The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a statement affirming the dignity and rights of human beings which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on the 10th of December, 1948at Palais de Chaillot, Paris.
The United Nations charter reaffirmed faith in fundamental human rights and dignity and worth of human person and committed all member states to promote universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms of all without discrimination. The UDHR consists of 30 articles.
THE RIGHTS DESCRIBED IN THE ARTICLE INCLUDE:
The right to life, liberty and security of person, freedom of conscience, religion, opinion, expression, association and assembly, freedom from arbitrary arrest, to a fair and impartial trial, to freedom from interference in privacy, home or correspondence, to a nationality, to a secure society and an adequate standard of living, to education and to rest and leisure, right to own property, to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, to travel from home country at will and return at will, to work under favourable conditions, receive equal pay for equal work and join labour union at will, to marry and raise family and to participate in government and in social life of the community.
IMPORTANCE OF UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
1) The recognition and declaration of human rights is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.
2) It is the last resort and a rebellion against tyranny and oppression.
3) It promotes friendly relation between nations of the world.
4) It promotes social progress and better standard of life in larger freedom.
5) It brought about the promotion of universal respect and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
6) It acts like a guideline for human king in determining what is right and what is wrong.
THE SEVEN CORE FREEDOM OF UDHR
They are those rights that concerns individuals directly and influence their peaceful existence as human beings either within or outside their country. The freedoms include the following:
1) Freedom from Discrimination: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion etc.
2) Freedom from Fear: Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal in the determination of his rights and obligations and or any criminal charge against him.
3) Freedom of Want: Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to form family.
4) Freedom of Religion and Conscience: Everyone has the right to freedom of conscience and religion, this right include freedom to change his religion or beliefs either alone or in community with others in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
5) Freedom of Assembly: Everyone has the freedom to take part in any gathering that one wishes.
6) Freedom of Association: Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. No one may be compelled to belong to an association. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and for protection against unemployment.
7) Freedom of Thought, Belief, Opinion and Expression: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, this includes freedom to hold opinion without interference and to seek, receive and impact information and ideas through any media and regardless of international boundaries.
ROLES OF INDIVIDUAL IN THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
1) Every individual should be conscious of their rights as citizens and be ready to claim it at any point in time.
2) Every individual should be ready to acquire more knowledge about human rights.
3) Individuals should participate in joining human rights groups to promote respect for all human rights.
4) They should participate in casting their vote during election for political parties or candidates which believe in protection of human rights.
5) Have respect for the right of their fellow beings. Individuals should not participate in abusing the rights of their fellow beings.
6) Individuals should participate in giving financial support to human right abuse victims.
7) Individuals should also be willing to report cases of human rights abuses to necessary authorities.
ROLES OF GROUPS AND GOVERNMENTS IN UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
1) Conduct investigation into cases of human rights violation: A group of people and the government have the obligation to conduct an impartial investigation into allegations of human right.
2) Through education and training: The government can organize a training to teach citizens on the understanding of their rights and include the human right into the school curriculum.
3) Adequate protection of human right defenders: Human rights defenders need to be assured of effective protection against violence, retaliation or discrimination.
4) Establishment of agencies – NAPTIP, Legal Aid Council: Establishment of agencies like National Agency for prohibition of traffic in persons and other related matters (NAPTIP), Legal Aid Council will help to defend the human rights.
5) Groups should report anyone working against human rights.
6) Governments should punish offenders of human rights.
LIMITATIONS TO THE EXERCISE OF HUMAN RIGHTS
1) Coupd’etat: This is an unconstitutional means of taking over the control of government in a country.
2) War: During wars, young boys and girls at times are made to join the army against their wish and fight a war they do not know its cause.
3) State of Emergency: During period of emergencies occasioned by communal or religious crises where innocent lives are lost, properties are destroyed. Government may impose curfew which limits the freedom of movement of citizens.
4) Environmental Cleanliness: Sanitation exercise was introduced in Nigeria to make the country cleaner which led to many states enacting laws that restrict freedom of movement.
5) Conviction by a Constitutional Court: When an individual is found guilty under the constitution by the law courts, such indicted person may see his rights curtailed.
6) The right to life can be denied a citizen if he/she is found guilty of murder or treason which in most cases are offences that attract capital punishment.
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