Our Duties

That Ol’ Bicycle Wheel 

By Dr. Mary Shuttleworth 

Human rights are like a bicycle wheel.  

The rim of that wheel can travel to 193 United Nations member states. That’s almost all the countries in the world. 

There are 30 human rights. Of those, 29 are like spokes to the wheel, such as the right to education, non-discrimination, justice, democracy, peaceful assembly, etc. 

Those spokes are all held together by the hub in the middle. Just like any bicycle, it won’t work without that hub. It won’t work. 

That hub is Article #29 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, our duties, our responsibilities. For example, if you want to have an education, you must take responsibility, pay attention, do your lessons.  

That ol’ bicycle wheel is on a path, a road. That’s where we want to see human rights. We want to see human rights where we are now and where we’re going. From our local laws, national constitutions on up through the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we want to see human rights not just in theory; but also in our daily lives. 

Human rights and responsibilities go hand-in-hand. Our duties and participation make those human rights work for us, make them relevant, and help us build a more peaceful world. 

“Human rights and responsibilities go hand-in-hand.“

Dr. Mary Shuttleworth