All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 1)
Human rights are the cornerstone of society. They include the basic necessities of life such as water, food and shelter, but also encompass more general rights such as the right to dignity, equality and security. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was passed by the United Nations in 1948 and remains the foundation for upholding human rights globally. Others have drawn up different declarations, but the core message is the same – that every person has the right to live rich, rewarding and peaceful lives.
In a world where greed for wealth and power plays such a prominent role, the rights of individuals and communities are all too often pushed aside. Women, children and minorities are particularly at risk; but when people’s rights are violated it diminishes the world for all of us.
Rights go hand in hand with responsibilities, and each of us must bear a share of responsibility for ensuring the preservation and enhancement of human rights. In particular, we need to take care that our own and others’ rights are not eroded by technological or political developments that advance the interests of the few at the expense of the many.