Human Rights (Definition)
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal (applicable everywhere) and egalitarian (the same for everyone). These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in local, regional, national, and international law. The doctrine of human rights in international practice, within international law, global and regional institutions, in the policies of states and in the activities of non-governmental organizations, has been a cornerstone of public policy around the world. The idea of human rightsstates, "if the public discourse of peacetime global society can be said to have a common moral language, it is that of human rights." Despite this, the strong claims made by the doctrine of human rights continue to provoke considerable skepticism and debates about the content, nature and justifications of human rights to this day. Indeed, the question of what is meant by a "right" is itself controversial and the subject of continued philosophical debate. Many of the basic ideas that animated the human rights movement developed in the aftermath of the Second World War and the atrocities of The Holocaust, culminating in the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Paris by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. The ancient world did not possess the concept of universal human rights. The true forerunner of human rights discourse was the concept of natural rights which appeared as part of the medieval Natural law tradition that became prominent during the Enlightenment with such philosophers as John Locke, Francis Hutcheson, and Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui, and featured prominently in the political discourse of the American Revolution and the French Revolution. From this foundation, the modern human rights arguments emerged over the latter half of the twentieth century. Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world... —1st sentence of the Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
What are human rights?
(United Nation Human Rights)
Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible. Universal human rights are often expressed and guaranteed by law, in the forms of treaties, customary international law, general principles and other sources of international law. International human rights law lays down obligations of Governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups. Universal and inalienable
The principle of universality of human rights is the cornerstone of international human rights law. This principle, as first emphasized in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights in 1948, has been reiterated in numerous international human rights conventions, declarations, and resolutions. The 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights, for example, noted that it is the duty of States to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems. All States have ratified at least one, and 80% of States have ratified four or more, of the core human rights treaties, reflecting consent of States which creates legal obligations for them and giving concrete expression to universality. Some fundamental human rights norms enjoy universal protection by customary international law...
...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...
...Gay Marriage: The Recognition of Equal HumanRights
In America, people hold on to the Declaration of Independence as an implementation of their rights. Part of the Declaration of Independence clearly states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (Jefferson 80). Gays are human beings too, and they should equally be able to enjoy the humanrights. If we believe that humanrights are equal regardless of their sexual orientation; then why do gays have to struggle for equal positions in the church, law, and psychological equality? Gay people, their families, and their friends are fighting for these rights. They want equality for gays including legal marriage, and marriage benefits that the regular man-woman marriages enjoy.
Gay marriage becomes an option because many gay couples want the equality of humanrights. Gays realize their rights are being abolished by the fact that they are not allowed to legally marry and enjoy the privileges as married couples. Only twelve states in America and District of Columbia legally allow gay marriage. The twelve states are: Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts,...
...Comparing Natural Rights Philosophy and Classical Republicanism
Instructions: Complete the Classical Republicanism side of the chart using information shared during the class lecture/notes and readings.
Natural Rights Philosophy
1. Stressed the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and property.
2. Stressed that human nature is such that individual behavior is motivated by self interest.
3. Stressed that society is a collection of individuals, each sharing the same right to pursue his or her own welfare.
4. Stressed that people’s opportunities should not be limited by the situation or group into which they are born.
5. Stressed that the main purpose of government should be to protect natural rights. The state existed to serve the interests of the individual.
6. Stressed that governments preserve natural rights by guaranteeing specific rights, such as civil rights (freedom of conscience and privacy) and political rights (vote or run for office).
Comparing Natural Rights Philosophy and Classical Republicanism
Instructions: Complete the Classical Republicanism side of the chart using information shared during the class lecture/notes/and readings.
