In 1948, the United Nations wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which lists 27 rights that all human beings have. These rights include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of movement and more.
A right is simply the respect that all people should have on the basis that they are human beings. Many rights are listed as "freedoms." These rights are considered to be inalienable---that is, they cannot be taken away by anyone.
|The Cyrus Cylinder|
By Prioryman (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL
via Wikimedia Commons
Discussions of rights became a big focus of the Enlightenment and led to revolutions against kings. As a result, democratic governments were created, such as in the United States.
Today, issues involving human rights are widespread. Human rights tend to be more protected in countries that have democracies.
Below is a short list of current issues regarding human rights in the world today:
Genocide is one of the biggest violations of human rights. Genocide is the killing of people based on religion, ethnicity or race. The term was created after World War II because of the Holocaust--when Germany killed over 6 million Jewish people.
The map below has several of the genocides of the last 100 years.
Here are some other charts relating to human rights issues: