Why the Human Dignity Trust?
Human Dignity is The Basis of Fundamental Human Rights
Human dignity is inviolable and it must be respected and protected. The dignity of the human person is not only a fundamental right in itself, but constitutes the basis of fundamental rights in international law.
The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrined this principle in its preamble: ‘recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world’.
For this reason the dignity of the human person is part of the substance of any right protected by international human rights law. It must, therefore, be respected, even where a right is restricted.
Human Dignity is at the Heart of Human Identity
Human dignity goes to the heart of human identity, including a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and intersex identity, hence the name of the trust.
Without dignity none of the protections of the various legal human rights mechanisms can have real meaning, which is why the concept has held, and continues to hold, a central place in the international human rights framework.
Criminalising private and consensual sexual activity also violates the right to respect for private life, and may amount to inhuman and degrading treatment. The criminalisation of some people’s private consensual sexual activity has been held to be arbitrary, as well as discriminatory and in breach of equality principles.
Additionally, wider notions of economic and social rights such as the right to the highest attainable standard of health can be violated by the criminalisation of private and consensual sexual activity.