Human Rights Quotes
Thursday, December 4, 2008
If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.
For too long the development debate has ignored the fact that poverty tends to be characterized not only by material insufficiency but also by denial of rights. What is needed is a rights-based approach to development. Ensuring essential political, economic and social entitlements and human dignity for all people provides the rationale for policy. These are not a luxury affordable only to the rich and powerful but an indispensable component of national development efforts.
The reality is that no group of countries has any grounds for complacency about its own human rights performance and no group of countries does itself justice by automatically slipping into the “victim” mode . . . .
Words like freedom, justice, democracy are not common concepts; on the contrary, they are rare. People are not born knowing what these are. It takes enormous and, above all, individual effort to arrive at the respect for other people that these words imply.
What we want to see is the development of human rights and greater democracy, not just because it is our system but because we think that’s the best way that economic and political development go hand in hand.
The right to development is the measure of the respect of all other human rights. That should be our aim: a situation in which all individuals are enabled to maximize their potential, and to contribute to the evolution of society as a whole.
You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel, but you can make yourself do right in spite of your feelings.
Pearl S. Buck
When it comes to the common rights and needs of men and women, there is no clash of civilizations. The requirements of freedom apply fully to Africa and Latin America and the entire Islamic world. The peoples of the Islamic nations want and deserve the same freedoms and opportunities as people in every nation. And their governments should listen to their hopes.
Although we are in different boats you in your boat and we in our canoe we share the same river of life.
Dom Helder Camara
America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense, it is the other way around. Human rights invented America.
We will have an unchallenged, open, panoramic opportunity on a global scale to demonstrate the finest aspects of what we know in this country: peace, freedom, democracy, human rights, benevolent sharing, love, the easing of human suffering. Is that going to be our list of priorities or not?
Human rights is the soul of our foreign policy, because human rights is the very soul of our sense of nationhood.
The first principle of nonviolent action is that of noncooperation with everything humiliating.
The human rights we are to discuss here at Vienna are . . . the quintessential values through which we affirm together that we are a single human community.
Yes, I am my brother's keeper. I am under a moral obligation to him that is inspired, not by any maudlin sentimentality but by the higher duty I owe myself. What would you think me if I were capable of seating myself at a table and gorging myself with food and saw about me the children of my fellow beings starving to death.
Eugene V. Debs
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
Be as beneficent as the sun or the sea, but if your rights as a rational being are trenched on, die on the first inch of your territory.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The demand for equal rights in every vocation of life is just and fair; but, after all, the most vital right is the right to love and be loved.
Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights or keep them.
It was never the people who complained of the universality of human rights, nor did the people consider human rights as a Western or Northern imposition. It was often their leaders who did so.
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains or slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take but as for me; give me liberty or give me death!
I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees.
If we destroy human rights and rule of law in response to terrorism, they have won.
We've got to take back the ideal of justice, we've got to take back this principle of human dignity. We've got to take it back from vengeance, from hatred, we've got to say: look, we're all in this together. We are human beings.
I look forward confidently to the day when all who work for a living will be one with no thought to their separateness as Negroes, Jews, Italians or any other distinctions. This will be the day when we bring into full realization the American dream -- a dream yet unfulfilled. A dream of equality of opportunity, of privilege and property widely distributed; a dream of a land where men will not take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few; a dream of a land where men will not argue that the color of a man's skin determines the content of his character; a dream of a nation where all our gifts and resources are held not for ourselves alone, but as instruments of service for the rest of humanity; the dream of a country where every man will respect the dignity and worth of the human personality.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
The struggle for democracy and human rights in Burma is a struggle for life and dignity. It is a struggle that encompasses our political, social and economic aspirations.
Aung San Suu Kyi
Please use your freedom to promote ours.
Aung San Suu Kyi
All human beings, whatever their cultural or historical background, suffer when they are intimidated, imprisoned or tortured . . . . We must, therefore, insist on a global consensus, not only on the need to respect human rights worldwide, but also on the definition of these rights . . . for it is the inherent nature of all human beings to yearn for freedom, equality and dignity, and they have an equal right to achieve that.
Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.
Whenever there is a conflict between human rights and property rights, human rights must prevail.
We are not myths of the past, ruins in the jungle, or zoos. We are people and we want to be respected, not to be victims of intolerance and racism.
Chief Oren Lyons, Onondaga Nation
Democracy is based on the majority principle. This is especially true in a country such as ours where the vast majority have been systematically denied their rights. At the same time, democracy also requires that the rights of political and other minorities be safeguarded.
Let it never be said by future generations that indifference, cynicism or selfishness made us fail to live up to the ideals of humanism which the Nobel Peace Prize encapsulates. Let the strivings of us all, prove Martin Luther King Jr. to have been correct, when he said that humanity can no longer be tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war.
We discovered that peace at any price is no peace at all. We discovered that life at any price has no value whatever; that life is nothing without the privileges, the prides, the rights, the joys which make it worth living, and also worth giving. And we also discovered that there is something more hideous, more atrocious than war or than death; and that is to live in fear.
Basically we could not have peace, or an atmosphere in which peace could grow, unless we recognized the rights of individual human beings . . . their importance, their dignity . . . and agreed that was the basic thing that had to be accepted throughout the world.
Those religions that are oppressive to women are also against democracy, human rights and freedom of expression.
First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out -- because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the communists and I did not speak out -- because I was not a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out -- because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Pastor Martin Niemoeler
The only way to make sure people you agree with can speak is to support the rights of people you don't agree with.
Eleanor Holmes Norton
When you do community building, you fight for social justice and human rights in schools and jobs and every aspect where racism raises its ugly head.
Nations will rise and fall, but equality remains the ideal. The universal aim is to achieve respect for the entire human race, not just for the dominant few.
Carlos P. Romulo
I have cherished the ideal a democratic and free society . . . it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.
It has long been recognized that an essential element in protecting human rights was a widespread knowledge among the population of what their rights are and how they can be defended.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships -- the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
I shall be honored to go to jail. Under a dictatorship, the detention cell is a place of honor.
Miriam Defensor Santiago
The fundamental rights of [humanity] are, first: the right of habitation; second, the right to move freely; third, the right to the soil and subsoil, and to the use of it; fourth, the right of freedom of labor and of exchange; fifth, the right to justice; sixth, the right to live within a natural national organization; and seventh, the right to education.
It is time in the West to defend not so much human rights as human obligations.
What it will mean is that companies will have to take account of human-rights implications of any investment they make.
Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor . . . . Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.