On December 10, the world celebrates its annual Human Rights Day, following the Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 on that same date. Although it has been over 70 years since this declaration was made, we have a long way to go to secure basic human rights for everyone.
The concept of basic human rights may sound intimidating at first hear, but the term is exactly what it is supposed to be—basic! It is essential to instill these foundations in ourselves so that we know not to accept anything less. Everyone has what it takes to be a human rights advocate—all it takes is proper awareness to enjoy what freedoms we have and fight for those who can’t! But first, you’ll need to know the basics.
While the Bills of Rights differ from country to country, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is for everybody—regardless of age, gender, race, and sexuality. Although there are many different types of human rights, such as civil rights, political rights, and economic rights, you can start by familiarizing yourself with basic human rights:
Here, we compile the list of the most essential human rights in a manner that makes it easier for us to absorb and digest what we need to know:
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1. Right to Equality
2. Freedom from Discrimination
3. Right to Life, Liberty, and Personal Security
4. Freedom from Slavery
5. Freedom from Torture and Degrading Treatment
Even if the majority of us already enjoy these rights, acts rooted in discrimination and prejudice are still prevalent today. We should hold perpetrators accountable for their wrong actions if we want human rights violations to be taken seriously. Most importantly, watch out for age-old stereotypes, practices, and norms that can be harmful when left unchecked!
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6. Right to Recognition as a Person before the Law
7. Right to Equality Before the Law
8. Right to Remedy by Competent Tribunal
9. Freedom from Arbitrary Arrest and Exile
10. Right to Fair Public Hearing
11. Right to be Innocent until Proven Guilty
12. Freedom from Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, and Correspondence
In today’s context, justice has sorely been taken advantage of. Now that more citizens are calling out police brutality for what it is, it becomes just as important to know what you can do for your protection. For instance, you must be treated with respect and dignity even if you are charged or under suspicion. Remember that you still have your rights, even when dealing with people in authority!
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13. Right to Free Movement In and Out of the Country
14. Right to Asylum in Other Countries from Persecution
15. Right to a Nationality and the Freedom to Change It
In other words, no amount of patriotism can force someone to stay in their home country. You should be free to migrate to whatever country you want, given that you have the proper visa and documentation.
16. Right to Marriage and Family
17. Right to Own Property
18. Freedom of Belief and Religion
19. Freedom of Opinion and Information
Having the freedom to choose for ourselves is not only empowering, but it should be an inherent human right everyone should be able to enjoy. You get to decide who you marry, where you live, what you’ll believe in, and what you’ll reject. Protect these freedoms at all costs—no one should be able to tell you otherwise!
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20. Right of Peaceful Assembly and Association
21. Right to Participate in Government and in Free Elections
22. Right to Social Security
23. Right to Desirable Work and to Join Trade Unions
Moving on to political and economic rights, no institution should thwart you from joining and establishing assemblies, especially when it acts as a counterbalance to possible human rights violations. In addition, trade unions help employees seek job security and benefits as they see fit.
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24. Right to Rest and Leisure
25. Right to Adequate Living Standard
26. Right to Education
27. Right to Participate in the Cultural Life of Community
To have a rich experience of life, we must be able to enjoy these cultural and leisure activities for ourselves without fear of being denied or deprived of these rights.
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28. Right to a Social Order that Articulates this Document
29. Community Duties Essential to Free and Full Development
30. Freedom from State or Personal Interference in the above Rights
Although the list sounds like common sense at this point, it is actually important to articulate these basic human rights to ensure that everyone else is on the same boat! It is easy to infringe on these rights if people do not know better. Inform yourself beyond the basics! With that, we recommend that you read up on our wide selection of human rights books to get informed!
A Fight for Everyone: Be A Human Rights Advocate Today!
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While the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not legally binding, a number of our Bill of Rights found in our very own Philippine Constitution is loosely based on the list above! Often used as a foundational reference, the acknowledgment of these basic human rights has promoted more legal laws to curb human rights violations around the world. Above all, we ought to know what we inherently possess as human beings in order to live a life free from deprivation and mistreatment.
Lastly, don’t forget to have your own celebration of Human Rights Day! It can be as easy as sending an infographic to your friends and family to remind them of the rights they should protect. A simple social media post with the hashtag #HumanRightsDay can raise awareness as well. The more human rights advocates there are, the more people will heed our message!
If you’re feeling empowered after reading all that, turn that confidence into nationalism by reading our blogs such as How To Celebrate National Heroes Day At Home and 5 Philippine Traditional Costumes For Buwan ng Wika! Flaunt the many ways you can take pride in your own citizenship!