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The 7 Basic Principles Of Human Rights

Compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful

The 7 Basic Principles Of Human Rights

Human rights govern our responsibilities towards each other and how governments should treat their citizens. How we live and act in society, including our obligations, should be guided at all times according to human rights principles. 

Many people misunderstand the concept of human rights, forgetting that having them also requires them to take responsibility towards others and accountability for their actions. We must ensure at all times that our behavior or actions don’t violate the human rights of those around us. This said, there are seven essential human rights principles that all of us must abide by.

Universality

This is the first and most important principle of human rights tabulated in international law. The principle is based on the fundamental concepts of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) document signed on December 10, 1948, by the General Assembly of countries of the United Nations. The United Nations created the Declaration in response to the atrocious actions during WWII. 

This unprecedented document set out for the first time in the world’s history that the human rights of everyone in the world will be universally protected, which means that all human beings are bestowed the right to equality, dignity, and indivisibility no matter their race, religion, gender, status, or any other characteristics. We’re all born with these fundamental rights.

The UDHR has been translated into over 500 languages and is used as a global tool for human rights activists worldwide. Interestingly, the Declaration has facilitated over seventy human rights treaties in regions worldwide inaugurated.

Inalienability

The US constitution and democracy are built on four alienable rights: the right to freedom of speech, the right to pursue happiness, the right to life, and the right to liberty. What makes these rights inalienable means that none of these rights can be surrendered, transferred, taken away, or denied. 

We’re all born with these rights, and taking these rights away from an individual is impossible. However, these rights can be taken away in some instances. For instance, your right to liberty may be restricted if you’re found guilty of a crime. In these instances, this can only be done through due process in a court of law.

Interdependence and Indivisibility

Interdependence means having a dependency on one another. Indivisible means that something can’t be divided or separated into different parts. In this context, it means that each of us contributes to fulfilling other people’s human rights through our satisfaction (whether physical, psychological, or developmental). 

In other words, the human rights system comprises interrelated, indivisible, and interdependent parts. It should be seen as a system where the satisfaction of each person’s human rights depends on another. That said, all human rights are equal, and one person’s human rights can’t be placed above another.

On a broader spectrum, the fulfillment of the right to health could depend, in some circumstances, on the fulfillment of the right to education and development. Implementing all rights (civil, political, economic, education, development, health, and social rights) simultaneously increases the ability for everyone to enjoy their human rights entirely.

Accountability

We’re all responsible and accountable for our actions and behaviors, including governments and authoritative institutions, which are obliged to follow and abide by the principles of every individual’s human rights. Where such an individual, government, or institution fails to do so, those that were wronged have the right to take action against such grievances by instituting the appropriate proceedings against such an entity in a court of law. 

It’s crucial that any human rights violations must be addressed with the procedures and rules provided by the law to ensure that such violations do not reoccur or cause conflict and violence. To build and sustain peace, we must all address violations and take responsibility. Accountability human rights mechanisms include the political, policy, legal, administrative, and social channels.

The Accountability Process works as follows:

  1. The government ensures that accountability procedures are included in all policies and laws.
  2. Civil society continuously monitors the government and authoritative institutions (through certain channels) to establish if these policies and procedures are adequate.
  3. If violations are found, explanations and justifications are given for deficiencies in policies and procedures. Encouragement is provided for better performance.
  4. Remedies are applied, which may consist of restitution, compensation, satisfaction, and guarantees for the non-repetition of violations.

Non-discrimination and Equality

All human beings are entitled to equal treatment and non-discrimination. A person’s human rights are not affected by their sexuality, gender, religion, language, age, disability, birth, property, social origin, ethnicity, or any other characteristics.

Participation

We all have the right to participate in everything that pertains to our human rights. We’re guaranteed access to information to make our participation meaningful. Our participation should also be free and accessible. Everyone has the right to express their views toward a political system to combat inequalities, discrimination, marginalization, poverty, and more. Lastly, every person has the right to participate on public and political platforms to empower others. 

Guaranteed Internationally

When states and countries become part of international treaties, these countries will assume the obligations and duties under international law pertaining to human rights. They become obliged to protect and fulfill human rights principles. This obligation includes absconding from any activities and creating laws that diminish the human rights of its citizens.

Sources:

https://www.un.org/en/about-us/universal-declaration-of-human-rights

https://www.unicef.org/child-rights-convention/what-are-human-rights

https://www.unfpa.org/resources/human-rights-principles

https://www.ohchr.org/en/special-procedures/sr-cultural-rights/universality-and-diversity#:~:text=Universality%20means%20that%20human%20beings,status%20or%20any%20particular%20characteristics.

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