Human Rights Basics

Human Rights Basics

Human rights are basic rights and freedoms that all people are entitled to regardless of nationality, sex, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, language, or other status.

Human rights include civil and political rights, such as the right to life, liberty and freedom of expression; and social, cultural and economic rights including the right to participate in culture, the right to food, and the right to work and receive an education.  Human rights are protected and upheld by international and national laws and treaties.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is the foundation of the international system of protection for human rights. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10th, 1948.  This day is celebrated annually as International Human Rights Day. The 30 articles of the UDHR establish the civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights of all people. It is a vision for human dignity that transcends political boundaries and authority, committing governments to uphold the fundamental rights of each person.  The UDHR helps guide Amnesty International's work.

We also use these principles to help us define human rights and the issues we relentlessly fight for.

Why We Fight