UK
16/10/2015 11:54 BST | Updated 16/10/2015 11:59 BST

What Are Human Rights? Everything You Need To Know Explained In Two Minutes

This thought-provoking animation explains why human rights are important, using history as an example for the future.

The animation was made by RightsInfo, a campaign sharing information about human rights, and voiced by comedian and poet Tim Key.

His voiceover says: "Human rights are the values that keep society fair, just and equal, it explains."

"They protect children, elderly people, people in care, victims of domestic violence, people with mental health problems, religious groups, teachers, soldiers and yes prisoners.

"They protect all of us."

The video comes at a time when the Conservative government is facing criticism for plans to scrap the Human Rights Act.

Earlier this week UN official Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, warned that the Tories’ threat scrap the acts, and replace it with a 'British Bill of Rights', is "profoundly regrettable."

human rights act

The animation says human rights are the values that 'keep society fair'

"They protect you, our human rights are protected by law," the animation continues.

"That means we can do something if our rights are attacked. But not everyone loves human rights, some want to tear them down... even scrap them. Our rights are under threat, so it's time to get educated.

"Societies used to be controlled by all powerful rulers who would be cruel and unjust. Kings only gave rights to the people that they liked. Over thousands of years people fought for equality, and with every hard won right came new laws that changed how we lived.

"But in the twentieth century, brutal dictators came to power. They ruled by fear, like kings of the past. Those hard won rights? They were dismantled on an unimaginable scale. After WWII the democracies got together and said 'never again'.

"They created a single document setting out the basic rights we all need to live a dignified life. The European Convention puts rights, not rulers at the heart of our society."

SEE ALSO:

The notion of human rights is cited to date back to 539 B.C, when Cyrus the Great, the first king of ancient Persia, conquered the city of Babylon.

He freed the slaves, declared that all people had the right to choose their own religion, and established racial equality.

These and other decrees were reportedly recorded on a baked-clay cylinder in the Akkadian language with cuneiform script, a system of writing first developed in 3,000 BC.

Known today as the Cyrus Cylinder, this ancient record has been recognised as the world’s first charter of human rights.