What are Human Rights?

Smile! People are watching. Naaaaaah. (WHISPERS) Fine! [NEWSCAST MUSIC] Human rights. We’re humans and we have rights. We all have human rights just by being born. That’s right! Human rights are real.
[GHOSTLY MUSIC] As real as freedom, safety and people themselves. They are the ground rules for how we should treat one another: With dignity, respect, equality and fairness. But how far back can we trace the origins of our human rights? Waaaaay back. The idea of human rights appears in ancient legal codes, old laws, religions, philosophy. James Cameron’s classic 2009 epic Avatar! Uh, yeaaahhh. Human rights can’ t be bought, sold or given away. But for many people, for much of history, they have been denied. Over to Summer for the full story. Thank you. In Australia, some of our human rights are
protected by laws. Australian law can largely be traced back
to here, 1215, when King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta. It was the first time English kings were made answerable to the law. Life got a little better and a little safer for…uuhhhh… some rich dudes in England. Gradually… Really slowly… Around the world, awareness of human rights spread. [CRASH] Slavery was banned in Europe and America the 19th Century. Women’s voting rights began to be recognised from the end of the 19th Century. In fact, Australia was one of the first countries to recognise the voting rights of women. You led the way South Australia! Then, we entered a really dark time. (teen 1) But, out of the horrors of World War One (teen 2) and the atrocities of World War Two, that targeted specific groups of people, (teen 1) the nations of the world united to recognise human rights globally in… (teen 3) three…two…one (all) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights! Australians played a key role in the writing
of the Declaration and as a founding member of the United Nations, we were one of the countries that voted in favour of its adoption. Human rights – recognised globally as inalienable. Woooo-eeeeeee-ooooooo [LAUGHS] Nothing to do with aliens! But like, everything to do with not being able to have your human rights taken away. [NEWSCAST MUSIC] Citizens demands their governments keep their promises to uphold the rights they agreed to protect. (teen 2) Inspired by a similar campaign in the USA, Charles Perkins led the Freedom Ride through regional New South Wales to protest discrimination
against Indigenous Australians. (teen 1) And during the ’50s and ’60s, Indigenous activists continued to fight for equal rights for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. (teen 3) The 1967 Referendum stripped discriminatory language out of parts of the Constitution. (teen 2) The Government passed the Racial Discrimination Act in 1975 and the Northern Territory Aboriginal Land Rights Act was passed in 1976. In the ’80s, the Australian Human Rights Commission was established. Was established… [FIREWORKS EXPLODING] The Australian Human Rights Commission was established! (teen 1) and the Sex Discrimination Act was passed. Since then, discrimination against LGBTI people has been outlawed too. In 1990, Australia rad-ified the Convention
on the Rights of the Child. [LAUGHS] Ratified! It means to make something officially valid. And that IS rad! (teen 3) In 1992, the Mabo decision recognised native title for the first time. And the Australian Government passed the Disability Discrimination Act.
[DOG PANTING] (Teen) In 2004, the Age Discrimination Act was introduced. (Teen) In 2007, Australian signed on to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities And in 2009, Australia supported the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. [NEWSCAST MUSIC] That’s epic! It’s been an epic journey involving real people like you and me. The human rights we’re born with come with a human responsibility. We have to respect each other’s rights. We can’t deny the rights of others just because they are different from us or have something we want. Even in Australia, with all its laws, there is more work to be done to ensure everyone’s human rights are protected and respected. By respecting each other’s rights and standing up for those who rights are being denied. (All) Because human rights are for everyone, everywhere, everyday. So…uh, thanks for listening to our speech. Yaaaaaay [CLAPPING]. That was fantastic! [INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC]

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