connection between women's human rights, gender equality, socioeconomic development
and peace is increasingly apparent.
empowerment is intertwined with respect for human rights.
the future, human rights will be increasingly a universal criterion for designing
The evolution of the human rights movement clearly
illustrates humanity's ongoing struggle toward creating
a better world."
-- Robert Alan Silverstein
people are starting to think of "entitlements' as 'extra
unearned luxuries' that should be taken away during hard
times. But the definition of an entitlement is a right that
is granted by law or by nature, to which all are guaranteed
access. True entitlements are basic needs not luxury items.
When politicians insist on cutting 'entitlements' they need
to ensure that only luxuries are on the cutting block not
forgotten the basic SOCIAL CONTRACT of rights and responsibilities
that binds us together as a society. Society expects citizens
to follow laws it has instated in order to protect individuals
and institutions. Without these laws there would be chaos
-- the strong would simply take anything they wanted and
the rest would have no recourse. In return the social contract
guarantees that if people follow these rules or responsibilities
they will be guaranteed basic rights - life, liberty and
the pursuit of happiness. A guarantee of life ensures they
will have access to basic human needs of water, food and
shelter needed to live and to support their family. Liberty
involves the ability to engage in activities the individual
wishes, as long as it does not violate the law. The pursuit
of happiness is a guarantee that the laws are meant to be
fair and provide an equal playing field for all members
of society, so that through hard work and creative enterprise,
all law-abiding citizens are free to strive to attain the
wants and desires they believe will bring them happiness.
Robert Alan Silverstein
rights education is much more than a lesson in schools or a theme for a day; it
is a process to equip people with the tools they need to live lives of security
and dignity. On this International Human Rights Day, let us continue to work together
to develop and nurture in future generations a culture of human rights, to promote
freedom, security and peace in all nations."
The right to development
is the measure of the respect of all other human rights.That should be our aim:
a situation in which all individuals are enabled to maximize their potential,
and to contribute to the evolution of society as a whole.
never the people who complained of the universality of human rights, nor did the
people consider human rights as a Western or Northern imposition. It was often
their leaders who did so. -- Kofi
sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to
be either good or evil.
never won rights. They are not handed down from above; they are forced by
pressures from below. So
long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights,
we'll be called a democracy.
electing officials that will protect the Constitution and commit themselves to
the rights of the people and the health of the nation, we will be able to ensure
that no group of ideologues and no private sector institution can coopt our rights,
take us into senseless wars and steal the nation from its people."
century that began with children having virtually no rights is ending with children
having the most powerful legal instrument that not only recognizes but protects
their human rights."
Convention is not only a visionary document. We are reminded daily that it is
an agreement that works – and its utility can be seen in the everyday use to which
I have seen it increasingly being put by country after country, in policy, in
practice and in law." -- Carol
Bellamy, UNICEF Executive Director, Statement to the UNICEF Executive Board,
who today still feel a sense of impotence can do something: they can support Amnesty
International. They can help it to stand up for freedom and justice."
"Torture is banned
but in two-thirds of the world's countries it is still being committed in secret.
Too many governments still allow wrongful imprisonment, murder or "disappearance"
to be carried out by their officials with impunity."
the publicity function of Amnesty that I think has made its name so widely known,
not only to readers in the world, but to governments - and that's what matters."
-- Peter Benenson
"Open your newspaper
- any day of the week - and you will find a report from somewhere in the world
of someone being imprisoned, tortured or executed because his opinions or religion
are unacceptable to his government."
candle burns not for us, but for all those whom we failed to rescue from prison,
who were shot on the way to prison, who were tortured, who were kidnapped, who
"disappeared". That's what the candle is for."
the concentration camps and the hell-holes of the world were in darkness. Now
they are lit by the light of the Amnesty candle; the candle in barbed wire. When
I first lit the Amnesty candle, I had in mind the old Chinese proverb: 'Better
light a candle than curse the darkness.'"
can imprison a man, but not an idea. You can exile a man, but not an idea. You
can kill a man, but not an idea."
most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed."
-- Stephen Biko
"I feel morally
and intellectually obliged to simply conceded that the death penalty experiment
has failed.... From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the
machinery of death."
-- Harry A. Blackmun, Former US Supreme Court Justice
has long been recognized that an essential element in protecting human rights
was a widespread knowledge among the population of what their rights are and how
they can be defended.
Boutros-Ghali, Sixth UN Secretary-General, 1992-1996
human rights we are to discuss here at Vienna are...the quintessential values
through which we affirm together that we are a single human community.
-- Boutros Boutros-Ghali,
at the World Conferenceon Human Rights, 14 June 1993
The Framers of the
Bill of Rights did not purport to "create" rights. Rather, they
designed the Bill of Rights to prohibit our Government from infringing rights
and liberties presumed to be preexisting.
-- Justice William J. Brennan
are asking people to understand that slavery still exists today; in fact, according
to a recent New York Times article, if you count the number of women and children
in bonded labor, domestic slavery or sexual slavery today, there are more slaves
in the world than at any other time in history.”
-- Charlotte Bunch
is not the law of the
majority but the protection of the minority.
-- Albert Camus
has a right to peaceful coexistence, the basic personal freedoms, the alleviation
of suffering, and the opportunity to lead a productive life..."
did not invent human rights. In a very real sense, it is the other way around.
Human rights invented America.
right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you.|
nations are allowed to commit genocide with impunity, to hide their guilt in a
camouflage of lies and denials, there is a real danger that other brutal regimes
will be encouraged to attempt genocides.
--Caroline, Baroness Cox, House of
that peace at any price is no peace at all. We discovered that life at any price
has no value whatever; that life is nothing without the privileges, the prides,
the rights, the joys
which make it worth living, and also worth giving. And we also discovered that
there is something more hideous, more atrocious than war or than death; and that
is to live in fear.
-- Eve Curie, French author
can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and
where individuals and nations are free."
-- 14th Dalai
Beings, indeed all sentient beings, have the right to pursue happiness and live
in peace and freedom.--
14th Dalai Lama
"All human beings,
whatever their cultural or historical background, suffer when they are intimidated,
imprisoned or tortured . . . We must, therefore, insist on a global consensus,
not only on the need to respect human rights worldwide, but also on the definition
of these rights . . . for it is the inherent nature of all human beings to yearn
for freedom, equality and dignity, and they have an equal right to achieve that."
we can prevent genocide from happening again. Together we can make a better future
for our children. -- Dith
Rights for everyone is the necessary foundation upon which all of us may build
a world where everybody may live in peace and serenity and plenty."
The idea of cultural relativism is nothing but an excuse to violate human
-- Shirin Ebadi
peace, there is little hope for human rights’
think there is less cynicism about human rights than there was. The work we are
doing is part of the overall pattern of human development, whatever the political
system, whatever the country, whatever the cultural background, whatever the religion."
-- Martin Ennals
"...In a world riven by
inequity, medicine could be viewed as social justice work." -- Paul
access to health care is considered a human right, who is considered human enough
to have that right?” -- Paul
water and health care and school and food and tin roofs and cement floor, all
of these things should constitute a set of basics that people must have as birthrights."
-- Paul Farmer
UN Declaration of Human Rights laid down what any person might reasonably expect,
yet there are remarkably few people who enjoy these rights. With cameras in the
hands of activists and meaningful distribution of those images, we will witness
what really goes on in this world and hopefully want to change it." -- Peter
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