International human rights in context pdf


B. The Global Framework for Contemporary Human Rights Discourse: . The Broader European Institutional Context: The EU and the OSCE strategic. pdf. International Human Rights [Philip Alston, Ryan Goodman] on * FREE* International Human Rights in Context: Law, Politics, Morals · (11). Steiner, Alston & Goodman, International Human Rights in Context, pp. Charles Beitz , available at

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International Human Rights In Context Pdf

Steiner, Alston & Goodman: International Human Rights in Context 3e. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). 2. International Human Rights in Context presents diverse materials consisting of extensive authors' text and questions; sharply Name: Introductory INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW IN A GLOBAL CONTEXT guage of emancipation. It is as if human rights were called upon to fill the void left by socialist.

Other countries only gained sovereignty and joined the United Nations later, [31] which explains the relatively small number of states entitled to the historical vote, and in no way reflects opposition to the universal principles. The commemoration is observed by individuals, community and religious groups, human rights organizations, parliaments, governments, and the United Nations. Decadal commemorations are often accompanied by campaigns to promote awareness of the Declaration and human rights. In its preamble, governments commit themselves and their people to progressive measures that secure the universal and effective recognition and observance of the human rights set out in the Declaration. Eleanor Roosevelt supported the adoption of the Declaration as a declaration rather than as a treaty because she believed that it would have the same kind of influence on global society as the United States Declaration of Independence had within the United States. Even though it is not legally binding, the Declaration has been adopted in or has influenced most national constitutions since It has also served as the foundation for a growing number of national laws, international laws, and treaties, as well as for a growing number of regional, sub national, and national institutions protecting and promoting human rights. The third paragraph of the preamble of the Declaration reads as follows: "Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law. For this reason, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a fundamental constitutive document of the United Nations. In addition, many international lawyers [40] [41] [42] [43] believe that the Declaration forms part of customary international law [44] and is a powerful tool in applying diplomatic and moral pressure to governments that violate any of its articles. The United Nations International Conference on Human Rights advised that the Declaration "constitutes an obligation for the members of the international community" to all persons.

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Property and Human Rights in a Global Context

Actions Shares. Embeds 0 No embeds. No notes for slide. Book details Author: Philip Alston Pages: Oxford University Press Language: English ISBN Description this book The definitive work in the field, International Human Rights provides a comprehensive analysis of this wide and diverse subject area.

Download here http: If you want to download this book, click link in the last page 5. War Resisters International has stated that the right to conscientious objection to military service is primarily derived from—but not yet explicit in—Article 18 of the UDHR: the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. It is 'The Right to Refuse to Kill'. The AAA warned that the document would be defining universal rights from a Western paradigm which would be unfair to countries outside of that scope.

They further argued that the West's history of colonialism and evangelism made them a problematic moral representative for the rest of the world. They proposed three notes for consideration with underlying themes of cultural relativism : "1.

International human rights law

The individual realizes his personality through his culture, hence respect for individual differences entails a respect for cultural differences", "2. Respect for differences between cultures is validated by the scientific fact that no technique of qualitatively evaluating cultures has been discovered", and "3.

Standards and values are relative to the culture from which they derive so that any attempt to formulate postulates that grow out of the beliefs or moral codes of one culture must to that extent detract from the applicability of any Declaration of Human Rights to mankind as a whole. This is of the outmost importance for human rights practioners. Although the rhetoric of human rights is very powerful, most of their work is based on emphasizing the legally binding obligations of states and other actors regarding international human rights law.

However, the human rights movement is much broader than the international legal arena. There is an increasing trend to use human rights language as a legitimating moral discourse that evokes universality and consensus of fundamental values among otherwise competing traditions on a shared minimum standard of human dignity. However, most of the institutions and states that do not accept such legally binding obligations do not deny the morality of these claims as ethical entitlements of all civilized members of the community.

As a consequence, the discussions about whether economic and social rights create legal or moral obligations are particularly relevant to the poverty and human rights discussion. Unfortunately this is not always clear in the positions of those who worked on the issue, particularly in the UN context. Those positions often mix political declarations with legal binding norms when referring to the links between poverty and human rights, creating more confusion than clarification.

