What is Dignity?
The word comes from "worthy" and Latin "dignus", interpreted as "valuable" is written. Itself dignity can mean several things. In general we can say that dignity is a quality that comes with a title or position. For example the dignity of an Ambassador or a Bishop, giving to understand that they are relevant or important people. Also indicates a high degree of excellence applied under the same conditions: "the dignity of a priest" or "a place of great dignity". Another application is when we refer to that someone deserves what happens to him: "a punishment of the magnitude of the indignity of the crime committed" or "food worthy of the dignity of a King".
These are most common references to dignity but in philosophy the term dignity goes a little further: has to do with human autonomy, with their condition of being free and rational. It is very wide and is very much related to the term "human essence". Let me explain: what makes humans human is the essence, the greatest thing that the human being can have is their dignity and the essence of the human being is given the dignity. Do complicated? Not so much, what are trying to say is that our identity as people or humans is the greatest thing we have and that we call it dignity. Dignity makes us different from other beings (together with the essence) and puts us in a position "above them". It is based on the fact that we can make decisions (autonomy), without impediment (freedom) and give an explanation to these decisions (rationality).
From the philosophical point of view, a good way to understand the dignity is like the right to treatment appropriate, ethical and respect, innate, i.e., "we won us" this right by the mere fact of having been born as humans. While this may seem obvious, it is not historically, and we owe the concept and its application to the thinkers of the Renaissance, where for example we can mention the famous "speech about the dignity of man", by Pico della Mirandola in 1485. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the idea is present in a clear manner during the Renaissance, but it is reflected in a practical manner as in period of history known as the Enlightenment, where through an appreciation of the use of reason to give order to our lives, seriously considered the rights of the people, respect and autonomy.
Dignity has also been subject to different applications, it is not a well-defined concept, which can be given to different interpretations; for example in the medical field, that the most recent advances have led to all kinds of ethical discussions, the term has been used both by those who vogan for or against a particular intervention or procedure. This concept is also central, as now you have realized, what are human rights, and indeed dignity form part of the concepts involved in the Declaration of the United Nations in this regard.