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Human Right Course
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What are human rights?
The history of human rights
In the really old days..
the middle class and the development of cicil and political rights
the working class and the development of economic, social and cultural rights
World war II and the founding of the UN
Universial declartion of human rights
Human rights in our time
What right do we have?
The protection of Human Rights
Human rights in everyday life
Human Rights

Did you know

Did you know that more than one million Germans were imprisoned in concentration camps even before the start of the war because they resisted Hitler and Nazism?




Before and during the World War II (WWII: 1939-45), the Nazis in Germany spread intense hate against Jews. Nazism was an ideology that claimed that Jews were “subhuman” and they were to blame for most of the wrongs in society. In 1935, the Nuremberg Laws made discrimination against Jews mandatory. They were no longer allowed to participate in commerce, synagogues were burnt, and they had to live apart in separate ghettoes. But this was not the worst that happened. The Nazis built concentration camps where they planned the extermination of the entire Jewish population. Six million Jews were murdered together with prisoners from other countries, gypsies, homosexuals, and other citizens who disagreed with the Nazis. Anyone who did not fit into their concept of a pure Aryan race was in danger.

During the course of the war, the countries that took up the fight against Hitler’s Germany agreed that they should found a worldwide organisation for peace. The result was the UN (the United Nations) – an organisation which every country in the world could join. The UN was founded in June 1945 after a 6 week conference in San Francisco. The victors of WWII dominated discussions about the rules which should apply in the organisation, and were not too interested in human rights to begin with. Other countries such as Chile, Cuba, Mexico and Panama wanted them included. But then, in the middle of the conference, photos and reports were released to the world about what had really happened to the Jews and other victims of the Nazis during the war. The mass media published written materials, photos and films from the concentration camps and gas chambers. A shocked world lobbied the heads of state who agreed that the UN should not only produce rules for how states should treat each other, but also for how states should treat individuals. What had happened in Germany must never happen again!



It is estimated that as many as 55 million people lost their lives during WWII.

War can be defined as the organised use of armed force between groups of people with the intention of destroying an adversary or forcing the other party’s will on the adversary

In previous wars most of the casualties were soldiers, i.e. young men. Today, 90% of war casualties are civilians: women, children and older people.

Fact box

Like a caricature, the war set the need to protect human dignity and liberty in sharp relief. By experiencing what is wrong, we perceive what is right. The recognition of human rights grew out of the experience of what denying them entails. In other words, they are rooted in reality.

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