Are all human rights universally applicable?
If this question were posed to the ancient Greek philosopher and pioneer Plato, his response would be something like: “Of course, truth and virtue are universal. They are above of any state law. Not for slaves though.” Since then, slavery has been almost eliminated and several declarations for human rights have been signed in the name of a “better world.” The word ‘applicable’ indicates that this question is highly normative, as none would argue that the president of the United States has, at the moment, the same rights with a woman in Kabul. Some would however argue that ideally that should be the case and this essay will try to illustrate that the history of mankind can be seen simply as the pursuit of this ideal and thus human rights are normatively universal. By taking into consideration the contentions of several philosophers and political theorists on how ‘human rights’ can be defined and adopted by societies, the distinction between natural and positive rights and the way people have been trying to set the fundamental rights of their existence from the beginning of history, it can be depicted that, although this notion has taken many definitions and forms, a ‘natural’ trend is followed in the chase for what Plato would suggest as ‘universal truth and virtue.’
Before proceeding, it should be noted that as this essay is written at a specific point in history, it would not be wise to consider several conventional human rights to be the ideal ones but just some indications of the trend towards the true ideals.
The first aspect of this issue that should be addressed is the context in which the term ‘human rights’ is defined. Political theory has set two different parameters in which philosophers have viewed the nature human rights, as some argue that human rights are ‘positive’ in nature and some that they have a ‘natural,’ and hence universal, character. The former contention suggests that human rights are...
...Are humanrights innate and universal?
Post WWII on the 10 December 1948, the Universal Declaration of HumanRights (UDHR) was espoused by the General Assembly of the United Nations in order to agree on the notion that such atrocities that occurred throughout the Great War and the Second World War would not ever be reciprocated. The document that was drawn up in less than two years by the UN and Western states, and although ambitious it would guarantee a premise for life and living for every individual all over the world. The UDHR are founded on nobility, equality and reverence, and are said to be aimed at all cultures and religions within the West and East of the globe. However there is great discrepancy regarding the justification and practicality of humanrights all over the world due to political, economic and cultural differences and limitations. Universal means that ‘something’ affects, applies or is completed by everyone all over the world – there is no distinctive bias shown and equal policies are applied. Innate, in relation to humanrights, means that people are given natural rights purely based on the fact that he/she is human and alive. Therefore, are humanrights universal and innate or is the Universal Declaration of Human...
...The preamble of the Universal Declaration of HumanRights (UDHR) proclaims that the rights discussed in the document are "a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations." This document, along with the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), are meant to be global agreements that span all cultures and traditions. These documents however do not live up to their intent. In fact, the Cairo Declaration on HumanRights in Islam and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights prove this unrealized and unrealistic expectation of the earlier universal' and international' treaties.
Theoretically perhaps, there does exist a set of universal humanrights, but in this diverse world any set of humanrights that is to be recognized internationally must be more of a universally accepted set of humanrights. This Declaration of Universally Accepted HumanRights' would be a document focused on overlapping consensus of many cultures.
In order to accomplish this, first, an all inclusive document must be drawn up that deals with those rights that fall under an overlapping...
Basic humanright still are not respected in many nations. Rights that we take for granted in developed nations, such as freedom as association, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of movement, freedom from politican repression. Globalization has significantly changed the world we live in, presenting new and complex challenges for the protection of humanrights. Economic players, especially companies that operate across national boundaries (trans-national companies), have gained unprecedented power and influence across the world economy. This has not always benefited the societies in which they operate. Companies cause harm by directly abusing humanrights, or by colluding with others who violate humanrights. Despite this potential to cause significant harm, there are few effective mechanisms at national or international level to prevent corporate humanrights abuses or to hold companies to account. This means those affected by their operations – often already marginalized and vulnerable - are left powerless, without the protection to which they are entitled, or meaningful access to justice. Global standards on business and humanrights. Governments have the primary obligation to secure...
...Origins of HumanRights
The emergence of rights in political thought is generally regarded as relatively recent, though any historical study of rights reveals how indeterminate the philosophical charting of the evolution of rights has been. Humanrights are considered the offspring of natural rights, which themselves evolved from the concept of natural law. Natural law, which has played a dominant role in Western political theory for centuries, is that standard of higher-order morality against which all other laws are adjudged. To contest the injustice of human-made law, one was to appeal to the greater authority of God or natural law.
Eventually this concept of natural law evolved into natural rights; this change reflected a shift in emphasis from society to the individual. Whereas natural law provided a basis for curbing excessive state power over society, natural rights gave individuals the ability to press claims against the government The modern conception of rights can be traced back to Enlightenment political philosophy and the movement, primarily in England, France, and the United States, to establish limited forms of representative government that would respect the freedom of individual citizens.
John Locke, in his Second Treatise on Government (1690), described a 'state of nature' prior to the...
...HRV1601: HumanRights, Values and Social Transformation
Semester 01/ Assignment 01
The Historical Background and Development of HumanRights
Table of Contents
2) The Development of HumanRights
3) Historical Documents of HumanRights
3.1) The English Bill ofRights (1689)
3.2) The American War of Independence (1775-1783)
4) Developing and Maintaining a HumanRights Culture in South Africa
5) The South African Constitution
6) The South African Bill of Rights
A right is an inherent, irrevocable entitlement held by all human beings from the moment of birth. According to Ndungane (as stated in Slater 2010:19), “A humanright is a right that a human person has simply by virtue of being a human person, irrespective of his or her social status, cultural accomplishments, moral merits, religious beliefs, class membership or cultural relationships”. Basic humanrights are not earned or deserved, and should not be considered a privilege, but an imperative implement for the well-being and peacefulness of mankind. This...
...The concept of Universal HumanRights is a fairly new conception in human history. Rights are not the same thing as social or cultural norms, which can be used to oppress minority interest and be fundamentally unfair to individuals. The beginnings of this concept can be traced back to the Enlightenment Era of the mid 17th through the 18th century. The formal international consensus of this idea did not take effect until after World War II, when the United Nations (U.N.) adapted the Universal Declaration of HumanRights (UDHR) on December 10, 1948 establishing an international standard of humanrights. Although the majority of member nations of the U.N. agreed on this resolution, there where nations that argued against it. Thus the question still persist today, Are humanrights universal? I believe that they are.
Humans use morals and ethics to determine “right” from “wrong” on an individual as well as a cultural basis. An individual belief of right and wrong is derived from life long experiences; and influenced by culture, religion, parents, schools, relationships, etc. Cultural beliefs of right and wrong are a consensus of those beliefs in a nation or region, which can, and do vary widely between different cultures. These concepts also vary over time...
...Humanrights are universal, indivisible and interdependent. Humanrights are what make us human. When we speak of the right to life, or development, or to dissent and diversity, we are speaking of tolerance. Tolerance will ensure all freedoms. Without it, we can be certain of none.
<br>The raging ethnic cleansing in Kosovo is an example of intolerance. The Serbians will not tolerate the Albanians at any cost. They are forcing them from their homes, turning the streets into killing fields. This civil war seems unstoppable because of the intolerance of one race against another. No respect for individual rights, basic humanrights.
<br>Another example is right in our own back yard. I am speaking of hate crimes which plague our society. They are no different today than centuries ago when slavery was allowed. One race against another. One religion against another, it is all the same. Hate is the opposite of tolerance. We can only live together through an expression of tolerance of the differences each of us brings into this world. We should embrace the differences and share the differences. For this is how we learn, through each others' differences. Tolerance in all cultures is the basis of peace and progress.
<br>Our country was founded on the basic idea that all man and women are created equal with liberty and justice for...
...slavery, sickness and other arbitrary executions. To prevent such atrocities in the future, there are legal responses and non-legal responses to deal with the contemporary humanrights issues which is genocide.
First of all, legal responses refer to the UN humanright treaties and Genocide Convention that were adopted in 1948 and approved the Universal Declaration of HumanRight (UDHR) by the United Nation.
The Genocide Convention (1948) outlaws genocide, crime against humanity and crime under international law . All participating countries that ratified the convention will be prevented and punished the genocide in the war or a peace of time.
The Declarations defines the civil and political rights ( including the right to life, the right of liberty, and a fair trial) as well as the economic social and cultural rights( including the right to social security and participating in cultural right in one’s community).
In this case, Cambodia was a party that ratified the Genocide Convention on 14.10.1950. It was enforceable where the Senior Leader of Khmer Rouge between1975 -1979 under the definition of Convention. In contradiction, it was enforceable but it could not desist the massacre that happened in the 1975-1979.
Next, Cambodia was ratified the UDHR and International Convention on Civil and...