An evaluation of the responsibility the international community has a responsibility to protect citizens against the gross human rights abuses of their states.
Juliette Lovius, Dip Teach, MA Human Rights
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 human rights 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 such, have a responsibility to protect citizens against gross human rights abuses in any circumstances, but especially when those abuses are perpetrated by the mechanism they trust most, their own state.
To determine the scope of the claim of responsibility for the protection of the world’s citizens, it is important to define what is meant by ‘international community’. In the modern world, there are a variety of multi-national organisations, founded in both geographical and political distinctions. In the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, twenty-seven European countries are represented along with the United States (US) (http://nato.int). The European Union is comprised of largely the same list of countries, minus the US (http://europa.eu). The African Union comprises of 28 countries from that continent (http://au.int). Australia itself is a member of a number of international organisations and a signatory to international treaties including the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Trade Organisation, the G20 and the United Nations (UN) (http://dfat.gov.au). In addition, there are a myriad of Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), some operating with the support of their local government and some opposed. Despite cultural differences, clearly our modern world has a sense of global community. The term ‘international community’ defies political, religious or geographical definitions. The conglomerate of the approximately 193 countries (World Fact Book, 2012) of the world potentially constitute the international community. Page 1
The phrase ‘responsibility to protect citizens’, infers an accountability and the requirement for a response of some kind. While some may distinguish between duty and responsibility, for the purpose of this discussion, responsibility and duty are defined as synonyms of the same concept: a moral requirement to respond. Gross human rights abuses include such atrocities as genocide, near-genocide, forcing people into slavery, rape, forcibly removing children from families or people from their homes and systematic mass persecution.
When referring to the state of the citizen, the term is defined as the governing authority of the citizen’s country.
The international community clearly has a responsibility to act on behalf of citizens when gross human rights are being perpetrated against them by their own state, however the method used to intervene in these cases is a topic causing dissension within the international community. One of the most significant contributors to the discussion surrounding international intervention is...
...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...
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...
...The Creation of the
Universal Declaration of HumanRights
Though humanrights as a whole (or for most of history, the idea of humanrights) have been present since the beginnings of civilization, its prevalence as a “normal” and “obvious” component of international relations did not emerge until much recently, with the ratification of the Universal Declaration of HumanRights (UDHR) in 1948. The Universal Declaration of HumanRights was created by the United Nations in order for all people in all nations to recognize each individual’s humanity, and the equal rights that are given to them on the basis of that humanity. As the UDHR’s preamble articulates, the Document aims for the “recognition of inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family”, grounded by the “foundation of freedom, justice, and peace”. 1 In other words, no human is excluded from possession of humanrights; regardless of age, sex, gender, ethnicity, religion, or class, so long as one is a member of the human race, they are inherently entitled to the rights listed in the UDHR.
Today, the UDHR, legitimized by the United Nations in 1948, is widely regarded as one of the most important documents of the...
...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...
...HumanRights – Child Recruitment
Across the world tens of thousands of boys and girls are denied their basic humanrights, these children are abducted from their homes, schools or on the streets. Child recruitment is defined by the Paris Principles and Guidelines on Children Associated with Armed Forces or Armed Groups as ” the use of any children under the age of 18 who has been recruited by a state or non-state armed group to be used to participate in combat or in other circumstances used as spies, messengers, servants, human shields, suicide bombings or to lay landmines”. Many of the girls that have been abducted for recruitment are subjected to sexual assault and they are all at risk of death. Child recruitment takes place in over 18 different countries and it has become a global issue with many countries beginning to take widespread action. When evaluating the effectiveness of legal and non legal measures in addressing child recruitment both domestically and internationally it becomes clear that international recognition and enforceability is limited whilst in Australia there are many mechanisms to ensure the problem is contained.
Internationally Child Recruitment remains a large problem. Whilst it is recognised as a problem a lack of enforceability means that organisations such as UNICEF ( The United Nations Children Fund) have little or no power in countries that accept...
...Humanrights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Humanrights 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 humanrights 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 humanrights states, "if the public discourse of peacetime global society can be said to have a common moral language, it is that of humanrights." Despite this, the strong claims made by the doctrine of humanrights continue to provoke considerable skepticism and debates about the content, nature and justifications of humanrights 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...
...exterminated by Hitler’s Nazi regime, the Universal Declaration of HumanRights was adopted and proclaimed on December 10th 1948 to prevent a another holocaust and to achieve a universal standard of humanrights. Over the last sixty years various regional and international treaties and conventions have been adopted to protect and advance humanrights towards universality. Furthermore, it equally important to mention that there has been a western dominated movement to universalise humanrights. Nevertheless, Universal Human remains a contentious issue of debate among intellectual and policy circles. The purpose of this essay is to outline a few of the prominent issues and problems that are associated with the concept of Universal humanrights.
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” (UDHR. 1948. P.2) Humanrights in its contemporary perception is a fairly recent concept. In fact the Universal Declaration of HumanRights which is often cited as the corner stone of humanrights only came into force following World War II and the most “systematic and blatant” violation of humanrights in record history that was the Holocaust...