stages. After discussing countries’ concluding text of the agreement, it becomes open for approval by states that want to become a part of it.

Countries have diverse ways of agreeing to treaties. For some states, the president first signs it then presents it to the Senate. In the Senate, two-thirds of the senators must vote to endorse it. Through endorsement, a country concedes to be legally united by the rapports of the treaty.

Moreover, nations that endorse treaties can enter uncertainties to those tools. Reservations are statements from a country saying “modify the legal effect of certain provisions of the treaty.” Being part of a reservation allows a government to accept most of the treaty while eliminating or regulating parts that might be debatable or illegal in its own country. Many countries are part of reservations to the leading human rights treaties. This can restrict the value of the treaties in guarding people against violations from a government.

There you have it. Understanding human rights requires you to dig deeper to stand on firmer ground in upholding your rights. Don’t be afraid; you have rights!