The Universality of Human Rights

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Submitted By Maartenhamming
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Pages 9
Universality of human rights
By Maarten Hamming

Introduction

“Rights are either God-given as part of the divine plan, or they are granted by government as part of the political plan. If we accept the premise that human rights are granted by government, then we must be willing to accept the corollary that they can be denied by government.” – Ezra Taft Benson

Despite having been an idea since 539 BC, when Cyrus the Great wrote the Cyrus Cylinder, which had the most basic of human rights, the official Declaration of Human Rights was not set up until after the second world war. The Romans had a concept called Natural Law, which is defined by rules, that are a naturally followed by people. The concept of Natural Law changed into Natural Rights, when the French set up their version of rights all men have. These Natural Rights became Human Rights1 after the second world war, when the allies wrote down the first four human rights: Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear and freedom from want, the last one being the right of well-being.

The Declaration of Human Rights represents the rights all humans have when they are born without any distinctions. This declaration was written down by the UN and was adopted by 49 countries all over the world including countries like Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Syria. While counties outside of these 49 have not adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, according to the UN they still ought to live by them, because they are universal.

The quote from mister Benson implies that human rights are either given by God, which is found in the French theory of Natural Rights or they are set up by governments like the UN. He also states that they can be denied by governments, which means that they are not mandatory to have as a country and therefore they are not truly universal.

Justice and rights can be…...

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