What do you know about…The Rights of Immigrants and The United Nations Declarations of Human Rights?
Migration and immigration are considered a basic human right and are recognized globally as such. This right was codified in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights created and adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948. The intention of the Declaration was to set legal and humanitarian standards for the care of individuals regardless of age, locale, governance or status. The standards represent a collective vision for global respect and peace. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations (2007-2016) wrote the following in the forward to the 2015 Illustrated UDCR:
The commitment of the United Nations to human rights stems from the Organization’s founding Charter. The international community has a duty to uphold and defend these rights. Let us ensure that those people who most need their rights protected are made aware that this Declaration exists — and that it exists for them. Let us each do our part to make these universal rights a living reality for every man, woman and child, everywhere. (2015 United Nations)
Below we share 10 of the 30 articles outlined in the UDHR that can help us to consider the attitudes and policies that guide nations to protect and support those who arrive at their borders. In the coming weeks, though the lens of each articles below, we will consider the laws, policies, and practices currently in use in the U.S. As you reflect on each article, we invite you to consider how you see these rights reflected in current U.S. policy.
Article 1 – All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Article 2 – Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, juris- dictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Article 3 – Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Article 5 – No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 6 – Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
Article 7 – All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Article 8 – Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
Article 9 – No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
Article 10 – Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
Article 14 – (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Read the United Nation Universal Declaration of Human Rights here.