No matter who we are or where we come from, we all have similar needs and aspirations and we’re at our best when the values of freedom, respect, equality and dignity guide our decisions and actions.
So what are human rights, what are civil rights and liberties and what are rights that we all share?
Human rights are the agreed standards that our governments, institutions and businesses need to respect and uphold to ensure people are treated fairly and with respect at all times.
For example, we all have the right to education and healthcare, the right to equality and to be protected from discrimination, mistreatment or violence. We should all be free to express our political opinions or enjoy our cultures or practice religion if we so choose.
Of course, our rights come with a responsibility to respect the rights of other people. We are free to think, say and do what we want, so long as that doesn’t harm other people or violate their rights.
Different countries have different ways of incorporating human rights into their laws. For example, you might be wondering what is the human rights act? Some countries have dedicated laws – acts, charters or bills of rights – to specifically articulate and protect human rights. Whereas other countries have their human rights protections spread through various pieces of legislation.
Different types of human rights
Although we all have the same human rights, there are different types of rights that cover a range of circumstances and our governments have a responsibility to ensure everyone’s human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled.
All of our human rights are outlined in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which is the foundational document for all international human rights laws and treaties.
The types of human rights articulated in the Universal Declaration include some of the following types of rights and topics that the team at ISHR focuses on.