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Essay on Human Rights

Human Rights

Human rights in which it is refers to the basic rights and freedom by which all humans are entitled. Political rights, civil rights are examples of rights and freedoms which are often thought of as human rights, such as the right to life and liberty, freedom of expression, and equality before the law and social, cultural and economic rights, involving the right to education, the right to participate in culture, the right to work. This also are international norms in a way that it could help to protect all individuals everywhere from severe political, social abuses and legal. It is not jus an international norm but as well as also a political norm in which it mainly deals on how should the people be treated by their governments and institutions. Applying mainly to interpersonal conduct, they are not ordinary moral norms, such as prohibitions of lying and violence. Conduct must be in some sense official to engage human rights as Thomas Pogge puts it ( Pogge 2000, 47). Rights against racial and sexual discrimination are primarily concerned to regulate private behavior, hence we must be careful here (Okin 1998). By rights against discrimination, governments are directed in two ways. In their actions and policies, they forbid governments to discriminate and they impose duties on governments to prohibit and discourage both private and public forms of discrimination. The rights of human are exist as moral and or legal rights. It exist as a shared norm of actual human moralities, as a legal right at the national level, as a justified moral norm supported by strong reasons, or as a legal right within international law. Then human rights are numerous rather than few. John Locke’s rights to life, liberty, and property were few and abstract (Locke 1689). Also, human rights are minimal standards, by which it is concerned with avoiding the terrible rather than with achieving the best. (Nickel 2006), their focus is to protect minimally good lives for all people. Rather than great aspirations and exalted ideals, the human rights concern the lower limits on tolerable human conduct, as suggested Henry Shue (Shue 1996). Policy matters open to democratic decision-making at the national and local levels, as minimal standards they leave most legal. This allows then to accommodate a great deal of cultural and institutional variation and to leave a large space for democratic decision-making at the national level. As it is also an international norms that which it covers all countries and all people living today. In giving human rights global reach, international law plays a crucial role. The right to vote, are held only by adult citizens; that there were some rights documents focus on vulnerable groups such as children, women, and indigenous people; and thus some rights, such as right against genocide, are group rights, hence we can say that human right are universal provided that we recognize those rights. Aside from those upper mention above, human rights is a norms which are high priority. Huamn rights are held matters of “paramount importance” and their violation” a grave affront to justice as Maurice Cranston held on it. (Cranston 1967). However, is doesn’t mean that we should take human rights to be absolute. Human rights should be understood as James Griffin says as “resistant to trade-offs, but not too resistant” (Griffin 2001b). With fundamentals human interests or powerful normative consideration, the high priority of human rights needs support from plausible connection. Then, in addition to those elements, it also require robust justifications that apply everywhere and support their high priority. As with this, if this is not existed, we cannot understand and withstand cultural diversity and national sovereignty. Although robust justifications are powerful but we need not to be understood as ones that are irresistible. Human rights though it is not necessarily in a strict sense but it’s a rights. What I mean is that one is have right holders which a person or agency having a particular right.

