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The human rights

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  • 1. Citizenship and Multiculturalism: The Human Rights Index1.Introduction..............................................................................................................................11.The Human Rights.....................................................................................................................31.The Universal Declaration of the Human Rights........................................................................52.Significant Personalities ............................................................................................................6 2.1.Nelson Mandela.................................................................................................................6 2.2.Adolf Hitler ........................................................................................................................83.Conclusion...............................................................................................................................104.Bibliography ............................................................................................................................12 1. Introduction 1
  • 2. Citizenship and Multiculturalism: The Human Rights The Human Rights. If we look for the definition of this expression in an ordinaryencyclopedia, we often find that the human rights are rights and freedoms to which allhumans are entitled. Proponents of the concept usually assert that everyone isendowed with certain entitlements merely by reason of being human. Suchentitlements can exist as shared norms of actual human moralities, as justified moralnorms or natural rights supported by strong reasons, or as legal rights either at anational level or within international law. However, the concept of Human Rights it’sslightly abstract and that has been a subject of discussion in the past few years. For a while we have been studying citizenship and multiculturalism in class.However, it isn’t a theme that we all haven’t heard about before. More than thegeneral information of the theme itself, the questions that it raises are much morerelevant, those being problems like racism, segregation, slavery and disrespect for thehuman race in general. The human rights movement emerged in the 1970s and many of the basic ideasthat animated the movement developed in the aftermath of the Second World War,culminating in its adoption by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UnitedNations General Assembly in 1948, as we will get to know better later in thisassignment. However, and that is also one of the most important points that we will bediscussing, the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights isn’t quite respectedsometimes. We say sometimes referring to cases of slavery and racism that we areaware of, although, it is quite obvious that there are lots of people who arediscriminated without that action being named racism or any other word that popsout. Millions of women throughout the world live in conditions of abject deprivationof, and attacks against, their fundamental human rights for no other reason than theyare women. In business men often have advantage over women, and that alsohappens when it comes to paychecks and so on, basic things and basic rights that weshould be all entitled to. Furthermore, some children and young people are alsodisrespected and looked down as inferiors. We are well aware that there are manychildren all over the world who don’t have a standard of living adequate for theirintellectual, physical, moral, and spiritual development. Some of them don’t even getaccess to adequate food, shelter and clothing. 2
  • 3. Citizenship and Multiculturalism: The Human Rights So this is it. We are all Human beings, we also have a Declaration that shouldand must preserve our rights and dignity. This is one of those matters that has gonedown in history. We are now ahead, we have accomplished a lot struggling withprejudice, inequality, racism, slavery and so on, but we also haven’t ended it. There aremany ways of discriminating a person, there are lot’s of names for it, but there are alsoways of finally putting an end to it. One by one we must realize our foolish “we” havebeen by disrespecting our own race, our own kind. We will be mentioning personalities that have fought precisely for the thingsthat we have already referred, people who didn’t understand the purpose and thefoundation of the word discrimination and the actions that such a word oftenoriginated. Furthermore, we will also emphasize a person who did the exact oppositeof what we are trying to defend here, that being Adolf Hitler. There’s many moreunfortunately, however, any paper or time is unlikely to describe the huge amount ofbad, cruel and slightly ignorant people that live and have lived amongst us all. 1. The Human Rights Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever nationality,place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any 3
