Human Rights. Category : Secondary School Level

Human Rights.

Category : Secondary School Level

Outline: Meaning and definition of human rights. Human rights in India. History of human rights in various countries. Establishment of various foundations to promote human rights.


It is said that a right is not what someone gives you; it is what no one can take from you. Human rights are privileges and independence to which all humans are entitled. Advocates of the concept usually state that everyone is bestowed with certain rights simply for being humans. All human beings are born free and are equal in dignity and rights.


The human rights can be defined as those situations of life and freedom that must be available to all individuals irrespective of their religion, caste, sex and race.


In India by some way or the other, the basic human rights have been taken away from a vast segment of the population. Thousands of cases of domestic violence, dowry deaths and a dreadful number of child labourers are found in the country. We surely have a long way to go where securing basic human rights are concerned. It is our innate duty to give them their rights!


The basis of most modern legal interpretations of human rights can be traced back to recent European history. The 'Twelve Articles', which were the part of peasant's demands in Germany, are considered to be the first record of human rights in the world. In the 19th century, human rights became a central concern over the issue of slavery. Social reformer like Wilberforce worked towards the abolition of slavery in Britain. This was achieved in the form of 'Slave Trade Act' of 1807 and the 'Slavery Abolition Act' of 1833. In United States, the institution of slavery was abolished by all the Northern States. Gradually, conflicts and debates over the slavery also ended in the Southern States.


The establishment of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the first of the Geneva Agreements in 1864 laid the foundations of the International Humanitarian Law. In 1919, the League of Nations was established after the end of World War I. The League's goal included preventing war through collective security, settling disputes between countries through negotiation and diplomacy, and improving global welfare. Gradually, it promoted many of the rights and later the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was included. Unfortunately, huge losses of life and gross abuses of human rights took place during the two World Wars (1914-1918) (1939-1945).


During the last few years the world has seen severe violation of human rights. The duty now lies on us to prevent the misuse of power and that the rights of the common men are protected. Only a determined effort on the part of individuals along with non- governmental and governmental organizations will help in safeguarding the human rights.


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