The second is to consider freedom from poverty as an independent human right. Finally, poverty is seen as a cause or consequence of the violation of some human rights. These three approaches are not incompatible. In fact, sometimes they overlap. However, there are clear differences among them, especially in relation to the legal obligations of states and other actors.

Thus, for the sake of conceptual clarity, I have considered it useful to divide their analysis into three categories. Poverty itself as a denial or violation of human rights This approach sees poverty as incompatible with human dignity.

Given that human dignity is the foundation for human rights, poverty is therefore a denial of all human rights.

I find some difficulties in this theoretical correspondence. First, the concept of basic capabilities is contingent i. Second, the content of each basic capability is also contingent i. The OHCHR implicitly recognize this conflict arguing that although there is some degree of relativity in the concept of poverty; from empirical observation it is possible to identify certain basic capabilities that would be common to all.

Anticipating some of these criticisms, the OHCHR argues that the human rights definition of a social phenomenon does not need to be made in reference to all human rights in order not to violate the principle of indivisibility. This is perfectly logical. Having a contingent definition of the basic capabilities that constitute poverty is acceptable.

However once you have entered into the human rights discourse, the catalogue of rights is not contingent upon different community preferences, life styles or resources. My second concern with the proposed conceptual equivalence refers to the definition of the content of basic capabilities and human rights.

The using of this relative concept of basic capabilities as equivalent to human rights may be counterproductive in this attempt.

In this respect, the OHCHR argue that while the human rights approach imposes an obligation on duty-holders to work towards poverty reduction, it does not make the unreasonable demand that all human rights must be realized immediately, but progressively and subject to the availability of resources.

Accordingly, the precise obligations arising from some human rights vary over time in relation to the same State progressive realization and from one State to another because of differing resource availability. Although this is true, I still find a conceptual difficulty here. The concept of progressive realization does not mean that the content of the rights are variable.

Those progressive obligations are the ones that may vary from state to state.

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My view is that this valuable intent to close the gap between the language of both movements goes too far and can be counterproductive for the claim of universality and equal enforceability of economic, social and cultural rights. As we will see bellow in II. In this approach, the moral claim is clearly differentiated from the legal claim; so I will analyze them separately. Freedom from poverty as a moral human right Vizard argues that many influential political theories -both in the libertarian and the liberal traditions- failed to include poverty in the characterization of human rights.

They have built an exclusively negative theory of freedoms and human rights. Although freedom from poverty could fit within a theory of negative freedom e. The liberal tradition very much influenced human rights practice and theory, and it is not surprising that poverty was conceived, in the best case scenario, as a national problem of social injustice but not as a violation of universal human rights. However, liberalism is not the unique philosophical foundation of human rights. Indeed, it is not possible to find one specific philosophical foundation of human rights.

Not even its cornerstone, the universal Declaration of Human Rights, has an unique philosophical foundation because it was the result of a political compromise not a self-evident truth. In this sense, the theories grouped here are of utmost importance to contest the liberal assumptions related to poverty and to advocate the inclusion of freedom from poverty as a fundamental human rights concern.

Sen builds a broad theory that incorporates positive obligations of assistance and aid towards the global poor and supports a sub-class of fundamental freedoms and human rights that focuses directly on the valuable things that people can do and be. There is not doubt that those theories will have a major impact in the development of a legal human right to be free from poverty in the future.

Especially since, as I will argue in the following section, the legal human right to be free from poverty needs further development. There are several versions of this approach that I will summarize bellow. A legal human right to be free from extreme poverty The former UN Independent Expert for Human Rights and Extreme Poverty argued that poverty is not to be defined as the absence of human rights, as these two concepts are not equivalent this position will be analyzed in the third approach, poverty as a cause or consequence of human rights violation.

However, when the analysis is narrowed to extreme poverty, he argues that there is a legally binding obligation upon states to end poverty. Extreme poverty is extreme deprivation of income, capabilities and social exclusion.

