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Human Rights

Student introduction

We all want to enjoy those rights which contribute to our freedom and independence as humans. But what are 'human rights'? Are there different types of human rights? Are they the same for all people and all societies and cultures? Are there some that are always fundamental and essential?

In this unit you will look at some key historical events which resulted in people securing human rights, notably the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen from the French Revolution of 1789, and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.

Australia has a reputation as a country with one of the best human rights records in the world. How have the human rights we enjoy come to be part of our law, and how are they developed and protected?

For most of this century, however, Indigenous Australians have been second-class citizens legally. How was this possible and how did it change?

Back to 'Human Rights - At a glance'

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