What are Human Rights?

”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.” Article 1, Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

Legally, states (the duty-bearers) have an obligation towards individuals (the rights-holders) to ensure the equal fulfillment of human rights without any discrimination based on, for instance, nationality, sex, religion, national or ethnic origin, language, sexual orientation or place of residence. The various different human rights are often divided into two categories: civil and political rights on one side and social, economic and cultural rights on the other.

Civil and political rights concern issues such as freedom of expression, religion and assembly, as well as the right to life and freedom from torture and ill-treatment.

Social, economic and cultural rights on the other hand, include, for instance, the right to health, work and education. However, all human rights are interlinked, indivisible and interdependent as the fulfillment of any one right depends on the fulfillment of the others. Some rights are more specialised and focus on specific groups of people, such as children’s rights and women’s rights. 



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