Every human being has rights from the moment of his birth until his final hour. Obtaining them is not dependent on any additional criteria or characteristics that the person must possess. These rights cannot and must not be taken away or restricted in any way.
Historically, in the Roman Empire, the Romans considered most people to be chattel, with status equal to that of a working animal. They enslaved them, sold them as commodities, and kept them in a cage. In addition, they put a sign on their necks with their origin, characteristics with bad and good qualities. Today, such treatment of human beings is almost incomprehensible for us to imagine. During the Second World War, millions of people were sent into exile or were victims of genocide. Because of such events, we can see what a big role human rights play.
On 10 December 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’. On the basis of the Declaration, two important international covenants were concluded in 1966 and entered into force ten years later: the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the first universal act of international human rights law. Its purpose is to provide a “common measure” of human rights and fundamental freedoms and to serve as a standard to which all peoples and states should aspire. In cases of human rights protection and condemnation of human rights violations, individual states, the UN and International Organizations refer to the Declaration as the applicable standard. Thus, the Declaration itself becomes a symbol of what the international community understands by “human rights”. The document sets out principles that continue to have enormous influence around the world today – the principles of human dignity, liberty, equality and fraternity. The main part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights constitutes the rights of the individual (the right to life and the rejection of slavery); contains individual political and civil rights; refers to freedom of religion, belief and expression; and records social, economic and cultural rights.
In 1950, the United Nations proclaimed 10 December as International Human Rights Day. This date is celebrated around the world with various initiatives that aim to increase people’s knowledge and understanding of human rights and their protection.
This day reminds us that human rights are universal, indivisible, inalienable. It also reminds us that these rights cannot be taken for granted and that they must be constantly defended.
Respect for human rights is not only an integral part of human dignity, but also a central element of democracy, peace and security and sustainable development.
Happy International Human Rights Day! May we build a peaceful world where there are no wars, no chaos and where human rights will not be trampled!
Written By: Maria Dimitrova