Voiceover: Human rights. What are human rights? Well, human rights are the values which keeps society fair, just and equal. They protect children, the elderly people in care, victims of domestic violence, people with mental health problems, religious groups, teachers, soldiers, and yes, prisoners. They protect all of us. They protect you.

Our human rights are protected by law. That means we can do something if our rights are attacked. But not everyone loves human rights. Some want to water them down, even scrap them. Our rights are under threat. So it's time to get educated.

Societies used to be controlled by all powerful rulers who could be horribly unjust. Kings only gave rights to people they liked. Over thousands of years, people fought for equality, and with every hard won right came new laws and improved how we lived. But in the 20th century, brutal dictators came to power they ruled by fear, like the kings of the past.

Those hard won rights, they were dismantled on an unimaginable scale. After World War Two, the democracies got together and said, never again. They created a simple document setting out the basic rights we all need to live a dignified life. The European Convention puts rights, not rulers, at the heart of our society. Like the right to life, to liberty, to free speech.

Then in 1998, Parliament passed the Human Rights Act which made our human rights part of UK law. This means public bodies like hospitals and schools must respect our rights. And if they don't, we can go to our local court to enforce them. Now, because of human rights, patients in hospitals must be treated with compassion. Journalists cannot be forced to reveal their sources. Soldiers must be given proper equipment. Gay people have to be treated equally and the police cannot keep our DNA forever if we're innocent.

We have to be treated fairly. At work, at home, in school, anywhere. Everywhere. Our human rights are hard won. They're part of our British heritage. We are proud of them. If we lose them, vulnerable people will pay the biggest price. Know your rights, celebrate them, protect them. Share this video. If you think human rights matter. Go on. Share it.

What Are Human Rights? Watch This Two-Minute Animation To Find Out

Published on 4 Nov 2019

Human rights are a fundamental part of society; they make sure we are all treated with the same level of equality, dignity and respect. Without them, our lives would be completely different. But that’s just scratching the surface. In the UK, the Human Rights Act 1998 enshrines these rights in law.

This beautiful animation will explain why we have human rights (funded by the Legal Education Foundation).

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