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3 key principles that concern all our human rights

Why all rights in the Universal Declaration are considered to be interdependent, indivisible, inalienable and universal

In the previous discussion, you explored how denying one right can threaten other rights.

Similarly, when adopting the UDHR the international community recognised that human beings can only achieve freedom if conditions are created whereby all people can enjoy all human rights.

This is why all rights in the Universal Declaration are considered to be indivisible, inalienable and universal. But what does this actually mean?

Interdependent and Indivisible
All human rights in the Universal Declaration have equal standing. There is no hierarchy of human rights. The guarantee of one human right facilitates the guarantee of the others. Likewise, the deprivation of one human right often causes the violation of others.

Inalienable
Human rights are unconditional and do not have to be bought, inherited or earned. Human rights cannot be taken away, renounced or exchanged – no one has the right to deprive another person of their rights or to give up their rights for any reason.

Universal
All human beings, everywhere in the world, have human rights. While the significance of national, regional and cultural particularities must be kept in mind, it is the duty of all states to promote and protect all human rights.

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Defending Dignity: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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