Human Rights 美国人对人权的看法
The time is 1905. A steamship sails on a vast ocean. "Daddy, will we ever get to America?" asks a weary lad. "Soon, my child, soon," his father replies. "We've been on this ship for weeks. I wish we were back home in Russia," complained the boy. "Son, you know how they persecute Jews there. We can never go back," the father reminded him. "Will things be better in America?" the young boy asked. "I hope so," his father sighed. "Look! The Statue of Liberty!" the boy shouted. "Just like in the picture!" His father smiled. "Yes, my son," he said. "I think she's waving to us."
America has long been a haven for immigrants from around the world. Until the 19th century, the majority of immigrants were from northern Europe. By the mid-20th century, they were coming from all over the globe. In recent years, scores of refugees from Southeast Asia and Latin America have fled to American shores. Why? To find a sanctuary--a place where human rights are respected.
美国长久以来一直是世界各地移民们的避难所, 在十九世纪之前, 移民主要来自北欧. 到了二十世纪中期, 移民则来自全球各地. 近几年来, 很多来自东南亚和拉丁美洲的难民都逃往美国. 这是为什么呢? 为了要寻找一个避难所 -- 尊重人权的地方.
The American idea of respecting human rights came from several sources. First, the colonists had been persecuted and deprived of their rights in the Old World. They realized that people's rights must be preserved. Moreover, the Bible and literature from Greece and Rome taught that people are born with basic rights. English writer John Locke emphasized that governments should protect these rights. As a result, the Declaration of Independence reflected the belief that God created all people equal. The U.S. Constitution included 10 amendments to guarantee citizens' basic rights. This "Bill of Rights" promised freedom of religion, freedom of speech and of the press, the right to bear arms and the right to a fair trial.
Throughout American history, the belief in individual human rights has influenced government policies and laws. Slavery opponents argued that even slaves had rights as human beings. Finally, after the Civil War, slavery was outlawed. As industries developed, many people protested the poor working conditions.
Eventually, laws were passed guaranteeing workers fair wages and working hours and prohibiting child labor. The Civil Rights Movement used human rights arguments in the fight against discrimi