rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous. promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of all individuals or groups. 23 (), aracer.mobi This illustrated edition of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (UDHR) is published by the United Nations in Arabic, Chinese, English,. French, Russian.
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Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as part of the emergence of the United . at aracer.mobi Introduction. This paper offers a brief overview of human rights for college-level read- ers. Throughout it, readers click on underlined text to learn much. Understanding human rights - WHO QualityRights training to act, unite and aracer.mobi
Some philosophers advocate very short lists of human rights but nevertheless accept plurality see Cohen , Ignatieff All living humans—or perhaps all living persons—have human rights. One does not have to be a particular kind of person or a member of some specific nation or religion to have human rights. Included in the idea of universality is some conception of independent existence. People have human rights independently of whether they are found in the practices, morality, or law of their country or culture.
This idea of universality needs several qualifications, however. Second, the human right to freedom of movement may be taken away temporarily from a person who is convicted of committing a serious crime. And third, some human rights treaties focus on the rights of vulnerable groups such as minorities, women, indigenous peoples, and children. If human rights did not have high priority they would not have the ability to compete with other powerful considerations such as national stability and security, individual and national self-determination, and national and global prosperity.
High priority does not mean, however, that human rights are absolute. Further, there seems to be priority variation within human rights. For example, when the right to life conflicts with the right to privacy, the latter will generally be outweighed. Should human rights be defined as inalienable? Inalienability does not mean that rights are absolute or can never be overridden by other considerations.
Rather it means that its holder cannot lose it temporarily or permanently by bad conduct or by voluntarily giving it up. It is doubtful that all human rights are inalienable in this sense.
Perhaps it is sufficient to say that human rights are very hard to lose. For a stronger view of inalienability, see Donnelly , Meyers Should human rights be defined as minimal rights? A number of philosophers have proposed the view that human rights are minimal in the sense of not being too numerous a few dozen rights rather than hundreds or thousands , and not being too demanding See Joshua Cohen , Ignatieff , and Rawls Their views suggest that human rights are—or should be—more concerned with avoiding the worst than with achieving the best.
When human rights are modest standards they leave most legal and policy matters open to democratic decision-making at the national and local levels.
This allows human rights to have high priority, to accommodate a great deal of cultural and institutional variation among countries, and to leave open a large space for democratic decision-making at the national level. Still, there is no contradiction in the idea of an extremely expansive list of human rights and hence minimalism is not a defining feature of human rights for criticism of the view that human rights are minimal standards see Brems and Raz Minimalism is best seen as a normative prescription for what international human rights should be.
Moderate forms of minimalism have considerable appeal, but not as part of the definition of human rights. Philosophers coming to human rights theory from moral philosophy sometimes assume that human rights must be, at bottom, moral rather than legal rights. There is no contradiction, however, in people saying that they believe in human rights, but only when they are legal rights at the national or international levels.
Theorists who insist that the only human rights are legal rights may find, however, that the interpretations they can give of universality, independent existence, and high priority are weak. Should human rights be defined in terms of serving some sort of political function?
Instead of seeing human rights as grounded in some sort of independently existing moral reality, a theorist might see them as the norms of a highly useful political practice that humans have constructed or evolved. Such a view would see the idea of human rights as playing various political roles at the national and international levels and as serving thereby to protect urgent human and national interests. These political roles might include providing standards for international evaluations of how governments treat their people and specifying when use of economic sanctions or military intervention is permissible see Section 2.
Political theorists would add to the four defining elements suggested above some set of political roles or functions. This kind of view may be plausible for the very salient international human rights that have emerged in international law and politics in the last fifty years.
But human rights can exist and function in contexts not involving international scrutiny and intervention such as a world with only one state. Imagine, for example, that an asteroid strike had killed everyone in all countries except New Zealand, leaving it the only state in existence. Surely the idea of human rights as well as many dimensions of human rights practice could continue in New Zealand, even though there would be no international relations, law, or politics for an argument of this sort see Tasioulas And if in the same scenario a few people were discovered to have survived in Iceland and were living without a government or state, New Zealanders would know that human rights governed how these people should be treated even though they were stateless.
How deeply the idea of human rights must be rooted in international law and practice should not be settled by definitional fiat. We can allow, however, that the sorts of political functions that Rawls and Beitz describe are typically served by international human rights today.
The Existence and Grounds of Human Rights 2. A philosophical question about human rights that occurs to many people is how it is possible for such rights to exist. Several possible ways are explored in this section. The most obvious way in which human rights come into existence is as norms of national and international law that are created by enactment, custom, and judicial decisions.
At the international level, human rights norms exist because of treaties that have turned them into international law. For example, the human right not to be held in slavery or servitude in Article 4 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms Council of Europe, and in Article 8 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights UN exists because these treaties establish it.
