The idea of freedom and rights have been part of human societies since the birth of the first civilizations. Although this concept is pledged naturally and intuitive in peoples way of thinking, the modern understanding of human rights differs fundamentally.
For more than five centuries philosophers, politicians and revolutionaries have been developing this idea. Today our modern world relies on this fundamental perception to save itself from injustice.
What are human rights?
Human rights are internationally recognized ethical and moral norms, which define the fundamental liberties, which every men, women, and child owns.
These social principles are laid in the structure of peoples’ society. The good existence would be impossible without the basic rights of every person as a living creature deserves.
Human rights are equal to all people, all over the world, regardless of their religion and beliefs, nationality, and sex.
They shape universal norms to make humankind more understanding, compassioned and fair. These principles are protected by the law in every country and internationally. They are assigned to a person from the day of his birth.
Human Rights Outlined in the International Bill of Rights
They are world-recognized standards and are an integral part and prerequisite for normal existence. Human rights are universal and demand compassion and respect for others. They cannot be taken from a person.
These fundamental rules are answers to every person’s questions, as part of a particular social group. How do we need to treat each other?
What is justice, what is equity? How to live happier amongst others?
They are essential to help you fight against injustice pointed towards you, your family and people you care about, and discriminated social groups.
Sadly, many of the human rights are being disregarded even today. Wars, aggression, segregation, and sexism are only part of the occurrences, which violate the rights given to you by birth.
Today the United Nations and their Charter are defining the international law, which protects the fundamental freedoms. The rules they follow, create a complex system of organizations, which can keep you safe in case of unfairness or discrimination.
What’s the difference between human and civil rights?
Although human and civil rights are close in the way they refer to keeping one safe from discrimination, they are different in their legal fundament.
The civil rights are assigned to you as a citizen. Being a citizen of a particular country one is obligated to follow the rules and receive the freedoms defined by the political society.
The rights of a citizen(book) are not naturally inclined, as human rights. You are not born with them; you receive them when you become a citizen. They adhere to modern constitutional and international legal acts. Coming with the law, they give you an opportunity to take part in the political life, receive education, health care, work and earn payment- all assets of the state.
You have your free will, to speak freely and express your opinion, but without violating others civil rights and the law. They might differ in different countries or states, as not all regimes as equal. Civilian organizations still fight for the civil rights of the minority groups.
As they have to guarantee equal access to education, free vote and protection during court processes to all people, minority groups in many countries try to win these normal privileges.
Civil freedoms should give all citizen equality, regardless they religion or race, sexual orientation or gender. Unfortunately, many of these basic requirements suffer from repression in many places in the world. Some violative or military regimes today disrespect the core needs of their citizens.
Civil rights are the primary weapon to fight discrimination. All people need to receive legal protection in court, in school, and on their workplaces. All right together are here.
Why are human rights so important?
The world would be a terrible place if people didn’t follow these simple rules and this is why human rights are essential.
In the span in history, humankind remembers many crises, when one’s basic liberties have been suffering from repression by power, greed, and cruelty. Dividing humans into classes marks our history.
There are many examples of people being limited in their liberties, only because they somehow appear different from others. Slavery, genocide, deprivation of major privileges by religion and ethnic origin or gender are typical examples of classification of people.
After the Renaissance, there are many turning points paving the path of the future creation of the structured statement about human rights. The American and French Revolution, the creation of the American Constitution, the dismissal of slavery. They are all milestones to establish human rights.
After World War II, the world saw how barbarous and cold-blooded people can be. The extreme numbers of the victims, the overall shock, and the huge losses drove The United Nations to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This is the most important step ever taken to maintain a normal living and constitute the natural freedoms of people.
It is crucial for every person to recognize his rights so he can oppose injustice. No matter what are your beliefs, how you look, where you come from you are the same as everyone else because you’re a person. You need to know your freedoms to be an integral part of any society. To fight when another person, institution or regime is trying to steal away what is naturally yours.
Last, but not least human rights are humanistic and teach us goodness and respect to others.
How does knowledge about human rights help us?
These significant liberties defend four main aspects of our lives. They assure our normal living as free people and affect the quality of our lives. Ignorance of this basic knowledge can indirectly cause harm to your living status.
Giving us control over our personal space and free choice. They are protecting us from an unrighteous pressure of the state over our lives. Such freedoms are the chance of individual survival and having property.
Allowing us to speak our minds freely, express our thoughts and opinion regarding political issues. Some of these liberties are free speech, right of defense in court and protest.
You will be protected from exploitation or different types of violence at your workspace. It also refers to the right of labor under safe conditions.
Every person deserves to live a quality life and to have access to education, healthcare, and cultural activities.
6 Most important human rights
All people are equal. We are all born the same, and we are free, with the same rights and responsibilities to others. It teaches to live in peace and brotherhood. It points it is wrong to think you, your race or country hold higher position compared to others.
Every person is free from discrimination.
There should not be any separation between people. One’s race, political beliefs, religion, sex or color of the skin, native country or language is not a precondition for any distinction. This article removes the perception it is fair to have class separation.
