Declaration of human rights

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United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a utopian view of what all citizens of all states should enjoy, however no country has all 30 in effect in their land today although some countries citizens has more rights than others. Choosing 3 of the most striking articles out of the 30 creates an interesting dilemma in which 3 articles are the most striking. This paper will address Articles 3, Article 10 and Article 18 - Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Background

On December 10, 1948 in Paris at the Palais de Chaillot, France the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which "reaffirmed faith in fundamental human rights, and dignity and worth of the human person" and committed all member countries to uphold "universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion" (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

There had been several major events that led up to this universal declaration but this was the first time in history that a universal list of human rights was to set a standard of achievements for all people and nations. Among these were: The Twelve Articles of the Swabian Peasants which set forth in the Peasant War in the Black Forest area in the southwestern part of Germany and set forth in March of 1525. Next was in England in December of 1689 "An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown" (shortened to the "English Bill of Rights") which was to limit the Royal Family's power over the citizens of the Empire (itwillpass.com). The last major event was the Declaration of Independence of the American Colonies in 1776.

Articles 3

"Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. This basically means that everyone has the right to live and the right to safety and freedom." This is akin to the Declaration of Independence of the United States which states "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"(The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America).

Article 10

"Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him." This is guaranteed in the United States by the Bill of Rights Amendment VI which states "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."

Article 18

"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance." This lines up with Amendment I of the United States Constitution which states "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Conclusion

Though no country has adopted or guarantees their citizens all thirty of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the citizens of the United States enjoys the most of these views. This list is just an utopian view of what the world should be like be, but at this time the majority of citizens do not have the majority of freedoms listed in these declarations.

References

  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948, December 10). Retrieved from United Nations website: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/
  • Roy, R. (n.d.). 1689: The English Bill of Rights. In It Will Pass. Retrieved December 12, 2009, from http://www.itwillpass.com/law_1689_english_bill_of_rights.shtml
  • Document. (1999-2009). the Declaration of Independence: The Wants, Wills, and Hopes of the People. Retrieved December 14, 2009, from http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/index.htm
  • Bill of Rights. (n.d.). The National Archives. Retrieved December 14, 2009, from The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration website: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html

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