Historical development of human rights

In the western world the development of human rights has often been traced back to the eighteenth century, the waning influence of the monarchy and the growing power of the ordinary citizen. This represented an idea of human rights based on individual rights to life, liberty and personal security. It is important to also acknowledge that many of the core elements of human rights were present in non-western societies and other parts of the world from ancient times. A concern for civil and political rights is often termed the first generation of rights; the second is the demand for economic, social and cultural rights – and now a third generation of rights is recognised as increasingly important – the right to peace, development and environmental protection.

Methods of Intervention

Social workers promote and protect human rights through programme and policy development, administration of socially just programmes, and advocacy.