Human Rights deal with rights and obligations that are universal for every human being, with no regard to race, culture, sex, language or religion. Humanity’s first attempt at Human Rights came in the form of the Cyrus Cylinder, which was an ancient clay cylinder that documented the rights of the people inhabiting nations newly conquered by the Persian King, Cyrus the Great. In the cylinder, Cyrus proclaims right of freedom of religion, freedom of movement, protection from harm and loss of property, freedom from forced labor and slavery. Over time, significant legal additions were made to Human Rights, including:
Magna Carta (1215)
British Bill of Rights (1689)
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789)
US Bill of Rights (1791)
The US Bill of Rights contained the culmination of human rights as known and understood at that time. The Bill of Rights is binding and protected and enforced by force of law. Universal Human Rights is embodied in a number of declarations and treaties, chiefly the International Bill of Rights, which is composed of the following:
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, detailing thirty fundamental human rights (1948)
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1976)
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1976)
Our concepts of Human Rights has been further refined and enforced through the adoption of additional treaties and protocols, including the Rights of Refugees, Women, Children, Prevention of Genocide, Prohibition of Slavery and Torture.
Discrimination is the direct or indirect unequal treatment of persons based on their membership to a certain type of group, with the resultant effect of those persons being disadvantaged or harmed. These groups are defined as race, nationality, religion, creed, color, age, sex or sexual orientation.
There are various types of discrimination. These include:
Racial and Ethnic Discrimination
Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation
Discrimination against Indigenous People
Discrimination against Migrants
Discrimination against Minorities
Discrimination against People with Disabilities
Discrimination can occur in all aspects of life, with Federal and State laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, rates of pay, right of promotion, educational opportunity, civil rights and use of facilities based on the above named groups. Any individual has the right to bring to the courts any instance of discrimination that they believe has occurred to them. These are enforced at Federal and State levels. There are also Federal and State commissions to investigate and enforce equal application of rights on citizens.