Protecting Your Rights: A Guide from an Expert's Perspective

As an expert in human rights, I have dedicated my career to advocating for the protection and promotion of basic human rights for all people around the world. Every year on December 10th, we celebrate International Human Rights Day, a day to honor and defend the dignity, freedom, and rights of individuals everywhere. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, was the first document to establish our shared rights as human beings. One of the most powerful ways to empower survivors and those facing injustice is to listen to and respect their stories. In my work with refugee women, I have had the privilege of being a part of their stories and advocating for their rights.

But it's not just refugees who have rights - everyone has basic rights in the United States. It's important for all individuals to know their rights, how to exercise them, and what to do if they are violated. From digital discrimination in the hiring process to reproductive laws and law enforcement, navigating the legal system can be complicated. As a healthcare provider, it's crucial to understand your rights in relation to your medical work and law enforcement. And as a student, you have the right to wear ceremonial tribal attire during graduation and express your religion and beliefs on campus. For members of the LGBTQ community, it's important to know your rights and how to protect them.

And as a citizen, exercising your right to vote is crucial. But it's also important to know how to resist voter intimidation initiatives and access disability-related accommodations or language assistance at the polls. The First Amendment protects our right to assemble and express our views through protest. But it's also important to know your right to be protected against sexual discrimination and abuse in jail. And regardless of your immigration status, you have rights guaranteed under the Constitution, including the right to apply for DACA. When it comes to protecting the rights of minorities, both regional and international systems play a crucial role.

These systems reinforce the mechanisms and guarantees of the United Nations and provide assistance when all national avenues have been exhausted. It's important to understand that minorities do not have more rights than the majority - they simply need equal opportunities to access their rights. In Europe, social and economic rights are outlined in a separate document from civil and political rights. While they may address different categories of rights, they share common concerns such as non-discrimination. At Oxfam, we work directly with local changemakers and activists to fight against systematic injustice and support human rights for all individuals.

Ernest Carsten
Ernest Carsten

Hardcore beer fan. Unapologetic troublemaker. Avid coffee guru. Total bacon lover. Devoted travel fanatic. Professional music buff.