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In the democratic City of ancient Greece ,the free citizen decides by himself about his rights .By law the rights of equal treatment of citizens and of equality of speech .Philosophers like Plato and Aristotle study the nature of society.
In situations of absolute monarchy in Europe, politicians, philosophers and thinkers express their need of restricting the absolute power of the monarch.
John Locke supports the need of the existence of ''a social contract '', based on the fact that the free individual surrenders some of his freedoms to the City.
Under the influence of the ideas of 'Enlightment' Rigas constitutes a plan of a Constitution that covers the declaration of human rights (he, who thinks freely, thinks well)
All the Constitutions of the Greek revolution include a list of human rights
In Europe, the industrial Revolution gives birth to social theories that promote the economic equality of the individual.
Many nations vote constitutions with fundamental Human Rights (Latin America 1824, Belgium 1831, Germany 1849, Switzerland 1874)
In the Middleages personal freedoms were non-existent. With Magna Charta were the rights of the nobles were secured for the first time against the absolute authority of the king of England.
The ideas of Enlightment in Europe promote the necessity of securing personal and political rights. French thinkers, like Rousseau, Voltaire and Montesquieu develop the ideas of economical, religion and political freedoms. In 1776 the American declaration of independence was voted by the representatives of the 13 American states. With the French Revolution the French Declaration of Human Rights was voted, which secured the fundamental rights.
After the two world wars and the victory of democratic principles against fascism, the personal rights are internationally protected by the U.N. and the universal declaration of personal rights. Western countries include in their constitutions the social rights (the duty of the state are, health, education, hospitalization provisions.etc.)