All human beings, whatever their cultural or historical background, suffer when they are intimidated, imprisoned or tortured.
Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.
The demand for equal rights in every vocation of life is just and fair; but, after all, the most vital right is the right to love and be loved.
The most effective way to restrict democracy is to transfer decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations.
The fundamental rights of [humanity] are, first: the right of habitation; second, the right to move freely; third, the right to the soil and subsoil, and to the use of it; fourth, the right of freedom of labor and of exchange; fifth, the right to justice; sixth, the right to live within a natural national organization; and seventh, the right to education.
The first principal of nonviolent action is that of noncooperation with everything humiliating.
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.
You 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.
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.
Those 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.
The 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.
Through 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.
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.
In the future, human rights will be increasingly a universal criterion for designing ethical systems.
There can be no press freedom when journalists exist in conditions of corruption, poverty and fear.
Close by the Rights of Man, at the least set beside them, are the Rights of the Spirit.
The 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".
Human Beings, indeed all sentient beings, have the right to pursue happiness and live in peace and freedom.
In the old times men carried out their rights for themselves as they lived, but nowadays every baby seems born with a social manifesto in its mouth much bigger than itself.
America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense... human rights invented America.
Human 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.
Whatever career you may choose for yourself - doctor, lawyer, teacher - let me propose an avocation to be pursued along with it. Become a dedicated fighter for civil rights. Make it a central part of your life. It will make you a better doctor, a better lawyer, a better teacher. It will enrich your spirit as nothing else possibly can. It will give you that rare sense of nobility that can only spring from love and selflessly helping your fellow man. Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for human rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country and a finer world to live in.
The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be either good or evil.
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