Thursday, August 25, 2011


The key principles of the UDHR as outlined by Nancy Flowers (1999) are:
 EQUALITY: - According to Article 1 of the UDHR “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.

The principles of equality means all human beings are entitled to live their lives without any form of enslavement or being subjected to any form of condition that in any violates, infringes or debases on their dignity as human beings.

This principle makes void all forms of slavery (physical, economic or otherwise) and makes it incumbent for all human beings to be considered and accepted as being equal, without any bias.

 Universality: - Human rights are universal, based on moral and ethical values that are shared across all cultures in the world. Though human rights may differ in the way different people experience and enjoy them in their community, they are basically accepted to apply to the whole world. Thus, any infringement on the accepted basic principles of human rights is condemnable and unacceptable.

 Non-discrimination: - This principle states that all human beings are entitled to enjoy these basic human rights without any bias due to racial, gender or other differences, both real and imaginary.

 Interdependence: - Living in a multicultural world in which all beings are interconnected, the promotion of the rights of one person supports the rights of others. Any infringement on the human rights of one person detracts from that of others.

Therefore, promoting the human rights of one person is actually promoting the rights of humanity as a whole.

 Indivisibility: - This principle states that human rights in all its forms should be regarded, as one indivisible body and thus, no part should be taken apart and violated.

Responsibility: -Responsibility for the protection and promotion of human rights falls on both governments and individuals.

The governments have a responsibility to function in a way and manner that will ensure human rights of all citizens are respected and promoted. Governments must be run to ensure that all kinds of actions that are in themselves dehumanizing, or could lead to the violation of the human rights of the citizens are avoided as official policy. In addition to avoiding direct human rights violations, appropriate civil structures must be put in place to prevent violations and enforce commensurate penalties where actual violations take place.

The citizens on the other hand, have the responsibility of ensuring they maintain a proactive stance towards the protection and promotion of human rights. They must also be willing and ready to effectively use the appropriate structures to hold individuals and institutions to account.

He, who keeps quite in the face of tyranny, can be classified as being supportive o

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This work by Ibrahim K. Oyekanmi ( is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.