Natural Rights Philosophy
...The right to vote or the right of free speech are aspects that, as citizens, we posses. Being born in America automatically gives you these rights and many more, and most importantly, you become a citizen. Now, with citizenship comes responsibility such as obeying the law and paying taxes. So if you follow these simple rules does this make you an effective citizen? This question, in my opinion, is almost impossible to answer for a number of reasons, which will be addressed in the following paper. It was extremely hard to come up with a clear cut answer as to what an effective citizen entails. I grappled with this term through many drafts and in the end came up with many conclusions about effective citizenship. Let me state my main point of this paper, and that is, effective citizenship entails so many things and the true meaning of a "good citizen" differs from person to person and from time to time. In this paper I will share with you how the idea of effective citizenship varies according to person and time and my personal beliefs on what is effective citizenship.
As an American citizen I have a responsibility to this country as a citizen. I also have rights because I am a citizen of this country. Firstly, as stated above, being a citizen of America entitles me to certain inalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (Jefferson, 352). Thomas Jefferson made...
...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...
Should Prisoners lose their Constitutional Rights while in Prison
As the number of prisoners increase within the prison systems today, a question has risen on should prisoners lose their constitutional rights while in prison. Constitutional rights are the rights that are granted to the citizens by the government. These rights can’t be taken away legally. The way a prisoner is treated is not based on their behaviors or what crime they’ve committed, but is left up to the administrators of the prison. “In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the federal courts began to oversee state prison systems and develop a body of law dealing with prisoners' rights. During the 1980s, however, a more conservative Supreme Court limited prisoners' rights, and, in the 1990s, Congress enacted laws that severely restricted litigation and post-conviction appeals by prisoners”. (freedictionary.com) for you who don’t know, a prisoner is anyone deprived, or disadvantaged of personal liberties against their will following their conviction of a crime. Though they can’t do everything that we know a free person can, they are still guaranteed a minimal or certain amount of rights. Before they are sentenced there’s a due process of law that must take place. If they’re found guilty, then is when they will sentenced and referred to as a prisoner; and some of their...
...Wheatley's poem, To the Right Honorable William…, evokes a spirit of an American vision that undermines that of Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence, by reminding the Earl of Dartmouth that all should have freedom but for those who have obtained it, should not forget to thank God. Thomas Jefferson's vision of America is almost the same as Wheatley's with one major difference, his version doesn't include African Americans nor for that matter, equality for women. The words expressed, written, and agreed upon by our founding fathers, regards the vital importance to being free from Britain but ignore that the word "man" can mean mankind, human and not just white male (Arnold 2) Wheatley's version of America has a major difference with Thomas Jefferson's vision of America, she speaks for equality of African Americans and yet as she illustrates, freedom should be thanked by acknowledging God (Lauter 1243).
In 1765 when the first echoing of dispute to British authority became obvious to Parliament, the frontier in America consisted of thirteen separate colonies. Each had a resident legislature which served on provincial soil, but which served only at the pleasure of a governor appointed by the crown. By July 2, 1776, in Philadelphia, the Continental Congress adopted the resolution, introduced by Richard Henry Lee and John Adams, which actually declared independence from Great Britain. It declared, in part, ``that these United Colonies are,...
Before answering the question “Do people have a right to do whatever they want? If not, in what sense can people have a right to liberty or personal freedom?” I think you have to examine the meanings of the words liberty and freedom. In a general sense, liberty usually means free to do something and freedom usually means free from something. To actually be able to answer the question above you would have to take a look at the situation at hand as a whole and then decipher these meanings and how they would apply to the situation.
Since the beginning of politics and government in our nation there has been a set of laws and standards set in place, starting with the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence states, “all men are created equal with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (The Jeffersonian Perspective, PP 1) This in a sense means that all men, and now women all have a chance to live their lives and be as free as they want to be as long as they are not disobeying the laws that are regarding their inalienable rights. Laws have been in place since the beginning of time as a set of guidelines to keep our society in order.
It is hard to reference the ideas of liberty and freedom and how they apply to business in today’s society all the way back to Thomas Jefferson. The ideas of liberty and freedom remain the same, but the world has changed so much from back...