Have Human Rights Always Been Part of Human History?

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Submitted by to the category Science and Technology on 01/15/2013 12:56 PM

ESSAY QUESTION: HAVE HUMAN RIGHTS ALWAYS BEEN PART OF HUMAN HISTORY?

ESSAY QUESTION: HAVE HUMAN RIGHTS ALWAYS BEEN PART OF HUMAN HISTORY?

6018CRIM HUMAN RIGHTS

6018CRIM HUMAN RIGHTS

Human Rights as we know it today in the 21st century are rights that all people have simply because they are human beings and the standards human beings need to live life with freedom and dignity and as Lauren states ‘today, human rights play an exceedingly visible and vital role in the conduct of international relations, governments and individuals across the globe’ (1998: 1). The term ‘rights’ can be referred to as ‘the ability to demand and enjoy a minimally restrictive yet optimal quality of life with liberty, equal justice before the law and an opportunity to fulfill basic cultural, economic and social needs’ (Haas, 2008: 3). The creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been a major development in terms of human rights and has led to what it is to date, but where did it all begin? The concept of human rights can be dated right back to the Ancient Near East of c1790 BCE which many would say that this is where human rights began. This essay will therefore examine the history of human rights and come to a conclusion weather human rights has been part of human history while simultaneously comparing human rights past and present and assessing their importance in aiding the campaign on human rights for all.

It’s clear that many individual’s knowledge about human rights is very minimal and limited when understanding just what is human rights and how it came about. One view would be that the concept of human rights has very little history before the establishment of the United Nations in 1945 and as Freeman suggests ‘on this view, the history of human rights would be the history of the United Nations concept’ (2011: 15). There is also the view, and properly the most common view that the contemporary concept of human rights has a much longer history and many...

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