Preface by: Lucille Femine, Executive Assistant for The Liberty Beacon project.
Most people are aware of some of the most common human rights, such as freedom of speech, freedom to bear arms, etc. but an amazingly large amount of us do not realize there are thirty of them, with a history going back to 1215 and the Magna Carta and most recently to Eleanor Roosevelt and the United Nations in 1948.
These are presented here in the hopes of educating many more people as to their rights as human beings, not slaves to a political system rapidly becoming more and more oppressive. The more you know, the more power you have not only to confront and deal with all the oppression but to live in a manner we all well deserve. Most of us are good people and good people simply want peace and prosperity.
Each day, these rights will be presented on the facebook page of The Liberty Beacon, one at a time, so we all become thoroughly familiar with them and help them become an innate part of our survival which is liberty itself.
While some dictionaries define the word right as “a privilege,” when used in the context of “human rights,” we are talking about something more basic.*
Every person is entitled to certain fundamental rights, simply by the fact of being human. These are called “human rights” rather than a privilege (which can be taken away at someone’s whim).
They are “rights” because they are things you are allowed to be, to do or to have. These rights are there for your protection against people who might want to harm or hurt you. They are also there to help us get along with each other and live in peace.
Many people know something about their rights. Generally they know they have the right to food and a safe place to stay. They know they have a right to be paid for the work they do. But there are many other rights.
When human rights are not well known by people, abuses such as discrimination, intolerance, injustice, oppression and slavery can arise.
Born out of the atrocities and enormous loss of life during World War II, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948 to provide a common understanding of what everyone’s rights are. It forms the basis for a world built on freedom, justice and peace.
A LOOK AT THE BACKGROUND OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Originally, people had rights only because of their membership in a group, such as a family. Then, in 539 BC, Cyrus the Great, after conquering the city of Babylon, did something totally unexpected—he freed all slaves to return home. Moreover, he declared people should choose their own religion. The Cyrus Cylinder, a clay tablet containing his statements, is the first human rights declaration in history.
The idea of human rights spread quickly to India, Greece and eventually Rome. The most important advances since then have included:
1215: The Magna Carta—gave people new rights and made the king subject to the law.
1628: The Petition of Right—set out the rights of the people.
1776: The United States Declaration of Independence—proclaimed the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
1789: The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen—a document of France, stating that all citizens are equal under the law.
1948: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights—the first document listing the 30 rights to which everyone is entitled.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The United Nations (UN) came into being in 1945, shortly after the end of World War II.
The stated purpose of the UN is to bring peace to all nations of the world. After World War II, a committee of persons headed by Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, wrote a special document which “declares” the rights that everyone in the entire world should have—the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today there are 192 member states of the UN, all of whom have signed on in agreement with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Where Do Universal Rights Begin?
“In small places, close to home—so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”
—Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Chair of the United Nations Commission that wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
Here they are:
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.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by 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.