Man has been waging an eternal war for the recognition of his rights from very early times. But his fight for the increasing recognition of rights became intense only after the eighteenth century. The French Revolution (1789) was based on the abstract rights of man whereas The Glorious Revolution in England (1688) was based on the customary rights of the people of that country. The French Revolution itself was the result of the conditions which were prevailing in that country at that time, but its slogan was liberty, equality and fraternity, the three abstract principles of universal application. The glorious revolution was on the other hand, simply a reassertion of the historic liberties of the Englishman.
While the Glorious Revolution in the England and French Revolution stirred the minds of man in regard to their social and political rights, The Russian Revolution made an important contribution in the matter of economic rights. The Soviet Declaration aimed eradicating the canker of economic inequality which makes a mockery of social and political rights. The Declaration seeks to achieve economic equality by abolishing the institution of private property by nationalizing all the means of production and conducting them in conformity with national economic plan. These three revolutions in the different part of the world have laid the foundation of Universal Declaration of the Human Rights.
Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man
An event of epoch-making importance is the universal declaration of the rights of man passed by the Paris session of the General Assembly of the UNO on December 10, 1948.
The Economic and Social council appointed an eighteen member commission of human rights with Mrs.Eleanor Roosevelt as its chairman in January 1947. After thorough discussion, the Declaration, in its final form was presented to the General Assembly of the UNO in the autumn of 1948 for approval. On the night of December 10, 1948 it was finally adopted. It contains a preamble and thirty articles. The Rights of Man
The following are some of the Rights embedded in the Declaration:
- The Right to Life: The most fundamental of all rights is the right to life on which the superstructure of other rights can be built. A state which does not safeguard this minimum right is not worth its name.
- The Right to Personal Safety: It implies the right against cruel treatment or inhuman punishment.
- The Right to Fair Trial and Freedom from Arbitrary Arrest: It would mean that no individual shall be assaulted, wounded or imprisoned except by due process of law. The law of the country should treat everybody alike.
- The Right to Freedom of Movement: It would mean the power of locomotion, of changing one’s situation or removing one’s person to whatever place one’s own inclination may direct, without imprisonment or restraint, except by due process of law
- The Right To Nationality
- The Right of Asylum from Political Persecution: As in the case of the Tibetanes, to seek asylum in a foreign country to escape persecution by the Chinese
- The Right to Own Property
- The Right to Freedom Thought, Conscience and Religion: It would imply that subject to public order, morality and health, every person is equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate region
- The Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression: This means the right to say or write what one chooses provided it is not intend to harm or defame of another’s reputation
- The Right to Freedom Assembly and Association
- The Right to take part in the Government of Ones Country: That is, every individual has the right to participate in the governing of his country through such rights as the right to vote. The right to stand as a candidate for elections etc.
- The Right to Social Security: This would imply the right to protection against unemployment, sickness, accident, etc.
- The Right to Work, To Free Choice of Employment and to Equal Pay for Equal Work
- The Right to Rest and Leisure
- The Right to Adequate Standards of Living
- The Right to Education
- The Right to Marriage and the Right to Family
- The Right to Participate in the Cultural Life of the Country in which the Individual Lives.