The philosophy of human rights
Rights and the Human Person
Rights are due to a man, precisely because he is a person and, therefore, possessing worth and dignity. Man is not merely a piece of matter, a robot, a tool, a bundle of drives, or a meaningless question mark as some philosophers would reduce him to. He is a person, he has the power to think, judge, and reason (CONSCIENCE); he is the master of himself and of his actions; he has a supreme purpose which transcends this life. From the Christian viewpoint, he is of infinite value because he is made to the image and likeness of GOD, being endowed with an immortal soul destined for everlasting life with GOD. By virtue then of his human nature (or by virtue of the natural law), by virtue of his supreme worth and dignity as a person, man is the subject (DUER) of rights and possesses rights. Thus, since man is born and destined by nature to attain his purpose (TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH God), man has the right to live and work out his destiny. Thus, since he is a creature, he has the right to worship his Creator in accordance with the dictates of his conscience. Thus, since he is by nature a social being, he has the natural right to have and support a family, to a place in society, and so forth.
Importance of the Doctrine of Human Rights
The moral doctrine of the dignity of man and his consequent rights is extremely important to the social order; for as we shall show later. It is this very principle of human rights which determines and defines the proper relations that should exist among members of society; as for example the relations between the individual citizen and the state, between employer and employee, landlord and tenant, and even between parents and children in a family. In industrial ethics, involving capital and labor relations, for instance, there is a question as to how the employer should treat his workers? The answer is derived from the doctrine of human rights; that the working man is a man, with the dignity and rights of a human being, and, therefore, he should be treated as a human person, not as a mere tool or machine, an animal or slave hired merely for the amassment of wealth and profit. In the question of the relation between man and the state, it is again the doctrine of human rights which precisely makes up the world of difference between democrac and communism or dictatorship; and the question as to which doctrine is right is the very source of the present conflict that threatens to destroy our present civilization?
Indeed, the whole of the social and the moral order; or the entire science of ethics—individual, social, industrial, and international, may be summed up in terms of the rights of man and his duties- The importance of has principle of natural human rights can hardly be overemphasized: it is the basis of equality or justice on which lies the foundation of democracy and social ethics. The lowliest of the poor servants is equal to the king or the highest official of the land because they have the same fundamental rights. It governs the relation which exist between rulers and ruled; employer and employee, capital and labor. For instance, the humblest of citizens has rights prior and superior to the state, rights which the state can never deprive him of. The least paid laborer, likewise, is a man and, therefore, should live with the dignity of the human being; he should not be required to work under such conditions as to impair his health or his moral character; he has the right to a wage sufficient to support himself and his family. He is a man and, therefore, should be treated as a human being, not as mere tool or a mere cog in the wheel of industry.
Reality and Justification of Rights
Some thinkers deny the existence of rights on the ground that the concept of right is merely an abstraction, not applicable and useful in the concrete, practical world of human affairs. Burke, Taine, and many others have condemned the...
...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 twentieth...
...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...
...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...
...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...
What are HumanRights
What are humanrights?
Humanrights 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 humanrights without discrimination. T hese rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible. Universal humanrights are often expressed and guaranteed by law, in the forms of treaties, customary international law, general principles and other sources of international law. International humanrights law lays down obligations of Governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promote and protect humanrights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups.
Universal and inalienable
T he principle of universality of humanrights is the cornerstone of international humanrights law. T his principle, as first emphasized in the Universal Declaration on HumanRights in 1948, has been reiterated in numerous international humanrights conventions, declarations, and resolutions. T he 1993 Vienna World...
...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 the human...
...Humanrights refer to the natural or basic rights and freedoms to which all people are entitled to. Traditionally, the rights and freedoms of citizens were protected by an Act of Parliament or by the judges in developing the common law. Prior to World War II, the convention for the protection of humanright and freedom was drafted in 1950s by the Council of Europe. It was drafted because of disgust with fascism and an anxiety to protect basic freedom. On 1953, it has developed to become an international treaty, which all 47 countries of the continent of Europe are bound by the European Convention of HumanRights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950, also known as ECHR. United Kingdom (UK) was one of the first countries to sign the Convention in November 1950. Although it entered into force in the UK on 3rd Sept 1953, UK chose not to incorporate its terms into domestic law. Therefore UK was only bound to ECHR on the matter of international law and not within the domestic legal system. During 1960s, there are few parties concerned had campaigned for the enactment for HumanRights Act in UK. These parties are the commentators and public interest groups. However, due to several criticisms and the reluctant of UK government to pass such legislation, the HRA did not enact until 1998. Though the convention did not incorporate into domestic law, UK...
...Humanrights in today’s world have become pivotal to the functioning of our society as a whole, largely due to the increased occurrences which in turn have led to greater awareness and repudiation of the same in the world community. In present times the humanrights field encompasses a broad range of civil, political, economic and social rights which shows its all pervasive nature, and the accountability for the violation of these rights by state and non-state actors alike. The scope of humanrights in today’s day and age has thus widened considerably as gradually the individual becomes an end in himself and is recognized as being of primordial concern.
Humanrights law is a subset in the field of humanrights. Humanrights are what define a society; hence the humanrights law takes primacy over all the laws. There is nothing more important than the development of humanrights in an evolving society
Humanrights and criminal law are closely inter - related. My personal interest lies towards humanrights as under the criminal law. Today we see all kinds of crimes being committed- state or non-state, say torture of prisoners, child labour, or most importantly...