For example, the right against slavery exists in the United States because the 13th Amendment to the U. Constitution prohibits slavery and servitude. When rights are embedded in international law we speak of them as human rights; but when they are enacted in national law we more frequently describe them as civil or constitutional rights. Enactment in national and international law is clearly one of the ways in which human rights exist. But many have suggested that this cannot be the only way.
If human rights exist only because of enactment, their availability is contingent on domestic and international political developments. Many people have looked for a way to support the idea that human rights have roots that are deeper and less subject to human decisions than legal enactment. One version of this idea is that people are born with rights, that human rights are somehow innate or inherent in human beings see Morsink One way that a normative status could be inherent in humans is by being God-given.
The U. On this view, God, the supreme lawmaker, enacted some basic human rights. Rights plausibly attributed to divine decree must be very general and abstract life, liberty, etc. But contemporary human rights are specific and many of them presuppose contemporary institutions e. Even if people are born with God-given natural rights, we need to explain how to get from those general and abstract rights to the specific rights found in contemporary declarations and treaties.
Billions of people do not believe in the God of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. If people do not believe in God, or in the sort of god that prescribes rights, and if you want to base human rights on theological beliefs you must persuade these people of a rights-supporting theological view.
This is likely to be even harder than persuading them of human rights. Legal enactment at the national and international levels provides a far more secure status for practical purposes.
Human rights could also exist independently of legal enactment by being part of actual human moralities.
All human groups seem to have moralities in the sense of imperative norms of interpersonal behavior backed by reasons and values. These moralities contain specific norms for example, a prohibition of the intentional murder of an innocent person and specific values for example, valuing human life. If almost all human groups have moralities containing norms prohibiting murder, these norms could partially constitute the human right to life.
The view that human rights are norms found in all human moralities is attractive but has serious difficulties. Although worldwide acceptance of human rights has been increasing rapidly in recent decades see 4. Universal Human Rights in a World of Diverse Beliefs and Practices , worldwide moral unanimity about human rights does not exist. Human rights declarations and treaties are intended to change existing norms, not just describe the existing moral consensus.
Yet another way of explaining the existence of human rights is to say that they exist most basically in true or justified ethical outlooks. On this account, to say that there is a human right against torture is mainly to assert that there are strong reasons for believing that it is always morally wrong to engage in torture and that protections should be provided against it.
This approach would view the Universal Declaration as attempting to formulate a justified political morality for the whole planet. It was not merely trying to identify a preexisting moral consensus; it was rather trying to create a consensus that could be supported by very plausible moral and practical reasons. This approach requires commitment to the objectivity of such reasons. It holds that just as there are reliable ways of finding out how the physical world works, or what makes buildings sturdy and durable, there are ways of finding out what individuals may justifiably demand of each other and of governments.
Even if unanimity about human rights is currently lacking, rational agreement is available to humans if they will commit themselves to open-minded and serious moral and political inquiry. If moral reasons exist independently of human construction, they can—when combined with true premises about current institutions, problems, and resources—generate moral norms different from those currently accepted or enacted.
The Universal Declaration seems to proceed on exactly this assumption see Morsink One problem with this view is that existence as good reasons seems a rather thin form of existence for human rights. But perhaps we can view this thinness as a practical rather than a theoretical problem, as something to be remedied by the formulation and enactment of legal norms.
The best form of existence for human rights would combine robust legal existence with the sort of moral existence that comes from widespread acceptance based on strong moral and practical reasons. Such justifications should also be capable of providing starting points for justifying a plausible list of specific rights on starting points and making the transition to specific rights see Nickel ; see also Section 3 Which Rights are Human Rights?
Further, justifying international human rights is likely to require additional steps Buchanan These requirements make the construction of a good justification for human rights a daunting task. Approaches to justification include grounding human rights in prudential reasons, practical reasons, moral rights Thomson , human well-being Sumner , Talbott , fundamental interests Beitz , human needs Miller , agency and autonomy Gewirth , Griffin dignity Gilabert , Kateb , Tasioulas , fairness Nickel , equality, and positive freedom Gould , Nussbaum , Sen Justifications can be based on just one of these types of reasons or they can be eclectic and appeal to several Tasioulas.
Grounding human rights in human agency and autonomy has had strong advocates in recent decades. For example, in Human Rights: Essays on Justification and Application Alan Gewirth offered an agency-based justification for human rights.
He argued that denying the value of successful agency and action is not an option for a human being; having a life requires regarding the indispensable conditions of agency and action as necessary goods. Abstractly described, these conditions of successful agency are freedom and well-being. Having demanded that others respect her freedom and well-being, consistency requires her to recognize and respect the freedom and well-being of other persons. Since all other agents are in exactly the same position as she is of needing freedom and well-being, consistency requires her to recognize and respect their claims to freedom and well-being.
