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Human Rights Day: What are Human Rights & Why They’re Important

Team StoryWeavers|December 09, 2022, 18:20 IST|

Every morning when you wake up and go to school, eat your favourite snack and play with your friends, you’re not just going about your day, you’re exercising your basic human rights!

December 10 is celebrated as International Human Rights Day. But what are human rights, and how are they different from your fundamental rights?

Everyone’s rights

Human rights are basic rights of every human, no matter what is their gender, religion, race or nationality. These are inherent rights to all of us, which means they apply to all humans.

However, these basic rights weren’t always universal. In fact, they were only accepted globally after the end of World War II. The United Nations put these rights on paper and adopted them as an official, legal document in 1948. The Univeral Declaration of Human Rights was the first legal document that explained human rights that were universal – i.e. applicable to every human.

What are human rights?

There are many human rights – the right to life, right to education, right to access clean water and food, right to believe in anything you want, right to live anywhere you want, right to safety, right to freedom, right to expression of thoughts, right to peace, and more.

Some of these rights, like the right to education and the right to live anywhere, overlap with the rights our government grants us under our Indian constitution. The detailed fundamental rights in our constitution need the government’s help to be enforced. This is why we have courts of law, the UN and other institutions that work toward guaranteeing us these rights.

Nobody has the right to violate these rights. However, every time there is a war or unrest in any part of the world, these rights are taken away. Even when there is no unrest, sometimes we see these fundamental rights being denied to many people around us. Children being forced to work instead of being educated, people being denied water or food because of their skin colour or where they’re from, and other such instances are violations of human rights. They must not be tolerated because we all deserve a happy, safe life.

About the Author

Madhavi is passionate about everything to do with books, art, literature, films, trivia and food. A former journalist, she believes that asking questions makes life interesting.

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