Human rights have become a permanent item on the public agenda. Looking backwards, things really started happening in the 18th century, but the national and selective citizen’s rights only became actual human rights in 1948, when they were adopted by the United Nations (UN) in an international legal instrument. Today, human rights are principles of the international community, which has built several control mechanisms in both UN and European human rights systems. There are various types of human rights instruments, such as statements, declarations and conventions, but only the conventions are really binding on the states.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations is an international, binding instrument, but several regions of the world have adopted their own human rights instruments.
Europe, democracy and human rights are institutionalised in fora such as the Council of Europe, the EU, and the OSCE, which all have various legal instruments and control mechanisms.
The Danish Institute for Human Rights is the independent national human rights institution in Denmark, but luckily many others are also working to promote your rights.
History and documents
The fight for human rights originated in the time before the United Nations was formed. It has developed over time and is still a dynamic factor in world history.