Even if he can vote to choose his rulers, a young man with AIDS who cannot read or write and lives on the brink of starvation is not truly free. Equally, even if she earns enough to live, a woman who lives in the shadow of daily violence and has no say in how her country is run is not truly free. Kofi Annan
Human rights and democracy are interdependent and are both requisites for true freedom. How can you democracy without food or decent education and healthcare? Or without freedom of information and association? And what’s the use of freedom of opinion if your political opinion is not taken into account during fair and free elections? And this can go on for many paragraphs.
Which does not mean that the one without the other – democracy without full respect for rights, or rights without a perfect democracy – are completely useless or impossible. The goal however should be mutual reinforcement. And this happens to a degree automatically. Where you have rights, you will see democracy developing. And where you have democracy, you will see growing respect for rights.
More on the link between democracy and human rights.