What are human rights?

Human rights are our basic freedoms. They protect the things most important to us and our lives.

Human rights make sure that people are:

  • Treated with dignity
  • Treated with respect
  • Treated fairly
  • Listened to and have a say over their lives.

Human rights are the law

Human rights are the rule book for how we can be expected to be treated by the government, including public services and their staff.

Human rights are more than values, upholding human rights is the law. In the UK this law is called the Human Rights Act.

Asking for your human rights to be respected is not asking for special treatment.


Who has human rights?

Everyone has human rights. They are ‘universal’ which means they belong to everyone – no matter who you are. It doesn’t matter where you were born, if you are in the UK, your human rights are protected by our human rights law, the Human Rights Act.

We are all born with human rights and, although they can sometimes be limited or restricted, your rights cannot be taken away from you.