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Defining human rights is controversial, particularly because it is deeply rooted in moral philosophy, notions of justice, and respect for human beings. The Calvert-Henderson Human Rights Indicator provides a tool for viewing and evaluating our rights in the United States. The indicator examines the state of human rights in broad areas: fundamental rights to security of person in the private sphere (e.g., freedom from domestic violence, access to food, nutrition, medical care, and clothing) and the U.S. Bill of Rights and other amendments to the Constitution established to protect our rights in the public sphere (e.g., freedom of expression, religious freedom, rights of assembly, voting rights). The indicator covers incarceration data, the death penalty, prison labor, racial/gender discrimination, rights of American Indians and other indigenous people, mistreatment of prisoners and aliens, as well as voting rights, participation in politics, and the growing influence of money and special interests.
The Human Rights model also embraces an evolving international view embodied in the International Bill of Rights (1996) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), which cover civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights. These and other issues have become a keystone of U.S. foreign policy as we begin to see movement toward a reformulation of human rights in ways that integrate not only the private and public rights of women, men, and children but also political, social, and economic rights and responsibilities.
Human Rights Expert: Alya Kayal, Esq.