About Us

What are Human Rights?


About Us The Equality & Human Rights Commission

Go to: What are Human Rights? • Who we are and what we do • Register of Members’ Interests • To find on this site

What are Human Rights?

Human Rights are about ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to be treated fairly and not discriminated against.

Amnesty International defines human rights as:

“basic rights and freedoms that all people are entitled to regardless of nationality, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, language, or other status.”

Many of the basic ideas that lead to the Human rights movement developed in the aftermath of the Second World War and the atrocities of the Holocaust. This brought about the founding of the United Nations and the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Paris by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.

The first two articles of the Declaration of Human Rights state:

Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

These rights and others are protected under our Constitution and underpin all 5 of the goals in the islands 10-year plan:

Who we are and what we do

The Equality & Human Rights Commission is charged with encouraging and supporting the development of a society in which:

  1. an individual’s ability to achieve his or her potential is not limited by prejudice or discrimination;

  2. there is respect for and protection of each individual’s human rights;

  3. there is respect for the dignity and worth of each individual;

  4. each individual has an equal opportunity to participate in society; and

  5. there is mutual respect between groups based on understanding and valuing of diversity and on shared respect for equality and human rights.

It has various powers and obligations, which are detailed in the Ordinance, including the power to review and comment on potential Ordinances, conduct Inquiries and Investigations, issue “Unlawful act notices” and submit matters for judicial review.

Register of Members’ Interests

You can read the current Register of Members’ Interests.

To find on this site

Please see our Articles page, where you can read varions pieces about equality & human rights.

You can also download many useful documents about Human Rights, including the Equality & Human Rights bill 2015, which is the legal foundation of our work.

Human Rights in summary The Equality & Human Rights Commission About Us

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