History of human rights
It covers a thousand of years, of the history of human rights and draws upon religious, cultural, philosophical and legal developments throughout recorded history. Concepts that may be considered to be human rights, several ancient documents and later religions and philosophies included a variety of concepts. Cyrus cylinder, notable amongst such documents of 539 BC, a declaration of intentions by the Persion emperor Cyrus the Great after his conquest of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. Particularly significant in the history of western law, the English Magna Carta of 1215, and hence significant in international law and constitutional law today. United States (1776) and France (1789), were the two major revolutions occurred during the 18th century, directing to the adoption of the United States Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen respectively. In addition to that, Virginia Declaration of Rights of 1776 set up a number of fundamental rights and freedoms. The basis of most modern interpretations of human rights and much of modern human rights law can be traced back to relatively recent history. Thomas Paine, John Stuart Mill and Hegel were the one who followed by developments in philosophy of human rights by philosophers, during the 18th and 19th centuries. The term human rights cam e into use sometime between Paine’s The Rights of Man and William Lloyd Garrison’s 1831 writings in The Liberator saying he was trying to enlist his readers in “the great cause of human rights”. To achieve profound social changes over the course of the 20th century in the name of human rights, many groups and movements have managed to achieve it. In North America and Western Europe, labor unions brought about laws granting workers the right to strike, forbidding or regulating child labor and establishing minimum work conditions. In many countries, National Liberated Movements succeeded in driving out colonial powers. Mahatma Gandhi’s movement was one of the most influential to free his native India from British rule. Religious minorities and movements by long-oppressed racial succeeded in many parts of the world, among them the civil rights movements, and more recent diverse identity politics movements. In 1864, International Committee of the Red Cross was established, Lieber Code and the first of the Geneva Conventions in 1864 laid the foundations of International humanitarian law, thus it enhance following the two World Wars. The huge losses of life, the World Wars and gross abuses of human rights that took place during them were a driving force behind the development of modern human rights instruments. In 1919, the League of nations was established at the negotiations over the Treaty of Versailles following the end of World War I. Yalta Conference in 1945, the Allied Powers agreed to create a new body to supplant the League’s role. Since its creation, United Nations has played an important role in international human rights.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(UDHR) Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a non-binding declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. Partly in response to the barbarism of World War II. United Declaration of Human rights is now considered to be a central component of international customary law, although it is a non-binding resolution which may be invoked under appropriate circumstances by national and other judiciaries. To promote a number of human, civil, economic and social rights, asserting these rights are part of the “foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”. To limit the behavior of states and press upon them duties to their citizens following the model of the rights- duty duality, the declaration was the first international legal effort. With Eleanor Roosevelt as chair, who began to discuss an International Bill of rights in1947, as the UDHR was framed by members of the Human Rights Commission. But the members of the commission did not immediately agree on the form. There are two distinct and different covenants that were bifurcated of the Universal Declaration, a Covenants on Civil and Political rights and another Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
State and Non-State Actors
Non-State actors are political parties, companies, National Government Organization (NGO’s), informal groups and individuals. They can also commit human rights abuses, Under International Humanitarian Law, which applies to individuals; they are not generally subject to human rights law other than that. The Human Rights Act 1998 (UK), as certain national instruments, impose human rights obligations on certain entities which are not traditionally considered as part of government (“public authorities”). Multi-national companies had played an increasingly large role in the world, thus responsible for a large number of human rights abuses. Although that surrounding multi-national companies is both controversial and ill-defined, the legal and moral environment surrounding the actions of governments is reasonably well develop. The primary responsibility of multi-national companies’ is to their shareholders, which not to those affected by their actions. Some of the states within which they operate, such companies may be larger than the economies, and can wield significant economic and political power. With regards to human rights, and national legislation is very variable, no international treaties exist to specifically cover the behavior of companies. Jean Ziegler, special rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on the right to food stated in a report in 2003, transnational corporations with their growing power and their extension of power through privatization, deregulation and the rolling back of the state, thus it is now the time to develop binding legal norms that hold corporations to human rights standards and circumscribe potential abuses of their position of power. A draft which is Norms on the responsibilities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises with regard to human rights, in August 2003 the human tights commission’s sub-commission on the promotion and protection of human rights produced a draft.


Alexander, Fran. 1998. Encyclopedia of World History. Oxford University Press.
Alston, Philip (2005). "Ships Passing in the Night: The Current State of the
Human Rights and Development Debate seen through the Lens of the
Millennium Development Goals". Human Rights Quarterly. Vol. 27 (No. 3)
Barzilai, Gad. 2003. Communities and Law: Politics and Cultures of Legal
Identities. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Donnelly, Jack. 2003. Universal Human Rights in Theory & Practice. 2nd ed.
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Forsythe, David P. 2000. Human Rights in International Relations. Cambridge:
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Robertson, A. H. et al. 1996. Human Rights in the World: An Introduction to the
Study of the International Protection of Human Rights. Manchester
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