Does the pursuit of human rights strengthen or weaken the structure of international society?
The concept of human rights can be traced as far as back as the theories of Natural Law which proposed the existence of universal moral standards, and Charter rights such as the Magna Carta. However, they began to rise in importance after the horrors of the Second World War and then towards the end of the Cold War, which gave us many core human rights treaties such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Solidarists would claim that this increasing pursuit of human rights strengthens the structure of international society because as the fundamental members of the international community, the rights of individuals should take priority over the rights of states, and that this should be the main purpose of the United Nations. However, even if the rights of individuals should be prioritised, it is crucial to preserve Westphalian principles to maintain international order. This essay will use a realist lens to argue that individuals are best served by protecting the rights of states, and therefore the integrity of the state should always be maintained. It will demonstrate how this prioritisation of national interests has meant that in fact the pursuit of human rights has neither strengthened nor weakened the structure of international society, but rather has been used as a tool by states to preserve the status quo and maintain their position as the most powerful actors in international relations.
It is possible to argue that to a certain extent the pursuit of human rights strengthens the structure of international society, if the structure of international society is taken to mean humans and the ways in which they interact. Solidarists would argue that individuals and not states are the ultimate members of international society and as such their rights should take precedence over norms of statehood like sovereignty and non-intervention. Respecting human rights enables people to have personal security and freedom from violence, as well as freely pursue their social goals, thereby preserving order and strengthening international society. Since the end of the Cold War many human rights treaties have been ratified and these are important because they provide non-state actors and individuals with something to which they can hold states accountable in the face of human rights abuses. These treaties have also been important in creating a ‘human rights culture’, which is significant because it means that states are more pressured by their citizens to preserve and actively promote the preservation of human rights. This was observed in the United States of America (USA) where domestic pressure led to the decision to intervene in Somalia. This serves to strengthen international society because it empowers individuals to have a greater influence on international interactions. Additionally, solidarists would claim that the pursuit of human rights illustrates an underlying universal morality. The recognition of this universal morality would help to align the behaviour and interactions of humans across the world, hence strengthening international society itself.
However, even if individuals are taken to be the ultimate members of international society, it is states that form the structure of it because they are the means by which international relations occur. Hedley Bull argues that international society would be better served by upholding Westphalian principles because these help preserve order, as the principles of sovereignty and non-intervention prevent states from constantly invading each other and destabilising international society. As individuals have chosen to politically organise themselves into states, the protection of the state should be paramount as the state is the arbiter of rights as well as the defence against foreign belligerence, enabling the...
Your presenter today:
Major Attila Kulcsár
Hungarian National Police Human Resource Management Service Education Management and Training Departmert
UNTAC Cambodia 1992-93 MINURSO West-sahara 1995-96 UNMIBH BIH RS 1997-98 UNMIBH BIH FED 1999-00 EUPOL Proxima MK 2004-05 OSCE Mission to Skopje 2008-12
What is the first word that comes up your mind in connection with HUMANRIGHTS?
HUMANRIGHTS are the rights that all people have by virtue of being human beings. HUMANRIGHTS are derived from the inherent dignity of the human being and are defined internationally, nationally and locally by various law making bodies.
HUMANRIGHTS is defined as the supreme,
inherent, and inalienable rights to life, to dignity, and to self-development. It is concerned with issues in both areas of civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights founded on internationally accepted humanrights obligations
HUMANRIGHTSRIGHTS – moral power to hold (rights to life, nationality, own property, rest and leisure), to do...
...An evaluation of the responsibility the international community
has a responsibility to protect citizens against the gross humanrights abuses of their states.
Juliette Lovius, Dip Teach, MA HumanRights
Curtin University, Western Australia, June, 2013
Since ancient times, human beings have been in conflict with one another.
Those in authority have the power and opportunity to oppress people from within
their nation. The question of states coming to the aid of another state’s citizens
suffering under oppression is an old one. Voices in the early fifth century, such
as that of St Augustine of Hippo (Holt, 2005) were acknowledging the
complexities of war and the plight of the innocent victims of state-led violence.
Even in those ancient times, as it is today, it is clear that from a basic moral
perspective that the international community has a strong responsibility to act to
protect citizens against the gross humanrights abuses of their states. Refusing
to intervene and turning a blind eye and doing nothing in the face of crimes such
as genocide is incomprehensible, inhuman and immoral. Although the
outworking of humanitarian intervention is a complex and politically heated
issue, the responsibility to act is unequivocally clear. In this essay, I will argue
that states exist in an international community in a variety of ways and, as...
...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...
...HumanRights, International Ethics and Women
The purpose of this literature review is to explore and analyse selected texts while aiming to address the question of whether rights conventions are appropriate in international ethics. I will write this essay in a feminist perspective and reframe the question to focus specifically on whether internationalrights conventions are appropriate ininternational ethics when it comes to women. The primary issue this essay focuses upon is whether an internationalhumanrights framework can better deal with issues of injustice than the internal domestic laws and cultures of states and I assert that the latter is more appropriate when it comes to dealing with issues of injustice. I will analyse some selected discourses within the framework this issue.
Feminists Hilary Charlesworth, Christine Chinkin & Shelley Wright (1991) argue that humanrights are masculine and patriarchal and so in endorsing the universality of rights would be to reproduce male thinking. These authors believe that the whole conception of ‘rights’ is masculine in that it is men think in terms of rationality, rights and reason, whereas females think in terms of context and relationships (Charlesworth, Chinkin & Wright 1991). However, this line...
We will deal with each of these in turn, with reference to international legal instruments and bodies. We will observe first of all how the rights of individuals, although falling outside the province of international law as it was conceived in the1600s, began to seep into the framework of international legal rules over the centuries, eventually coming to prominence during the 'humanrights era' that followed the end of the Second World War. We will consider secondly the various mechanisms that have been put in place by the international community in order to deal with the enforcement and observance of individual rights enshrined in international legal instruments. Lastly, we will critically assess the claim that questions about individual rights should be the sole concern of domestic legal systems.
The scholars who laid the intellectual foundations of international law in the Western world, like Hugo Grotius (1625) and John Locke (1690), all stressed in their writings that legal systems, be they domestic or international, were founded in natural law and commonly accepted standards of (Christian) morality. It may seem surprising, therefore, that for centuries the rights of individuals played no significant role in the framework of...
...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...
...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...
...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 Political Right (1976) that was constituted provision for freedom, it is for encouraging. This...