This post was originally posted on Freedom4All, you can view the original in the Freedom4all archive
FreedomForAll exists to identify and highlight breaches of Human Rights around the world, but what exactly are these rights?
On December the 10th 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations. The Assembly then called on all Member States to ensure that the act was Disseminated, read and adhered to, without distinction.
Amongst the 30 Articles that comprise the act, the UDHR stated that;
- All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
- Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
- Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
- No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
- No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
- Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
- No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
- 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.
- Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives
- 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.
- Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
- Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
These are rights that most of us take for granted, but they are far from universal. Many countries subject citizens to arbitrary arrest, and hold dissidents without trial.
China is perhaps the most prominent example of these countries, regularly arresting Political dissidents for expressing their views. Some stories reach International News Agencies, but most 'Enforced Disappearances' go un-noticed by the International Media.
Imagine being in a position where you disagreed with the actions of your Government, but were unable to speak out about it for fear of the effect it could have on your life, and that of your family. This is exactly what happens when Freedom of Expression is taken away.
Those that do speak out often do so in order to strive for a better quality of life, both for themselves and others in their Country. All to often this action is followed by an arrest, and occasionally a trial.
In some countries dissidents also risk being tortured simply for disagreeing with the 'Official Line.'
Imagine being persecuted by the Government because you are the wrong religion, for many this is a daily occurrence.
Organisations such as Amnesty International provide a lifeline for those that are not granted the basic Human Rights and actively campaigns for better treatment. Give them support in whatever way you can, whether by becoming an active member or simply by Donating.
The more voices there are, the stronger the message becomes.
Join, Donate, Do Something, Just don't Do Nothing!