Happy Human Rights Day!

Soon after the horror of World War II and the Nazi atrocities that came to be known as The Holocaust, 51 countries formed the United Nations to keep peace and security. Soon after that, on December 10th, 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights1. That document includes many of the rights delineated in the United States’ Declaration of Independence2 and Constitution3x4x5, such as:

  • the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness [UDOHR 3, 22 / DOI],
  • freedom from punishment for violation of laws passed after the fact [11 / USC I.9],
  • the right to vote [21 / USC I.2; OA 15, 19, 24, 26]
  • freedom of religion, speech, press & assembly [18, 19, 20 / BOR 1],
  • the right to participate in government [8, 21 / BOR 1],
  • the right to be secure in one’s home and papers [12 / BOR 4],
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest [9 / BOR 5],
  • freedom from unjust confiscaton of property [17 / BOR 5],
  • the right to a fair and public trial [10 / BOR 6],
  • freedom from cruel and unusual punishment [5 / BOR 8], and
  • freedom from slavery [4 /OA 4].

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights further delineates rights such as:

  • freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment [UDOHR 5.],
  • freedom of travel [13.],
  • the right to seek asylum from unjust persecution [14.],
  • the right to a nationality [15.],
  • the right to make a family [16.],
  • freedom from forced marriage [16.],
  • the right to work, to choose work, and to form and join a trade union [23.],
  • the right to rest and leisure [24.],
  • the right to an adequate standard of living [25.],
  • the right of children to protection [25.],
  • the right to free fundamental education and access to higher education based on merit [26.], and
  • the right to participate in culture [27.].

Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the UN, in his Human Rights Day message, spoke about the freedom from torture: “Let us be clear: torture can never be an instrument to fight terror, for torture is an instrument of terror. … Today, on Human Rights Day, let us recommit ourselves to the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and let us rededicate ourselves to wiping the scourge of torture from the face of the earth6.”

Sources

1 UDOHR: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights [¶]

2 DOI: The United States’ Declaration of Independence [¶]

3 USC: The US Constitution [¶]

4 BOR: The US Bill of Rights [¶]

5 OA: Other amendments to the US Constitution [¶]

6 THE SECRETARY-GENERALMESSAGE ON HUMAN RIGHTS DAY, 10 December 2005 [¶] * * *
By Quinn Hungeski – Posted at G.N.N. & TheParagraph.com

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