This is problematic in two senses. First, because it is far from clear that by reducing the number of people involved in the concept of a human right violation, governments will be more willing to accept their obligations. In fact in the same report the Independent Expert recognizes that the main reason why poverty eradication programs have not been adopted is that countries have shown no political will and because of groups pressing for competing objectives. However, I think it is unacceptable if the tradeoffs are made in a normative claim such as here.

It is acceptable to recognize the need to prioritize when allocating resources as a matter of policy, but it is unacceptable to make the definition of a human rights violation dependant on this tradeoff. Even in the hypothesis that his definition of extreme poverty is accurate from a human rights perspective, I do not think it is acceptable to justify a normative claim for doubtful pragmatic reasons.

I am not convinced by the idea that the best way to eradicate poverty, and the human rights violations connected to it, is to establish a new definition of poverty. I agree that making a human rights claim and defining legally binding obligations for states and other actors is desirable and a compelling resource to the fight against poverty.

However, I think what is needed here is conceptual clarity of the links between two already developed fields and not a re-definition of them. Poverty as the violation of the right to development In a recent paper, Sengupta 73 argued in favor of considering poverty as a violation of the human right to development. That right has been recognized by the international community in the UN Declaration on the Right to Development and in the Vienna Declaration of , but it has not been codified in a legally binding document.

It helps to determine that the right to development is violated when some of the component rights have regressed or deteriorated. At the same time, it avoids defining poverty in unreasonably large human rights terms i.

Lastly, the obligation of the duty-holder which is to undertake a development policy that will progressively realize the component rights without regressing any of them is realizable in a progressive way and it is more clearly identifiable. Although this is a very compelling argument, the problems with this position are straight forward.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

It is already difficult to reach international consensus regarding the scope, core content and nature of many economic and social rights which are codified in international human rights law and have monitoring bodies which are slowly building their substance.

It is therefore much more difficult to make the case for the right to development, a discussion which is not without difficulties in the international community and has been extremely politicized.

However, it is clear that there is a right to development recognized in international human rights law and; given that in the future agreement is reached about its scope, clear obligations, duty bearers and duty holders this approach has an important potential to explain the link between poverty and human rights.

Poverty as the violation of the right to an adequate standard of living Vizard also makes a legal claim about poverty as a human rights violation.

Vizard claims that the capability approach can be used as a conceptual framework by international human rights law practitioners to deal with the complexities of poverty and its implications for the enjoyment of human rights. In this way, both the list of basic capabilities and their content would have universality through international human rights norms. If this proposal is adopted, the list of basic capabilities will not be contingent upon different states preferences any more but will be specified by the human rights catalogue which is binding on that state.

The content of those basic capabilities in turn, will be specified by international human rights law standards. I believe that this is a very attractive proposal and one that should be developed forward. However, the obvious difficulty here is that the set of standards and indicators to measure state compliance in relation to economic and social rights, which are necessary to give universal content to some basic capabilities, is notably underdeveloped.

Another issue to be developed further in this theory is the link of poverty with the violation of several civil and political rights. This is particularly important for the human rights community. It should be acknowledged that one of the main difficulties for human rights specialists is the lack of analytical tools to deal with complicated policy questions related to social and economic rights.

Such questions call for interdisciplinary work, incorporating notions of economics, sociology and public policy into a human rights analysis.

Poverty as a cause or consequence of human rights denials or violations This third conceptual approach conceives poverty as the cause of many human rights violations, mainly economic and social rights, but also civil and political rights.

Neither is it considered a necessary result of human rights violations, pointing out however that some human rights violations lead to poverty. However, if human rights are realized there may not be any poverty.

This position seems to be more realistic and legally accurate than the two previous one. It is clear that civil, political, economic and social rights will not all be fulfilled in a poverty scenario. However, with the present development of international human rights law and standards, it seems reasonable to require empirical and analytical evidence to establish that one specific deprivation, which is clearly characterized as poverty, is at the same time a human rights violation.

The analytical effort needed is to prove that the state had violated a concrete human rights obligation that was feasible and could have had a positive impact. In that respect, it is indisputable that there are links between human rights violations and the complex social, cultural, political and economic aspects of the phenomenon of poverty.

As a consequence, the development and the human rights field are beginning to overlap.

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