This phrase, along with the idea of written laws, goes back to ancient Mesopotamian culture that prospered long before the Bible was written or the civilizations of the Greeks or Romans flowered.
The Cyrus Cylinder
Cyrus the Great, the firs king of ancient Persia, marked a major advancement for Man when he wrote a set of decrees pertaining to human rights on a round piece of clay, known as the Cyrus Cylinder. Its provisions run parallel to the first four articles of the U.D.H.R.
Document relating to individual human rights, enstated in England after King John violated a number of acnient customs important to his subjects.
Petition of Right
The next recorded milestone in the development of human rights was the Petition of Right, produced in 1628 by the English Parliament and sent to Charles I as a statement of civil liberties.
Document protecting the rights of people from the powers of government.
U.S Bill Of Rights
Furthur protecting the rights of individuals in the U.S.
Birth of the United Nations
The United Nations was formed in the last years of WWII. Governments committed to creating the U.N to bolster international peace.