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What is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a statement of fundamental rights, established by the United Nations, in response to the terrors of World War II. 
- The UDHR is not a treaty itself, but defines the words “fundamental freedoms” and “human rights” in the United Nations Charter, which is binding on member states. 


What is the European Convention on Human Rights?

- The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) was drawn up in response to the atrocities of World War II. It is an international treaty (that is, a formal legal agreement between states).
- States which have signed up to the Convention are bound, as a matter of international law, to secure to everyone within their jurisdiction the rights and freedoms set out in the Convention.
- It protects, for example, the rights to life, liberty and a fair trial, as well as freedom from torture, freedom of expression, and freedom from discrimination.


What is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child?

- The convention on the Rights of the Child came into force in September 1990 and by 2009, 194 countries had agreed to abide by the Convention.
- The Convention means that governments under it have to make sure the children in their country have:

* the right to life.
* the right to their own name and identity.
* the right to be protected from abuse or exploitation.
* the right to an education.
* the right to have their privacy protected.
* the right to be raised by, or have a relationship with, their parents.
* the right to express their opinions and have these
listened to and, where appropriate, acted upon.
* the right to play and enjoy culture and art in safety.


What is the Human Rights Act 1998?

- In 1998 the Human Rights Act (HRA) was passed by the UK Parliament and came into force in 2000.
- This Act means you can defend you rights in UK courts and that public bodies like the government, the police and local councils must treat everyone the same, with fairness, dignity and respect.
- This Act applies to everyone in the UK, regardless of age, social status, gender or origin.
- Everyone resident in the UK can call on this Act and it is not limited to British citizens.
- It can also be used by organisations and companies.
- This Act formally incorporated the European Convention of Human Rights into UK law.
The Human Rights Act protects the following rights:
* The right to life
* prohibition of torture and inhuman treatment
* protection against slavery and forced labour
* the right to liberty and freedom
* the right to a fair trial
* no punishment without law
* respect for your privacy and family life
* freedom of thought, religion and belief
* freedom of expression
* the right to education
* the right to participate ¡n free elections
* the right to marry and start a family
* freedom of assembly and association
* no discrimination: everyone’s rights are equal
* protection of property.

Some of the most important features of human rights are the following:
- They are for everyone.
- They are internationally guaranteed.
- They are protected by law.
- They focus on the dignity of the human being.
- They protect individuals and groups who are vulnerable.
- They cannot be taken away.


What is the United Nations (UN)?

- The UN was established in 1945 when representatives of 51 countries met in San Francisco in the USA to draw up the United Nations Charter.
- The UN had its headquarters in New York, where all member countries meet to decide the policy and actions to be taken by the UN.
- The Security Council is made up of fifteen members, five of whom are permanent and have the ability to veto and proposals.
- In 1948, after much discussion and debate, the UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which identified rights to which all people are entitled.


What is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)?

- NATO is an intergovernmental military defence alliance.
- It was established in 1949 and the UK was a founder member.
- The organisation provides for a system of collective defence - if a member country is attacked, the other members come to its defence.


What is the European Union (EU)?

- T he European Union was formerly known as the European Economic Community (EEC) and more usually as the Common Market.
- The decision-making process within the European Union is different from that which operates in its members states.
- Proposals for new laws, directives or initiatives are drafted by the European Commission.
- Four times a year, heads of government from all the member states meet at the European Council to discuss the political direction and priorities of the Union.


What is the Council of Europe?

- The Council of Europe is the continent's leading human rights organisation. Forty-seven countries are members of whom 28 are also members of the European Union.
- The European Court of Human Rights oversees the implementation of the Convention. The Court is made up of judges from all its member countries.


What is the Commonwealth?

- The Commonwealth is a voluntary organisation and its Charter brings together the values that unite the Commonwealth - democracy, human rights and the rule of law.


What is the World Trade Organization (WTO)?

- The World Trade Organisation came into being in 1955 as the successor body to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade which was set up at the end of the Second World War.
- WTO claim to cut living costs and raise living standards, settle trade disputes and reduce trade tensions between nations and encourage economic growth and employment.