Human rights timeline:

Parye Mazda

From "Speak Truth to Power": an educational and advocacy package in collaboration with Amnesty International and Umbrage Editions

C. 570 B.C. - The Charter of Cyrus is drawn up by King Cyrus the Great of Persia (now Iran) for the people of his kingdom, recognizing rights to liberty, security, recognizing freedom of movement, right of property, and some economic and social rights.

1215 - King John of England signs the Magna Carta.

1628 - The British Petition of Rights declares that no freedom can be withheld without legal cause.

1648 - The Treaty of Westphalia, Germany, an early international legal treaty, establishes equality of rights between Catholics and Protestants.

1679 - The Habeas Corpus Act in Britain gives anyone who is detained the right to a fair trial within a certain amount of time.

1689 - Britain's Bill of Rights upholds the supremacy of Parliament over the King, and provides freedom of speech, the right to bail, freedom from torture, free elections, and trial by jury.

1776 - The US Declaration of Independence establishes North America's independence from the British Empire.

1789 - The French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens is established when the French monarchy is overthrown by its people.

1791 - The American Bill of Rights, American Constitution and the first Ten Amendments, list basic civil and political rights of citizens including freedom of speech and the rule of law.

1864 - The Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Armies in the Field (First Geneva Convention), an international treaty of the International Committee of the Red Cross, protects war wounded and sick, and gives immunity to hospital staff, and the Red Cross during war.

1878 - The Treaty of Berlin is signed, protecting the rights of religious and ethnic minorities in the Balkans.

1899-1907 - The Hague Conventions are drafted, establishing international humanitarian laws for the treatment of civilians, prisoners of war, and war wounded.

1919 - The Treaty of Versailles establishes both the League of Nations and the International Labor Organization is established to improve working conditions and promote social justice.

1942 - UN War Crimes Commission established international war crimes trials in Nuremburg and Tokyo that took place after WWII

1945 - UN Charter sets forth to United Nations' goals, functions, and responsibilities.

1948 - UN adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

1961 - Amnesty International started by a British lawyer.

1941 - The Allies proclaim "four freedoms" as their objective: freedom of speech and worship, and freedom from want and from fear. The Allies repeated that commitment in the 1941 Atlantic Charter.

1966 - The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights are ratified by the United Nations. Along with the UDHR, they complete the International Bill of Human Rights.

1979 - International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women is ratified by the United Nations.

1984 - International Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment ratified by the United Nations.

1989 - International Convention of the Rights of the Child ratified by the United Nations.

1995 - The Fourth World Conference on Women is held in Beijing, China. Participants agree on a five-year action plan to enhance the social, economic and political empowerment of women, improve their health, advance their education and promote their marital and sexual rights.

And (Thrown in by me, not a part of the above)

In 1998, To mark the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Anan was awarded a copy of Cyrus the Great's edict. Read More

So there we have it ... Cyrus' declaration went all around the world and throughout history freeing all people till the present, but somehow ... The Iranian people are yet to receive the benefits...


By Paryeh Mazda