You can’t take these away from anyone in the world6 min readReading Time: 4 minutes
Hello! And welcome to Right-angle, a brand new segment where you get to learn all about what is rightfully yours: Your rights. You may not be old enough to vote, drive, drink, own a Pan card, make most decisions unsupervised, etc. However, you’d be surprised to know that you have more freedom and independence than you would think.
Every citizen in India is awarded two sets of human or fundamental rights. The first set are our global rights. India has signed on to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), as set by the United Nations, this document delineates the most fundamental rights that human being should possess. And on the other hand, our constitution, or book of law, lists the many rights and duties of India’s citizens.
India was one of the countries that not only signed but helped create the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights!
So, without much ado, let’s learn more about what we deserve.
So, what are human rights?
Human rights govern almost everything we do in our societies. In fact, they’re so fundamental, that most of us respect each others fundamental rights without giving it much thought.
These rights dictate how we live together as a society. They create our relationship with our government and make clear the responsibilities that our government has towards us.
Have you ever wondered why we get angry with the government when polluting factories and cars continue to exist? It is, after all, not the government that is running these factories..
Thanks to Human Rights Laws, the government is obligated to provide its people with these privileges and ensure that no one tries to take them away. At the same time, the government must also not take away the rights of anyone in order to help someone else attain their human rights. That is why governmental decisions take time and frustrate us with the lazy pace at which they progress. The government cannot take hasty decisions as that may harm a small group of people while benefiting the majority.
“Individuals also have responsibilities: in using their human rights, they must respect the rights of others. No government, group, or individual has the right to do anything that violates another’s rights.“— United Nations’ Children’s Fund
While it is true that most human rights belong to people of all ages, children are in an exceptional position in many ways. That is why the United Nations has also adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, a document that lists the fundamental human rights that are unique to children.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
While our human rights are spread across various documents and treaties, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the guiding principle behind all of these other international and national laws. Some experts claim that this declaration is the single most useful, important, essential, big-deal- document that humans have ever written.
India signed on to this declaration in 1948, just one year after our independence.
Next up: The Preamble
Before the declaration even begins to list out our human rights, it has an introduction or preparatory statement known as the Preamble. The Preamble is the most important part of the document as it makes sure that its intentions are known. That way the nations who sign on to it know exactly why it is important for the harmony of the world that they do.
Excited to know more about the rights you deserve? Come back next week for the lowdown on the crucial introduction to the world’s most important document.