These two abstract rights work alone and together to generate equal specific human rights of familiar sorts Gewirth , , From a few hard-to-dispute facts and a principle of consistency he thinks we can derive two generic human rights—and from them, a list of more determinate rights.
Accordingly, the justifying generic function that Griffin assigns to human rights is protecting normative agency while taking account of practicalities.
He thinks that tying all human rights to the single value of normative agency while taking account of practicalities is the best way to remedy this malady. Beyond this, Griffin takes human rights to include many rights in interpersonal morality. Unfortunately, accepting and following this proposal is unlikely to yield effective barriers to proliferation or a sharp line between human rights and other moral norms. Two philosophers who have developed political conceptions are discussed in this section, namely, John Rawls and Charles Beitz for helpful discussions of political conceptions and their alternatives see the collections of essays in Etinson and Maliks and Schaffer Advocates of political conceptions of human rights are often agnostic or skeptical about universal moral rights while rejecting wholesale moral skepticism and thinking possible the provision of sound normative justifications for the content, normativity, and roles of human rights for challenges to purely political views see Gilabert , Liao and Etinson , Sangiovanni , and Waldron John Rawls introduced the idea of a political conception of human rights in his book, The Law of Peoples Rawls The basic idea is that we can understand what human rights are and what their justification requires by identifying the main roles they play in some political sphere.
In The Law of Peoples this sphere is international relations and, secondarily, national politics. Rawls says that human rights are a special class of urgent rights.
He seems to accept the definition of human rights given in Section 1 above. But Rawls was working on a narrower project than Gewirth and Griffin. The international human rights he was concerned with are also defined by their roles in helping define in various ways the normative structure of the global system. They provide content to other normative concepts such as legitimacy, sovereignty, permissible intervention, and membership in good standing in the international community.
According to Rawls the justificatory process for human rights is analogous to the one for principles of justice at the national level that he described in A Theory of Justice Rawls Instead of asking about the terms of cooperation that free and equal citizens would agree to under fair conditions, we ask about the terms of cooperation that free and equal peoples or countries would agree to under fair conditions.
These representatives are imagined to see the countries they represent as free rightfully independent and equal equally worthy of respect and fair treatment. Rawls holds that under these conditions these representatives will unanimously choose principles for the global order that include some basic human rights for further explanation of the global original position see the entries on John Rawls and original position.
Rawls advocated a limited list of human rights, one that leaves out many fundamental freedoms, rights of political participation, and equality rights. He did this for two reasons. One is that he wanted a list that is plausible for all reasonable countries, not just liberal democracies. The second reason is that he viewed serious violations of human rights as triggering permissible intervention by other countries, and only the most important rights can play this role.
Leaving out protections for equality and democracy is a high price to pay for assigning human rights the role of making international intervention permissible when they are seriously violated. To accept the idea that countries engaging in massive violations of the most important human rights are not to be tolerated we do not need to follow Rawls in equating international human rights with a heavily-pruned list. Instead we can work up a view—which is needed for other purposes anyway—of which human rights are the weightiest and then assign the intervention-permitting role to this subset.
Like Rawls, Beitz deals with human rights only as they have developed in contemporary international human rights practice. The focus is not on what human rights are at some deep philosophical level; it is rather on how they work by guiding actions within a recently emerged and still evolving discursive practice. The norms of the practice guide the interpretation and application of human rights, the appropriateness of criticism in terms of human rights, adjudication in human rights courts, and—perhaps most importantly—responding to serious violations of human rights.
He accepts that the requirements of human rights are weaker than the requirements of social justice at the national level, but denies that human rights are minimal or highly modest in other respects. Beitz rightly suggests that a reasonable person can accept and use the idea of human rights without accepting any particular view about their foundations. It is less clear that he is right in suggesting that good justifications of human rights should avoid as far as possible controversial assumptions about religion, metaphysics, ideology, and intrinsic value see the entry public reason.
Beitz emphasizes the practical good that human rights do, not their grounds in some underlying moral reality. This helps make human rights attractive to people from around the world with their diverse religious and philosophical traditions. Which Rights are Human Rights? This section discusses the question of which rights belong on lists of human rights.
A seventh category, minority and group rights, has been created by subsequent treaties. These rights protect women, racial and ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, children, migrant workers, and the disabled. Not every question of social justice or wise governance is a human rights issue. For example, a country could have too many lawyers or inadequate provision for graduate-level education without violating any human rights. Deciding which norms should be counted as human rights is a matter of considerable difficulty.
And there is continuing pressure to expand lists of human rights to include new areas.
Many political movements would like to see their main concerns categorized as matters of human rights, since this would publicize, promote, and legitimize their concerns at the international level. One way to avoid rights inflation is to follow Cranston in insisting that human rights only deal with extremely important goods, protections, and freedoms.
