Human rights are the concept of universal and inalienable rights applying to all humans. The most widely accepted standard of human rights is the Universal Declaration of Humans Rightshttp://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/index.html
, as adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. However each country and government is free to choose whether they enforce human rights or not, or how they interpret the UDHR.
The following is a short summary of the UDHR:
- All humans are born free and equal.
- Everyone is entitled to human rights.
- Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
- No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.
- No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel treatment.
- Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
- All are equal before the law.
- Everyone has the right to an effective remedy for acts violating human rights.
- No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
- Everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing by an impartial tribunal.
- Everyone charged with an offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
- No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, nor attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference.
- Everyone has the right to freedom of movement. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
- Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy asylum. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecution arising from non-politcal crimes.
- Everyone has the right to a nationality. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of this nationality nor denied the right to change nationality.
- Men and women of full age have the right to marry. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by the state.
- Everyone has the right to own property. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
- Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, sonscience and religion. This includes freedom to manifest his belief in teaching, practice or worship.
- Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. This includes freedom to receive information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
- Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
- Everyone has the right to take part in the government. Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government.
- Everyone has the right to social security.
- Everyone has the right to work and to protection against unemployment. Everyone has the right to equal pay for equal work.
- Everyone has the right to rest and leisure.
- Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family (including food, clothing, housing, etc). Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance.
- Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
- Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any production of which he is the author.
- Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which human rights can be fully realized.
- In the exercise of this rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations are solely for the purpose of securing the rights and freedoms of others.
- Nothing in this declaration may be interpreted as implying any right to engage in any activity aimed at the destruction of any of the human rights.
As often with law, the articles set within the UDHR don’t seem axiomatic. The current definition doesn’t seem consistent itself and most countries violate the UDHR in one form or another.