Not every child receives an education, not every woman receives the same rights as her male counterparts, and the voice of the poor remains unheard. A black, lower-class woman, for instance, has less chances of getting her opinions across than a while male belonging to the upper crust of the society, whose voice yields the power to influence society’s major institutions.
The Magna Carta of 1215, the most important legal documents to date, set the initial foundations of human rights in the society. One of its key principles stated, "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers and by the law of the land. To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice" (The Magna Carta). This centuries old charter was the first legitimate document passed to protect the rights of the people. It evolved over time to form the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which the United Nations passed in 1948. This was, in effect, the turning point for the human rights campaign; indeed, issues of race, social class, and gender inequality would still traumatize society today were it not for the Declaration.
The concept of human rights works very well in theory; it is easy to advocate equality for all in text. Reality, however, is an entirely different story. There are still a considerable percentage of men, women, and children who are marginalized and discriminated within the society for one reason or the other. It is precisely for them that human rights defenders function. As the term suggests, human rights defenders are individuals who advocate the provision of human rights to all; they are endorsers of the victimized, and aim to champion the rights of all humans. However, the term ‘human rights defenders is not just restricted to human beings. Instead, it encompasses anything and everything that ...Show more