Skip to main content

Human Rights & Social Justice: Home

What are Human Rights?

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.

-- United Nation Office of the High Commissioner

What is Social Justice?

Justice at the level of a society or state as regards the possession of wealth, commodities, opportunities, and privileges. 

-- Oxford English Dictionary

United Nations

Social Justice Initiatives

Center for Study of Human Rights at WSU

At Worcester State University, the Dennis Brutus/Merrill Goldwyn Center for the Study of Human Rights is your source for awareness of human rights violations and other abuses that plague today’s world. We incorporate human rights issues into the WSU curriculum and provide resources for academic research.

Dennis Brutus Collection

Dennis Brutus' long association with Worcester State University, which spanned over 20 years, began on May 28, 1982, when he appeared as key speaker at the inauguration of the Center for the Study of Human Rights at Worcester State University. The next day, May 29, 1982, he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for both his heroic activities as an opponent of Apartheid in South Africa as well as for his distinguished achievement as a poet. It was at this time that, partly out of gratitude for WSU's support of him during his dramatic battle to win political asylum in the United States and partly out of a generous desire to assist the newly created Center for the Study of Human Rights, he donated an extensive number of personal manuscripts and other items to the Center.

The Dennis Brutus Collection consists of a range of primary documents donated by Dr. Dennis Brutus, including manuscripts, letters relating to many public and personal topics, texts of speeches, travel documentation, and photographs. These materials are now available for access by scholars, students, and independent researchers from outside Worcester State University. The collection is housed in the Library. 

- See more at: http://www.worcester.edu/Dennis-Brutus-Collection-Description/#sthash.9K33kVxt.dpuf

The Dennis Brutus Collection consists of a range of primary documents donated by Dr. Dennis Brutus, including manuscripts, letters relating to many public and personal topics, texts of speeches, travel documentation, and photographs. These materials are now available for access by scholars, students, and independent researchers from outside Worcester State University. The collection is housed in the Library.  - See more at: http://www.worcester.edu/Dennis-Brutus-Collection-Description/#sthash.9K33kVxt.dpuf

Dennis Brutus Collection

Dennis Brutus' long association with Worcester State University, which spanned over 20 years, began on May 28, 1982, when he appeared as key speaker at the inauguration of the Center for the Study of Human Rights at Worcester State University. The next day, May 29, 1982, he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for both his heroic activities as an opponent of Apartheid in South Africa as well as for his distinguished achievement as a poet. It was at this time that, partly out of gratitude for WSU's support of him during his dramatic battle to win political asylum in the United States and partly out of a generous desire to assist the newly created Center for the Study of Human Rights, he donated an extensive number of personal manuscripts and other items to the Center.

- See more at: http://www.worcester.edu/Dennis-Brutus-at-WSU/#sthash.cVQboSj0.dpuf

Dennis Brutus Collection

Dennis Brutus' long association with Worcester State University, which spanned over 20 years, began on May 28, 1982, when he appeared as key speaker at the inauguration of the Center for the Study of Human Rights at Worcester State University. The next day, May 29, 1982, he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for both his heroic activities as an opponent of Apartheid in South Africa as well as for his distinguished achievement as a poet. It was at this time that, partly out of gratitude for WSU's support of him during his dramatic battle to win political asylum in the United States and partly out of a generous desire to assist the newly created Center for the Study of Human Rights, he donated an extensive number of personal manuscripts and other items to the Center.

- See more at: http://www.worcester.edu/Dennis-Brutus-at-WSU/#sthash.cVQboSj0.dpuf

What is Human Rights Research?

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1948 lists the fundamental human rights that are common to all people. These rights include the right to life, the prohibition against slavery, torture and arbitrary arrest, equality before the law, and the freedom of movement, peaceful assembly, and participation in government. Subsequent international human rights treaties and state practice have elaborated upon and expanded these rights, thus making international human rights a large and complicated field. Researchers in the field of international human rights must navigate a sometimes confusing array of treaties, reports, case law and other documents.

-- Georgetown University Library, Human Rights Law Research Guide

What is Social Justice Research?

The role of research in the creation and sustaining of a more socially just, equitable and humane world cannot be undervalued. Social justice research has the potential, through its direct application, to aid in resolving concrete social problems, organizing social change efforts, influencing public policy, meeting community-based needs, and transforming institutions.

-- Georgetown University, Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service

Sample Research Questions:

  1. What do the interdisciplinary fields of gender, ethnic, and area studies contribute to the pursuit of social justice, and how can these roles be enhanced to strengthen public humanities? What could the combined expertise of feminist and ethnic studies contribute to the realization of community?
  2. The current transformations of the relations between state, market and society are placing new demands on the realization of “family” and “community” and the ongoing struggles for social justice, including gender and sexuality equity. What conventional and new livelihood strategies and forms of organizing are evident in social responses to these reconfigurations?
  3. What are the effects of hegemonic national discourses of security on the institutional cultures of selected institutions?

-- University of California, Davis, Social Justice Initiative

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (abbreviated)

Article 1       Right to Equality

Article 2       Freedom from Discrimination

Article 3       Right to Life, Liberty, Personal Security

Article 4       Freedom from Slavery

Article 5       Freedom from Torture and Degrading Treatment

Article 6       Right to Recognition as a Person before the Law

Article 7       Right to Equality before the Law

Article 8       Right to Remedy by Competent Tribunal

Article 9       Freedom from Arbitarary Arrest and Exile

Article 10     Right to Fair Public Hearing

Article 11     Right to be Considered Innocent until Proven Guilty

Article 12     Freedom from Interference with Privacy, Family, Home and Correspondence

Article 13     Right to Free Movement in and out of the Country

Article 14     Right to Asylum in other Countries from Persecution

Article 15     Right to a Nationality and the Freedom to Change It

Article 16     Right to Marriage and Family

Article 17     Right to Own Property

Article 18     Freedom of Belief and Religion

Article 19     Freedom of Opinion and Information

Article 20     Right of Peaceful Assembly and Association

Article 21     Right to Participate in Government and in Free Elections

Article 22     Right to Social Security

Article 23     Right to Desirable Work and to Join Trade Unions

Article 24     Right to Rest and Leisure

Article 25     Right to Adequate Living Standard

Article 26     Right to Education

Article 27     Right to Participate in the Cultural Life of Community

Article 28     Right to a Social Order that Articulates this Document

Article 29     Community Duties Essential to Free and Full Development

Article 30      Freedom from State or Personal Interference in the above Rights   

From the University of Minnesota Human Rights Resource Center