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What are human rights?


I’m sure you’ve heard the term ‘Human Rights’ before, but have you ever thought about what this term means?


Human rights are the essential, fundamental rights and freedoms that are afforded to every person simply because they were born a human being. This means that they are rights that cannot be given or taken away from you at any time, for any reason.

Human rights are universal norms as they are recognised within the international community as innate to every person, regardless of their national, cultural, political, geographic, social, religious or temporal context. In other words, you are required to be afforded these rights, regardless of where you live, what you believe in or what you do. Similarly, other personal characteristics, such as gender, race, sexuality, age, or disability cannot define whether you are allowed human rights. These rights are applicable to all people, all the time, without doubt.


Unfortunately though, human rights are at times violated. It sadly happens all the time, but as a union member, you’re already taking part in a movement to prevent this. At HACSU, we’re committed to ensuring the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights for all people, not just our members. We know that in the industries you work in, you’re also concerned about the rights of your service users. That’s why we are constantly campaigning for improvements to the community services sectors, to ensure that the services we provide are outstanding, respectful and thorough.

This month we celebrated World Social Justice Day! As a union member, you’re a part of something bigger; a movement to create social justice and empower people to promote human rights both at work at in your community! Whilst it isn’t always easy, here are some handy tips you can use to change a toxic workplace culture and improve working conditions for yourself and your colleagues:

  • Being transparent and open
  • Reward valuable contributions and provide specific, genuine complements to others
  • Cultivate relationships across your office or worksite
  • Embrace difference
  • Work together as a team and talk about ideas in a collaborative way
  • Communicate with purpose and passion!