You have the right to live and be free. Everyone has the right to life, and should not be killed by another person. This book is often criticized, although it points towards pacifism. Issues regarding abortion, euthanasia, death penalty or even war, tend to ignore the concept partially. We don’t aim to define which is wrong or not because this is a matter of your own opinion. It is a result of your deep personal ethics.
Everyone is free from slavery.
There is no space to argue here. Slavery is internationally and officially rejected by all regimes, whether democratic or not. No one possesses another person’s life and wishes and cannot suppress his free will.
Although slavery is no longer accepted as something standard, there is a form of so-called “modern slavery.” It refers to the traffic of people and most often sex laborers. Sometimes it can mean any enforcement against a person’s free will. It could also be forced labor caused by debts, poverty and even blackmail.
You have the right to marriage. Amongst all of the human rights this one of the most important. Every single man or women can step into marriage and choose a life partner independently. The rule defines your ability to marry, except when it conflicts with the national laws.
Some laws accept marriage between homosexuals and transsexuals, while others don’t. More and more countries are allowing same-sex marriages, relying on this basic human right.
You have freedom of religion and belief.
While it is one of the major articles, it is one of the most complexes for interpretation. For the many centuries of struggle, we have seen many conflicts and clashes between different religions and non-religious beliefs. The article has gone through many changes over the years, and people are adding more and more clarification.
Everyone is free to worship and manifest both religious and non-religious beliefs.
And any discrimination or intolerance is wrong. This is all valid unless your views are causing harm to others or are in conflict with national or international laws.
How to teach our kids about human rights?
Teaching human rights is set in the high school education. Until then it is good to invest time to speak with your children about their importance at home.
When to start?
It is never too early to start giving examples to your kids. The topic is a bit abstract and requires the ability to analyze and make conclusions. Therefore, you need to use pure examples and common words.
Talk about the basics of ethics and moral. It will be difficult for the child to understand such complicated terms. You can try to illustrate your thought with examples from his own life. Usually, the terms appear in class lessons in high school, but with the help of games, you can draw the picture.
You can use this to help them understand what is right in society. Stating that “It is wrong to make fun of others” and “Everyone has to study equally” will make the transition to more complex topics easier.
Try to explain to the child what is religion and why is not wrong to have different beliefs, even if you’re not religious.
By the time you kid will start to recognize bad attitude or insolent behavior.
You can use these situations to showcase how important it is to be kind to people and respect their will. He will be able to state that some activities are unfair, which will make him more companioned to others.
Tips to easily teach your kids about human rights
Children, like all people, perceive visual information easier than the spoken or written word. Use this tip by showing them pictures. Infographics and illustrations will also help them to distinguish human rights. Pictures with expressions are more effective, causing a stronger impact over emotions. Careful with the visual content you’re showing to the kid.
Drawing is big fun, and a great way to make your child express himself and his thoughts when he lacks words. Pictures tell a lot. You can ask your kid to make a drawing showing injustice to gain knowledge about his level of perception.
You can use the movies the child watches to illustrate what human right are. When you see an expression of goodness or case of discrimination you can always use the situation to teach the lesson.
Older children or youths should be able to define what human rights are. In the higher grades and high school, the topics of the meaning of terms are clearer. Subjects such as society, liberty, freedom, discrimination, and racism are easier to understand. You can ask your youngster to read a newspaper article and analyze it. Or encourage him to write an essay.
Most significant is to stimulate the ability of the child to form his way of thinking and reasoning.
Teaching human rights in primary school
As for today, such education is kept for the higher grades. It the time when topics about ethics, moral and philosophy are discussed with youths. Children of older age are capable of understanding the complexity of the terminology. But a child’s personality is forming in his earlier years.
It is a waste of precious time to wait until he reaches sixteen. It might be too difficult to change one’s convictions if he’s gone on the wrong way in his childhood.
Teaching human rights in primary school is as important as all other subjects. Teachers are well-prepared methodologists with the correct approach. They can easily grab the child attention in class. The figure of the parent is not less important but might become less influencing when the kid goes to school every day.
It is a significant necessity to use kids’ natural surroundings. The class, their friends in school, will help to incline proper understanding of the importance of human rights. There are many books suitable for children teaching (like this one) about freedom of religion, race and personal will.
The knowledge about own responsibilities and respect to others is crucial to minimize bullying in class. Learning about freedoms and obligations in society helps for better communication between children and their classmates and teachers. Kids develop a sense of appreciation of others and others dignity. This helps for calmer classrooms and smoother educational process.
Such lessons can also improve the little ones’ activity in class. They are stimulating them to make decisions and take part in debates. Kids have the right intuition about unrighteousness. The chance of developing future emotional problems, aggressive attitude, and rude behavior are higher.
It is critical for our society to help the youngest realize the insignificance of differences in the matter of wealth, looks, native language. Behavior issues among children from discriminated environments can be avoided with the help of knowledge about human rights.
Furthermore, subjects like equality, slavery, and religion have an internal connection with other school topics. Children will understand clearer history, art and geography lessons by making mental connections with the related issues. Every person’s mission in life is to become the best version of himself.
The earlier this is brought to children’s everyday life, the more significant is the advantage. They will grow up as responsible people, having an appreciation for others.
Human Rights Organizations
Center for Human Rights Education