The concept of human dignity has changed a lot throughout history. Today, at a time of great technological progress, it is more than ever necessary to specify the meaning of that term, because it is inextricably linked with the concept of human rights, which is the foundation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

By nature, man has (innate) dignity, and he also has the need to defend it, because it is the backbone of the personality.

Man pursues dignity by the very fact that he was created in the image of God and that he was given to rule the earth. He fulfills his calling only if he has dignity.

When we talk about human dignity, we mean the dignity of the person.


Having a character is not the same as being a personality. A character is an external image of a person; personality is the inner image of a person, the expression of his spiritual being.

It follows that each of us is a unique, unrepeatable personality – unique. Personality is a set of integrated character traits, acquired through birth, upbringing, education, socialization and own spiritual superstructure. The “structure” of each person’s personality is different, and that’s why no (two, let alone more) people are the same, and that’s why each of us is a unique personality.

Therefore, every person deserves to be respected and to appreciate the uniqueness and inimitability of his personality. He deserves respect for the dignity of his person.

Dignity, therefore, derives from the very essence of a human being. It arises from the divinity of man and his calling. This is why it is said that human dignity is man’s true nature.

Human dignity is man’s central value that determines all other values.

It is an imperative of human life and existence. That is why ethics requires respect for human dignity. That is the general principle of every orderly society.

What is Human Dignity?

One dictionary defines dignity as ‘a sense of worth, honor or respect’. Therefore, human dignity includes the way we perceive ourselves as well as the way others treat us. While a number of factors can influence how we perceive ourselves, the way others view us or treat us on a day-to-day basis has a major impact on our sense of self-worth.

Legal Order and Personal Dignity

It all started several decades ago with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states in Article 1: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

The underlying assumption is that there is something about our status that makes us worthy of respect. In fact, dignity is so bound up in our conception of humanity that we use terms like “inhumane treatment” to describe acts that violate our human rights. There is a feeling that treating a person humanely means behaving in a way that is consistent with his humanity and dignity.

Dignity means that certain acts, such as torture, are prohibited because we want to “protect both the dignity and the physical and mental integrity of the individual.” In this sense, dignity is something we want to protect from destruction.

Chapter 1 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights is about dignity. Articles 1 – 5 of the Charter protect the following rights:

1. human dignity;

2. right to life;

3. the right to the integrity of the person;

4. prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;

5. prohibition of slavery and forced labor.

Recognizing the fact that one cannot talk about the freedom and rights of a person, about the free development of a person, without respecting their dignity, modern legal systems guarantee respect for the dignity of the person. Thus, the current Constitution of Serbia (2006) guarantees the dignity and free development of the personality (Art. 23) as absolute rights, which cannot be limited either in time of war or in emergency situations (Art. 202, paragraph 4). The Constitution of Serbia (in Article 23) guarantees the dignity and free development of the personality, so it says:

“Human dignity is inviolable and everyone is obliged to respect and protect it.

Everyone has the right to free personal development, if it does not violate the rights of others guaranteed by the Constitution.”

Instead of a Conclusion – Basic Principles

The right to personal dignity is a basic human right and as such has certain principles. The principles of human rights are the guiding idea so that countries around the world can introduce the same values into their systems. According to those principles, we have inalienability, indivisibility, interdependence and mutual connection, and finally the universality of human rights.

The right to personal dignity is an inalienable right, which means that you cannot lose it, because it is linked to human existence.

That human rights are indivisible, interdependent and interconnected means that different human rights are essentially connected, and that they cannot be viewed separately from each other. One’s enjoyment of one right depends on the enjoyment of many other rights, and no one right is more important than the others.

The right to personal dignity is a universal right, which means that it applies equally to all people everywhere in the world, and without time limits. Every individual has the right to enjoy his human rights regardless of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, birth or other status.

Text regarding complaints about police work in Serbia, you can read here.

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