Human rights are those activities, conditions, and freedoms that all human beings are entitled to enjoy, by virtue of their humanity. They include civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. Human rights are inherent, inalienable, interdependent, and indivisible, meaning they cannot be granted or taken away, the enjoyment of one right affects the enjoyment of others, and they must all be respected.
However, only governments are in a position to put in place the laws and policies necessary for protection of human rights and to regulate private and public practices that impact individuals’ enjoyment of those rights. Therefore, we think of national governments (“States”) as the guarantors, or violators, of human rights.
Human rights are based on principles of equality, dignity and respect. They require a balance to be struck between the rights of an individual and the rights of others or the wider community. The institutions are required to operate in a way that upholds and protects the human rights of those they deal with.