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Human rights essay – informative essay about human rights, history, what it is, etc.
A Sample Essay on Human Rights
The world is made up of people with different characters. People are divided into the three social classes: the rich, the middle class, and the poor. There are people who hold positions of power and leadership while others are ruled or governed. In spite of these differences, all human beings are equal and should be treated equally. However, there some people, particularly those in positions of power, who may use their influence to mistreat others. Human rights exist to prevent those in power and ordinary people from abusing others. In this regard, human rights guarantee equal treatment of all people irrespective of their color, gender, religion, or nationality.
Every human being regardless of their gender, color, nationality, and religion are born with their rights. All persons are entitled to their human rights without discrimination (Hoffman, 2016). Laws and treaties enforce human rights, and the universal law on human rights ensures that no person or government abuses the rights of another human being (Hoffman, 2016). Universal human rights under the international law dictate the responsibilities of governments and list the practices that they should cease from in order to promote the rights and freedoms of their people. The international law provides that human rights are collective and unchallengeable (Hoffman, 2016). All countries from around the world have approved at least one or more of the four universal treaties of human rights.
In the United States for example, the Constitution protects human rights through the 9th Amendment. This amendment states that “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people” (Schmitt, 2010). The “certain rights” here are those that are taken care of or protected through other amendments in the Bill of Rights. However, there are also “others retained by the people,” and they include all other human rights that should be naturally enjoyed by a free people. A good example of these other rights are “the “unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” identified by the Declaration of Independence” (Schmitt, 2010). They additionally include such natural rights as the right to defense of family and self, property, privacy, thought, communication, work, travel, education, and free association. In other terms, they are intensive rights that all human beings should inherently enjoy.
Human rights are symbiotic and inseparable. According to the international law, all human rights are dependent on each other. No person should be deprived of their social, civil, political, or economic rights. The right to life, right to equality, right to work, freedom of expression, and other rights are inseparable. Improvement of one of these rights translates to the development of all, and deprivation of one culminates in deprivation of all (Carrim, 2007). The fundamental purpose of this interrelation among all human rights is to ensure they are one so that governments or individuals will not improve some rights while depriving others. Thus, an abuse of a single human freedom is an abuse of all human rights.
Further, human rights facilitate peaceful living for all human beings. Most people believe that human rights are meant to emancipate the oppressed from oppression, but in the real sense, they apply to everyone (Hoffman, 2016). The rights protect individuals in their day to day activities. Without them, it would be impossible to express oneself, but due to the freedom of expression, everyone can speak up their minds (Hoffman, 2016). Freedom of speech gives ordinary people the power to condemn acts of the powerful as well as oppose abuse of power by state governments (Hoffman, 2016). In this regard, human rights empower ordinary people to the point that they can negotiate with those in power. It is through these rights that people have access to education, family life, and private life.
Noteworthy, human rights came to be universally accepted after the Second World War (Swimelar, 2009). Before then, people had no rights, and they got their freedoms from joining a family, religious organizations, and national groups. There are several materials that serve as the source of human rights and they include Magna Carta 1215, the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights of 1791, and the French declaration of human rights of 1789 (McFarland, 2017). The formation of the United Nations played a significant role in the establishment of the international laws which enforce human rights. Slavery also contributed to the formulation of some human rights. In the year 1919, in efforts to put a stop to slavery, countries formed the International Labor Organization, which was meant to protect workers from harassment and guarantee their safety.
The League of Nations first raised concern over the abuse of human rights after the First World War. The countries involved were concerned about the sufferings that some minority groups had been subjected to. However, the efforts of the countries bore no fruits because the United States failed to join. The push for human rights arose again after the Second World War when the Nazis killed more than 6million Jews, disabled people, and gays (McFarland, 2017). The whole world was horrified by such high levels of cruelty. Some leaders from the defeated nations were tried in Tokyo and Nurnberg for committing crimes against humanity (McFarland, 2017). Governments across the world then decided to form the United Nations (UN), which would help prevent interstate conflicts and promote peace.
In 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his speech to the United Nations Congress mentioned the need for the establishment of four central freedoms, which were freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom from fear, and freedom from want (McFarland, 2017). Other countries called for the declaration of standard human rights to protect ordinary people living within the borders of their nations from war. Due to these calls, the United Nations Charter was drafted in the year 1945 (McFarland, 2017). Members of the organization affirmed their commitment towards promoting reverence for human rights for all people. In efforts to support this move, the UN formed a commission on human rights, which was then given the responsibility to come up with a document listing all the reasons discussed in the 1945 Charter.
Human rights came into existence to protect the weak and oppressed from mistreatment by those in power. Human rights assure all people of fair treatment as all individuals are equal irrespective of their color, sex, religion, or social class. The Second World War marked the peak for the push for human rights. The act of Nazis of killing more than 6million innocent people made the world see the need for the official declaration of human rights. It was among the major events that made the world realize the need for universal human rights, which are today enjoyed by billions of people across the world.
Carrim, N. H. (2007). Human rights and the construction of identities in South African education (Doctoral dissertation).
Hoffmann, S. L. (2016). Human rights and history. Past & Present, 232(1), 279-310.
McFarland, S. (2017). The universal declaration of human rights: a tribute to its architects. Public Integrity, 19(2), 108-122.
Schmitt, H. H. (2010). “Natural rights and the 9th amendment”. America’s Uncommon Sense. Retrieved May 12, 2020 from https://www.americasuncommonsense.com/2010/09/natural-rights-and-the-9th-amendment/
Swimelar, S. (2009). International human rights: a comprehensive introduction. Human Rights Quarterly, 31(3), 821-826.
Human Rights Sample Essay Outline
Thesis: Human rights guarantee equal treatment of all people irrespective of their color, gender, religion or nationality.
Every human being is entitled to all human rights upon their conception.
- All persons are entitled to their human rights without discrimination.
- Universal human rights under the international law dictate the responsibilities of state governments and list the practices that they should cease from to promote rights and freedoms of their people.
- Human rights are unchallengeable.
In the U.S., the Constitution protects human rights through the 9th Amendment.
- The amendment states that “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
- The “certain rights” here are those that are taken care of or protected through other amendments in the Bill of Rights.
Human rights are symbiotic and inseparable.
- Human rights are interdependent.
- Improvement of one human right translates to development of all, and deprivation one is a deprivation of all.
Human rights facilitate peaceful living for all individuals.
- Human rights are not for the oppressed but all individuals.
- Human rights protect individuals in their day to day activities.
- Freedom of expression gives ordinary people the power to condemn acts of the powerful as well as oppose abuse of power by state governments.
Human rights came to be universally accepted after World War II.
- Sources of human rights include Magna Carta 1215, the United States Constitution and bill of rights in 1791, and the French declaration of human rights in 1789.
- United Nations played a significant role in the establishment of the international laws, which enforce human rights.
The League of Nations first raised concern over abuse of human rights after the First World War.
- The push for human rights bore fruits after the World War II when the Nazis killed more than 6million Jews, disabled people, and homosexuals.
- State governments formed the United Nations to help prevent interstate conflicts and promote peace.
In 1941, President Franklin Delano in his speech to the United Nations Congress mentioned the need for established of four central freedoms, which were freedom of religion, expression, and freedom from fear and want.
- In 1945 the United Nations Charter was drafted.
- A commission on human rights was formed to come up with a document containing a declaration of all human rights.
- A restatement of the thesis statement
- A summary of the main points
- A take-away statement made based on presented facts or information