We explain what human rights are and their main characteristics. In addition, when deprivation of rights occurs and more.

What are human rights?

Human rights are fundamental principles and freedoms that every person has by virtue of existing . Respecting human rights allows essential living conditions in an environment of dignity, freedom and peace.

Human rights consist of rights and obligations that regulate the behavior of all people without distinction of nationality, gender, skin color , social condition or religion.

No person or government has the authority to deny human rights to a person. For this reason, in 1948, after the Second World War , the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was proclaimed in Paris by the United Nations General Assembly.

Made up of 30 articles, it includes the fundamental human rights that all peoples and nations of the world must protect, such as the right to life, freedom of expression , education , housing, political participation, among others. . Human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and progressive.

What are human rights?

The human rights contemplated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 are divided into two general groups:

  • Civil and political rights. Such as the right to life , not to be subjected to slavery or uncertainty, not to be harmed or tortured, not to be discriminated against, not to be arbitrarily detained, to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise. privacy, free movement, to seek asylum, to have a nationality, to freedom of thought and expression, to participate in political life, among others.
  • Economic, social and cultural rights. Such as the right to food, education, health, housing, work and rest, among others.

Human rights include obligations on the part of States and citizens , since both parties together are responsible for ensuring that rights and freedoms are respected.

Human rights are proper to the human being and he acquires them at birth due to his own condition of being. They should not be confused with privileges, which are special benefits or advantages for a particular event.

Characteristics of human rights

Characteristics of human rights

Human rights are characterized by four premises:

  • They are universal. Human rights reach all people, without any exclusion, not because of their nationality, gender, skin color or beliefs.
  • They are interdependent. There are no more important rights than others, but they are united in the same hierarchy level, they all have the same value and make up a whole.
  • They are indivisible. Human rights cannot be divided, one cannot be dispensed with and only others respected.
  • They are progressive. The rights are irreversible, even if new principles are incorporated. A new right does not exclude or leave an earlier right in effect.

Deprivation of rights

When a person or institution affects the rights of another person or commits a crime, depending on the seriousness, the State, through the judicial apparatus, can restrict some or all of their rights.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (which includes rights and obligations) has as its objective to maintain freedom, peace and ensure a dignified life . If the actions of one person interferes or nullifies the right of another, it means that they stopped complying with their obligations, for which they may be subject to a fine or judicial penalty.

This reaches people and institutions. In the case of crimes against humanity committed by the State (or by power structures that have taken over the government ), as happened in Germany during the Nazi regime or in Argentina in times of military and terrorist coups, the State can be tried and sentenced to compensate the victims or their families.

Human rights today

Human rights today

Despite the proclamation of Human Rights in 1948, today millions of people around the world do not enjoy many of the fundamental rights . This is because there are totalitarian governments , nations in constant wars, religious doctrines or ancient beliefs, power seizures through armed groups, among other scenarios.

All members of a society have the responsibility to respect human rights: citizens, groups, companies , associations, state entities and the government. The ignorance and contempt of human rights throughout history have unleashed nefarious acts for humanity.

As the human being evolves, it is necessary to contemplate more principles as part of universal rights. Some are new postulates as a consequence of advances in lifestyle, others correspond to situations that have occurred for a long time, but people's level of consciousness could not recognize them as such.

Human evolution is a consequence of the development of consciousness and the capacity to empathize, issues that progress steadily throughout human history. Assisted motherhood, dignified death or equal marriage are some of the rights or ethical values currently discussed, which need to be considered as universal rights.

It is essential that universal human rights are protected by a rule of law , so that no person or government can force or violate them. Freedom, justice and peace in the world are based on the recognition of the intrinsic dignity and rights of each individual.

The above content published at Collaborative Research Group is for informational and educational purposes only and has been developed by referring reliable sources and recommendations from technology experts. We do not have any contact with official entities nor do we intend to replace the information that they emit.


Luke is passionate about fostering student involvement and connection. He studied psychology for his major and likes learning about the past. Luke aims to specialize in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. .

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