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Equality, Freedom, and Security Rights in the US


In spite of the fact that the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) many years ago and focused on promoting the principles of humans’ freedom and dignity in different communities, human rights violations are still observed in various countries, and the United States is among them. The problem is in the fact that rights to equality, freedom, and security reflected in the UDHR should be adopted in different states of the country. As a result, the protection of these human rights can be discussed as a task for state and local governments. Furthermore, a range of political, economic, social, and religious factors can influence the vision of human rights in the United States. Although the public and authorities in the United States understand the importance of protecting human rights, violations of the UDHR’s principles are observed because of differences in global and national laws, weaknesses in anti-discrimination policies, and discrepancies in interpretations of laws that are based on political, economic, and religious factors.

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Differences in global and national laws

Differences in global and national laws explain specifics of adapting the UDHR to the realities of this or that country. While referring to the case of the United States, it is important to note that human rights laws need to be implemented and enforced at state and local levels to guarantee the protection of people’s freedoms and dignity. If certain principles are not reflected in state and local laws, it is rather problematic to refer to the UDHR while claiming that human rights were violated. The reason is that rights of people are formulated in this Declaration in general terms, and the focus on the domestic law is important to ensure that certain rights were violated (United Nations). These weaknesses in matching universal and national visions of human rights explain why people in the United States can suffer from such violations of their rights as the excessive use of force by policemen, tortures, and enforced disappearance among others (Amnesty International). From this point, more attention should be paid to addressing universal human rights in federal, state, and local laws of the United States.

Weaknesses in anti-discrimination policies

Cases of discrimination observed in the country also support the idea that there are weaknesses in the U.S. anti-discrimination policies, and rights of women and minorities are regularly violated. The problem is that females, migrants, refugees, lesbians, gays, transgender people, and prisoners remain to be vulnerable categories of the U.S. population, and they suffer from prejudice and discrimination although their equality is declared according to the UDHR (Amnesty International). Cases of raping, abuse, and cruelty are often mentioned and noted when these people’s rights are discussed (“Human Rights and the U.S.”). Therefore, it is possible to state that causes of this problem are in weak anti-discrimination policies and general formulations of human rights in legal documents.

Political and socio-economic factors

It is also important to pay attention to the fact that political, socio-economic, and religious factors lead to violating people’s rights even more often than weaknesses in policies and laws. Thus, the U.S. Constitution is viewed as a guarantee of protecting Americans’ civil and political rights. However, even the freedom of assembly can be violated if demonstrators or protestors’ actions are not correlated with political tendencies in the country during a certain period of time (Amnesty International). Furthermore, the U.S. Constitution does not address socio-economic and religious rights of people as the UDHR do. Therefore, such basic human rights as the right to shelter, care, food, and employment can be ignored in some cases because they are not reflected strictly in state and local laws, and some socio-economic situations cause authorities and employers to limit other people’s access to some types of resources (“Human Rights and the U.S.”). From this point, changes in politics and economic crises often affect people negatively, and their rights became violated because they can be discriminated or deprived of standard resources required for living. Such situation is typical of migrants and other vulnerable categories of the U.S. population.

Cultural and religious factors

Culture and religion also influence the protection of human rights in the United States. Thus, debates regarding gun control and gun violence are very urgent today. The problem is that different cultural groups discuss the use of guns from different perspectives, and they associate it with their security (Kopel and Eisen). On the other hand, it is important to focus on gun violence as the violation of victims’ rights. The other related issue is the difference in interpreting human rights in many cultures. For instance, those Asians who live in the United States believe that the focus should be on protecting rights of a group of people rather than individuals (Lo). When collective needs are taken into account, it is possible to expect that people focus on protecting human rights.


In spite of the fact that rights and freedoms are viewed as important aspects of the U.S. democracy, violations of these rights are still observed in the country. The reason is that the principles which are provided in the UDHR are not reflected appropriately in the U.S. laws. In this case, the focus is on the lack of legislation regarding social, cultural, and religious aspects. As a result, human rights violations are associated with the American society in the form of discrimination and the excessive use of force by police officers among other issues.

Works Cited

Amnesty International. “United States of America 2016/2017.”

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“Human Rights and the U.S.” The Advocates for Human Rights

Kopel, David, and Joanne Eisen. “An Arms Trade Treaty Could Encourage Human Rights Violations.” Gale Group, 2009. Web.

Lo, Jieh-Yung. “Universalism Challenged – Human Rights and Asian Values.” Online Opinion, 2007. 

United Nations. “Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Web.

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