Is the state the source of human rights? First, let’s discuss what human rights are. According to Wikipedia, “Human rights are moral principles or norms for certain standards of human behaviour and are regularly protected in municipal and international law.” We, as humans, have rights to many things, and I could list some of them for you if I wanted to, but all human rights buckle down to just these three main rights. #1: Life, #2: Liberty, and #3: Property. Any other rights just expand from these three main human rights. And human rights can never be taken away from you, no matter what anyone says.
So, is the state the source of human rights? According to OHCHR, “Human rights are rights we have simply because we exist as human beings – they are not granted by any state. These universal rights are inherent to us all, regardless of nationality, sex, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, language, or any other status. They range from the most fundamental – the right to life – to those that make life worth living, such as the rights to food, education, work, health, and liberty.” So, as we see here, human rights are not granted by any state, but instead, we have these human rights simply because we are human beings. The state can not just take away your rights just because they feel like it. Human rights are something that no one can take away from you, so no, the state is not the source of human rights.