  • 4. Citizenship and Multiculturalism: The Human Rightsother status they have or choose. We are all equally entitled to our human rightswithout discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent andindivisible. Universal human rights are often expressed and guaranteed by law, in theforms of treaties, customary international law, general principles and other sources ofinternational law. International human rights law lays down obligations ofGovernments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promoteand protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups. Non-discrimination is a cross-cutting principle in international human rightslaw. The principle is present in all the major human rights treaties and provides thecentral theme of some of international human rights conventions such as theInternational Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination andthe Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The principle applies to everyone in relation to all human rights and freedomsand it prohibits discrimination on the basis of a list of non-exhaustive categories suchas sex, race, colour and so on. The principle of non-discrimination is complemented bythe principle of equality. For a very significant amount of time now, people have been discriminated andhave discriminated others. However, there are some parts of the world’s populationwho are much more attacked than others. We can begin with the difference, thedifference that naturally exists between us all and which is a very important pointwhen it comes to discrimination. A different colour, religion, sex orientation or evenbackground can often create a divide between people. Although, women and childrenare often disrespect as well, and looked down as inferiors. Prejudice is a common word in society nowadays. However, we can not acceptsomething just because it is becoming ordinary, and that is something that we shouldbe careful with. We can’t start looking at discrimination with a condescending face.Human rights exist for a reason and they are named Human rights, not some people ofthe world rights. Let’s face it, it isn’t race, orientation or religion that defines acharacter; attitudes are the ones that do that. Therefore, those who discriminate,those selfish, cruel, egocentric people, are much more worthy of discrimination thananyone else. 4
  • 5. Citizenship and Multiculturalism: The Human Rights 1. The Universal Declaration of the Human Rights While the Second World War was still on, the Allies were to seek their fourbasic war aims which consisted in Four Freedoms: freedom from fear, freedom ofspeech, freedom from want and freedom of assembly. From that point on, thosefreedoms became more than that, those freedoms were the turning point to a worldwhere equality was to reign. Changes were made and concerns and protests werefinally heard and attended, changes which reaffirmed the fundamental human rights, 5
  • 6. Citizenship and Multiculturalism: The Human Rightseveryone is worth and everyone has dignity, it was time to act, to promote the humanrights and their freedoms. Those changes were extremely necessary after so manyyears of abuse on some people(s) and so, in 1948 the Universal Declaration of HumanRights was created and it states law. The name reflects the very first universal andfundamental document which was made to express the rights that every person,whether black or white, male or female, rich or poor, socialist or communist, memberof a minority or a majority, has and was born with; that means that for the first timethe rights owned by any individual were the same, so a standard was created. Any ofthe previous Bills or Charters of Rights were “Universal” as they were created locallyadapted to the regions needs and beliefs and so, not always promoted equality. Each paragraph of the preamble sets out a reason for the adoption of theDeclaration. It states everything that it’s written above. The recognition of humandignity is the basis of justice and equality, the barbarous acts that dazed mankind, therecognition of the four freedoms as the very aspiration of human race, the importantrole of law in the control of the respect for the mankind and so on. The articles in the Declaration simply proclaim the achievement of a commonstandard of being and living in this world. Equality began to be normal anddiscrimination is everyday smaller thanks to this document. “Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” 2. Significant Personalities 2.1. Nelson Mandela Nelson Mandela was born in a smallSouth African village to a local chief and histhird wife. No one in his family had everreceived a western educa tion but he was 6
  • 7. Citizenship and Multiculturalism: The Human Rightsinspired to study law after witnessing the democracy of African tribal governance at anearly age. For defending black South Africans against the government extremely andincreasingly unfair treatment, he became a hunted lawyer in Johannesburg. He alsobecame one of the most important figures of the African National Congress, fighting tounite all Africans and regain their rights and freedom. Mandela participated in severalboycotts, organized protests, and he was capable of mobilizing his people in a way thathad never seen before; therefore, he was labelled an enemy of the state, beingaccused of treachery, banned from any political involvement, disbarred (To expel anattorney from the practice of law by official action or procedure) and sentenced to lifeimprisonment. When he was incarcerated, a lot of attention was brought to the racialinjustices that the apartheid government in South Africa created; the “Free NelsonMandela” movement spread around the world.Mandela served 27 years in prison before his release in 1990 (age: 72) and was electedthe first black President of South Africa in 1994. Although he retired from political lifein 1999, Mandela continues to lend his voice towards issues that affect his country andthe world at large, such as the AIDS epidemic, poverty, and human rights. He was alsoinfluential in securing South Africa as the host of the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Nelson Mandela is one of the worlds greatest and most admired politicalleaders and has been honoured with numerous awards including the Nobel Peace Prize(in 1993) for he is a shining example of the incredible strength of the human spirit topersevere in the face of adversity for the pursuit of freedom. 7
