Human Rights

Human rights refer to the “basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled.” Examples of rights and freedoms which have come to be commonly thought of as human rights include civil and political rights, such as the right to life and liberty, freedom of expression, and equality before the law; and economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to participate in culture, the right to food, the right to work, and the right to education. 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.

Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life. The right to life is the essential right that a human being has the right not to be killed by another human being. The concept of a right to life is central to debates on the issues of abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia, self defense and war.

Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, such as on libel, slander, obscenity, incitement to commit a crime, etc.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him. It is one of the most extensive human rights and all international human rights instruments enshrine it in more than one article.

The right to a fair trial is one of the most litigated human rights and substantial case law has been established on the interpretation of this human right. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honors and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Protection and maintenance of human rights is a fundamental duty of every government. International organizations and watchdogs such as, UNO (United Nations Organization), International Human Rights Commission, etc., can play a vital role in ensuring the implementation of these basic rights. Countries, particularly the democratic countries, must stand together in this respect and take necessary persuasive and even coercive actions, to see that these fundamental human rights are adhered to by people, organizations’ and countries all over the world.