Human Rights History
Human rights are the rights that each individual on this planet is entitled to. These rights are not a new concept, but have been prevalent for centuries. However, over the years, more and more rights have been added and laws have been framed to ensure that these entitlements are respected and given to people.
The human rights history can be traced back to the sixth century Persia when Cyrus the Great brought about major changes in the society. Cyrus took control of Babylon and issued the Cyrus Cylinder that was responsible for ensuring freedom from slavery, freedom to practice religion and many other rights.
The next stage in human rights makes it way to India when Ashoka the Great changed his ways. He was the ruler in India and his reign was marked with terror and cruelty. However, when he converted to Buddhism, he repented his ways and then went around making amends by ensuring that his servants and subjects were given rights and freedom.
Then the Arab world experienced many reforms during the years 610 and 661 under the Caliphate of Islam. Laws were altered to ensure that people's rights were given and respected. Especially women, children and prisoners were accorded rights along with rights governing religion.
When the Magna Carta was signed by King John after being pressurized by the Church and barons, equality prevailed in the country. The Charter highlighted a list of rights that the people would be entitled to in medieval England.
And, after the French Revolution, the Declaration of Rights of Men and Citizen have impetus to collective as well as individual rights. However, this Declaration did not do much for slavery or rights of women.
While human rights have been present in the society in different times, the term itself was coined in the modern times. It was only after the Second World War did a formal international level declaration came into being with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This was meant to ensure that rights of people are established regardless of their country of residence. This Declaration was adopted by the UN in the year 1948. This is not a law and countries are not legally bound to follow it, but most countries have signed the Declaration.
Today, majority of the civilized countries in the world have laws that ensure human rights are addressed and allowed. Nonetheless, there are countries where human rights are oppressed and people are not allowed their basic rights.
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