December 10 – the International Human Rights Day
At a recent meeting with students, one girl asked, "You’ve said that we should defend ourselves against the state. I still do not understand why should we do that? In my opinion, I and the state have concluded a social contract..."
"Does the state know it has a social contract with you?" I asked her and then added, "Did, for example, another state remember about a social contract when it imprisoned Sentsov?" Heavy silence settled in the audience...
We may know we have rights, but may not ever use them. We may not know exactly how this right is called in the declarations and conventions, but feel that something is wrong when an MP – a representative of the state – fences off a lake with beach for himself, or when a police officer - a representative of the state – beats a detainee. These are human rights.
When more than seventy years ago, one head of state had enough cynicism to kill dozen million people in the World War II while the other leader tortured to death several millions of people in concentration camps, people looked around and understood: it is possible to annihilate each other very quickly if not to give everyone equal rights and opportunities.
So, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948.
It stipulates thirty fundamental rights, guaranteed to everyone on the planet.
What are these rights?
Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence.
Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state...
Human rights are given to us by nature. Human rights are given to all people, regardless of their nationality, gender, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, language, or other characteristics. We all have equal rights.
You may know human rights, but you must feel them first, feel them in the "person - state" coordinate system.
If people cannot find protection in their state, they should realize that human rights have no boundaries. And declare loudly about it.
If you are not employed because you have “wrong” place of registration, it is about human rights. If you are not employed because you can go on maternity leave, it is about human rights. If you are not issued a certificate without a bribe, it is about human rights. If you are not allowed to attend an open court hearing, it is about human rights. If you are limited in something, insulted, harassed, it is about human rights.
You may think you have nothing to do with this - it’s perfect (if true). Or maybe you just do not know your rights?
The Human Rights Information Center team congratulates you on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day. Although, there are not so many reasons for "celebration", just know that we are stronger together.
Photo credit: social networks
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