What Are Human Rights?

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more.  Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination.


In 539 BC, the armies of Cyrus the Great, the first king of ancient Persia, conquered the city of Babylon. But it was his later actions that marked a very important advance for Man. He freed slaves, declared that everyone had the right to choose their religion, and established racial equality. These and other decrees were recorded in Akkadian in a cylinder of baked clay (in a cuneiform script).

Known today as Cyrus Cylinder, this ancient record has now been recognized as the world's first human rights charter. It is translated into the six official languages ​​of the United Nations and its stipulations are similar to the first four articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Disclosure of Human Rights

Beginning in Babylon, the idea of ​​human rights spread quickly to India, Greece and eventually reached Rome. There the concept of "natural law" appeared, in the observation of the fact that people tended to follow certain unwritten laws in the course of their lives, and Roman the law was based on rational ideas derived from the nature of things.

Documents stating individual rights, such as the Magna Carta (1215), the Petition of Law (1628), the US Constitution (1787), the French Declaration of Human and Citizen Rights (1789), and the Bill of Rights of the USA (1791) are the written precursors to many of today's human rights documents.

How did Human Rights come about?

We can make the first foray into the American Revolution, in which the Bill of Rights (or Declaration of the Rights of Citizens of The United States) guarantees certain rights to those born in the country. Among them, it guarantees the right to life, freedom, equality and property. Thus, the government could not attack one of those rights of someone without due process and judgment within the parameters of the law.

At the same time that this American amendment was officially accepted, the French Revolution broke out in 1789, and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen was drafted. Liberal in nature and based on the Enlightenment ideals that preached equality, freedom and fraternity, this declaration aimed to ensure that no man should have more power or rights than another - which represented the republican and democratic ideal, which at the time threatened the Old Regime, in which only one person concentrated powers.

 In that first moment, both the American and the French declarations did not guarantee broad rights to all members of the human race, because, at the time, women still did not have all their civil rights guaranteed and there was still slavery.

Last modified: Tuesday, 28 Apr 2020, 01:21