  • 8. Citizenship and Multiculturalism: The Human Rights 2.2. Adolf Hitler Hitler was the leader of Nazi Germany,son of an Austria n customs official. Hisunsuccessful school days gave him a lifelonghatred of academic people: the years spent inVienna trying to be an art student, saw thegenesis of his anti-Semitism, anti-socialism, andhis mastery of political techniques. This last wasgained through a close study of the politicalparties that were undermining the failingpower of the Habsburg empire. Shortly before the First World War heserved the Bavarian regiment, on the westernfront; he was wounded twice and received the lron Cross. From these years on, headded to his stock of basic ideas a contempt for democracy, a passionate belief in thegreatness of Germany, an equally firm belief in the heroic virtues of war, and adetermination that Germany should throw off the shame of the Versailles treaty. Suddenly Hitler became national news when the Nazis, tried to overthrow thestate government in 1923. The attempt failed and Hitler was put on trial and thensentenced to five years imprisonment, serving only eleven months. He used the time,spent comfortably enough in prison, to write Mein Kumpf which later became thebible of the Nazi movement. In 1925 the Nazis had 27.000 members, by 1929 178,000.Support was organized by districts, so that Germany by 1929 had a form of unofficialNazi political and military hierarchy. Hitler ultimately wanted to establish a New Order of absolute Nazi Germanbrutal hegemony in Europe. This included the rearmament of Germany, whichculminated in 1939 when the Wehrmacht invaded Poland. In response, the UnitedKingdom and France declared war against Germany, leading to the outbreak of WorldWar II in Europe. 8
  • 9. Citizenship and Multiculturalism: The Human Rights By 1944 Nazi forces engaged in numerous violent acts during the war, includingthe systematic murder of as many as an estimated six million Jews targeted in theHolocaust and between 500,000 and 1,500,000, Soviet civilians, Soviet prisoners ofwar, people with disabilities, homosexuals, Jehovahs Witnesses, and other politicaland religious opponents; but it was about to be over, the Allies had taken care of it. In the final days of the war, during the Battle of Berlin in 1945, Hitler marriedhis long-time mistress Eva Braun and, to avoid capture by Soviet forces, the twocommitted suicide less than two days later on 30 April 1945. 9
  • 10. Citizenship and Multiculturalism: The Human Rights 3. Conclusion We have already established that all human beings are supposed to own thesame rights and to live with equality among each other. That’s a conclusion that wealready have reached way before this assignment. We also have known for a very longtime that there is a quite substantial amount of people who live in an inferior kind ofway, and inferior, in this case, includes discrimination, disrespect and all the actionsthat generally come with it. However, we all realized that the information that wethought being huge and that we owned about this subject was way too little. We cannow affirm that there are more ways of discriminating a person than to put a smile onher face. We now know how hurtful can that be. We are also aware of the efforts thatsome remarkable people have done to change a world that seemed incapable ofchanging. And that’s the turning point; change. That is and will always be one of thebiggest challenges of the human kind. We started by exploring the concept of human rights. It may seem basic andordinary, however, we thought that was important to fully understand not only theexpression, but the extension of its meaning. As we have already referred, we all areentitled to the realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms on equalterms with others in society, without discrimination of any kind. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed to make sure thatall human beings were treated as equal and to shut down all kinds of discrimination.After years of unimaginable abuse on those who were in some way considereddifferent, this document was written to finally unite us all and establish order betweenMen. However, even with the declaration and law, some people still suffer with it.Either it is women that often come after man, children who aren’t respected or aretreated awfully bad, gay people who are constantly attacked, or different races thataren’t accepted in some countries, the human race is still not free from prejudice. We have accomplished a lot in this fight, we have come very far. However, itisn’t enough. Nelson Mandela, who we referred, and others like Martin Luther king,Dalai Lama and Rosa Parks are some of those remarkable personalities that we havementioned above and that we have been studying in class. They fought not only for 10
  • 11. Citizenship and Multiculturalism: The Human Rightstheir rights but for all humans. They fought for us, so that know most of us can walktall, free to speak, to have opinions, to breath. They fought for justice, so that peoplelike Adolf Hitler would never have power again and they left their advice so we canlearn and grow from it. That’s the example that we must follow, that’s the path thatwe must walk on. 11
  • 12. Citizenship and Multiculturalism: The Human Rights4. Bibliography• GONÇALVES, Maria Emília; TORRES, Angelina; DAVIS, David (consultor linguístico). Inglês 12º ano níveis 6/8, New Aerial. Areal Editores, 2005.• The New Caxton Encyclopedia, volumes 6, 10, 13. The edition copyright, 1969, by Purnel and Sons Ltd; Paulton, Near Bristol; Somerset, England and by Instituto Geografico de Agostini, Novara Italy.• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Declaration_of_Human_Rights• http://www.equalitynow.org• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Mandela 12