What are rights?

Every person in the world is entitled to certain rights from the moment they are born until they die. These rights make sure you are treated with:

  • dignity
  • fairness
  • equality
  • respect

Although everyone in the world has these same rights, many people live in places where their rights are restricted. This means some people don’t always get to experience their rights the way we do.

Rights and needs

Rights exist to make sure everyone has the basic support they need to survive and to be treated fairly – you could call these your needs.

This doesn’t mean that you have a right to everything that you want. Sometimes, even though we might really want something, that doesn’t mean we are entitled to it.

Here are some examples of the differences between needs and wants:

What people need in order to survive, clothing, food, shelter, warmth and water.Examples of the things that people might want, designer accessories - handbags and watches, events such as music festivals, holidays, technology and luxury cars.

Clothes, water, food, warmth and shelter are needs. We need them to survive.

Tickets, designer accessories, holidays, cars and phones are all wants. We might really want them but we can survive without them

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Human rights are there to ensure our needs are always met.