The idea of human rights hasn't been around for a long time. It wasn't until a period of time called the Enlightenment when the word "rights" was used. This is the time period of the 1700s when many documents were written, such as the Declaration of Independence.

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
One of the very first times that rights were identified was during the Persian Empire. King Cyrus the Great issued a series of laws in 539 BCE. These were written down on the Cyrus Cylinder and declared that people have the right to choose their own religion.

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:

Child labor
Political prisoners
Gender equality
Reproductive rights
Religious freedom
Internet freedom

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:

Infographic: Syria Is The Worst Refugee Crisis Of Our Generation | Statista 
You will find more statistics at Statista

Freedom on the Net scores are based on a scale of 0 to 100 with 0 representing the best level of freedom on the net progress and 100 the worst. The 2016 ratings reflect the period of June 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016.