Human Rights Essay, Research Paper
1. The UDHR and the United States Bill of Rights do not have as many similarities as one might think, but some do exist. One of these similarities of these two documents is the freedom from torture and inhumane treatment. In the UDHR this freedom can be found in article 5 when it is stated protection is provided against, “torture, under any circumstances.” This coincides with article 8 of the United States Bill of Rights, which states, “excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” Freedom of religion is also mentioned in both documents. Both Article 18 of the UDHR and Article 1 of the U.S. Bill of rights say that people have the right to exercise whatever religion or belief they may have without interference from government. Article 4 of the U.S. Bill of rights says people have the right to be, “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects …” This coincides with article 12 of the UDHR which states, “no one can intrude on your family, home, or correspondence.” Both of these articles state that people should have the right to have peace of mind that they are safe from have their property and homes looked through for no particular reason.
2. There are more than a few differences between the UDHR and the U.S. Bill of Rights, but there are some, which stand out from the others. A glaring difference between the two documents is in Article 2 of the U.S. Bill of Rights. This article states the right for individuals to own arms in the United States. There is no mention of anything even close to being related to this article anywhere in the UDHR. Another major difference can be found in the UDHR’s 25th article. This article says, “Every individual has a right to have basic needs met.” These needs include having adequate health care, shelter, and food. The U.S. Bill of Rights does not have an article in which these basic needs are guaranteed to the people. A third conflict in the two documents has to do with the right for individuals to freely choose any spouse they would like. This right is specifically mentioned in article 16 when it is said, “Restrictions many not be placed on whom you marry.” This right is not stated in the U.S. Bill of Rights and is even unclear at the state level her in the United States.
3. I believe the UDHR reflects a greater number of security-oriented rights. It seems as though the 30 articles of the UDHR more clearly protect peoples’ well being than the 10 articles of the United States Bill of Rights. There are three articles in particular which prompted me to select the UDHR. The first Article I looked at was Article 27. It states, “Every individual has the right to participate in the cultural life of their community.” The U.S. Bill of rights discusses how people may express themselves in any way they please, but there is no Article, which clearly defines peoples’ right to get involved with the cultural life of the community. Article 24 of the UDHR protects individuals in a manner, which the U.S. Bill of Rights does not. This articles says individuals have the right to take regular holidays and rest. A person’s well being and health is protected by an article such as this and the U.S. Bill of Rights completely lacks any article of the kind. Since it is the well being of individuals is what is being discussed with security-oriented rights, Article 25 of the UDHR must be mentioned. This article is a classic example of a security-oriented right. This right allows individuals “to have their basic needs met.” To allow someone their basic needs is one in the same with preserving one’s well being and the U.S. Bill of Rights lacks an article such as this.
4. I personally believe that all people should be treated equally and no one should be discriminated against based on culture differences. It is for this reason I would want equality to be a universal. Torture and slavery are related somewhat and I think that the right to be free from both should be universal. No one should be subjected in humane treatment anywhere in the world. People need to start treating each other like equals. Items concerning free choice, thought, and speech should all also be universal because I think people need to be able to express themselves and what they truly believe in. The UDHR also has a couple of articles, which protect the right for individuals to be fairly treated before the law. A person’s right to be looked at as innocent until proven guilty before the law is something which all nations should put in place and enforce. Lastly, but perhaps most important is an individuals right to have all their basic needs met. No one should have to live in poverty and struggle through life. The only rights, which I don’t believe should be universal, are included in Articles 13 and 14. I think that people should not be able to leave the country they reside in and be able to freely reenter when they choose. Certain circumstances would dictate when this right should be put into place, but if someone committed a crime or was dodging a draft I do not believe they should be allowed instant entrance back into the country in which they left without some kind of prosecution.