A supplementary approach is to impose several justificatory tests for specific human rights. This approach restrains rights inflation with several tests, not just one master test. In deciding which specific rights are human rights it is possible to make either too little or too much of international documents such as the Universal Declaration and the European Convention. One makes too little of them by proceeding as if drawing up a list of important rights were a new question, never before addressed, and as if there were no practical wisdom to be found in the choices of rights that went into the historic documents.
And one makes too much of them by presuming that those documents tell us everything we need to know about human rights. There is little reason to take international diplomats as the most authoritative guides to which human rights there are. The treaty may suggest that the right is supported by weighty considerations, but it cannot make this so. If an international treaty enacted a right to visit national parks without charge as a human right, the ratification of that treaty would make free access to national parks a human right within international law.
But it would not be able to make us believe that the right to visit national parks without charge was sufficiently important to be a real human right see Luban These rights are familiar from historic bills of rights such as the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen and the U. Bill of Rights , with subsequent amendments. Some representative formulations follow: Everyone has the right to freedom of thought and expression.
American Convention on Human Rights, Article Every citizen shall have the right to participate freely in the government of his country, either directly or through freely chosen representatives in accordance with the provisions of the law. Every citizen shall have the right of equal access to the public service of his country. Every individual shall have the right of access to public property and services in strict equality of all persons before the law African Charter, Article Most civil and political rights are not absolute—they can in some cases be overridden by other considerations.
For example, the right to freedom of movement can be restricted by public and private property rights, by restraining orders related to domestic violence, and by legal punishments.
Further, after a disaster such as a hurricane or earthquake free movement is often appropriately suspended to keep out the curious, permit access of emergency vehicles and equipment, and prevent looting. But it excludes some rights from suspension including the right to life, the prohibition of torture, the prohibition of slavery, the prohibition of ex post facto criminal laws, and freedom of thought and religion. Their inclusion has been the source of much controversy see Beetham The European Convention did not include them although it was later amended to include the right to education.
Instead they were put into a separate treaty, the European Social Charter. When the United Nations began the process of putting the rights of the Universal Declaration into international law, it followed the same pattern by treating economic and social standards in a treaty separate from the one dealing with civil and political rights. Article 2.
The contrast between these two levels of commitment has led some people to suspect that economic and social rights are really just valuable goals. Why did the Social Covenant opt for progressive implementation and thereby treat its rights as being somewhat like goals? For many countries, noncompliance due to inability would have been certain if these standards had been treated as immediately binding.
Social rights have often been defended with linkage arguments that show the support they provide to adequate realization of civil and political rights. This approach was first developed philosophically by Henry Shue Shue ; see also Nickel and Linkage arguments defend controversial rights by showing the indispensable or highly useful support they provide to uncontroversial rights.
Lack of education is frequently a barrier to the realization of civil and political rights because uneducated people often do not know what rights they have and what they can do to use and defend them.
Lack of education is also a common barrier to democratic participation. Education and a minimum income make it easier for people near the bottom economically to follow politics, participate in political campaigns, and to spend the time and money needed to go to the polls and vote.
Do social rights yield a sufficient commitment to equality? Objections to social rights as human rights have come from both the political right and the political left.
A common objection from the left, including liberal egalitarians and socialists, is that social rights as enumerated in human rights documents and treaties provide too weak of a commitment to material equality Moyn ; Gilabert Realizing social rights requires a state that ensures to everyone an adequate minimum of resources in some key areas but that does not necessarily have strong commitments to equality of opportunity, to strong redistributive taxation, and to ceilings on wealth see the entries equality , equality of opportunity , distributive justice , and liberal feminism.
The egalitarian objection cannot be that human rights documents and treaties showed no concern for people living in poverty and misery. That would be wildly false.
One of the main purposes of including social rights in human rights documents and treaties was to promote serious efforts to combat poverty, lack of education, and unhealthy living conditions in countries all around the world see also Langford on the UN Millenium Development Goals.
The objection also cannot be that human rights facilitated the hollowing out of systems of welfare rights in many developed countries that occurred after Those cuts in welfare programs were often in violation of the requirements of adequately realizing social rights.
Perhaps it should be conceded that human rights documents and treaties have not said enough about positive measures to promote equal opportunity in education and work. A positive right to equal opportunity, like the one Rawls proposed, would require countries to take serious measures to reduce disparities between the opportunities effectively available to children of high-income and low-income parents Rawls A strongly egalitarian political program is best pursued partially within but mostly beyond the human rights framework.
One reason for this is that the human rights movement will have better future prospects for acceptance and realization if it has widespread political support. That requires that the rights it endorses appeal to people with a variety of political views ranging from center-left to center-right.
Support from the broad political center will not emerge and survive if the human rights platform is perceived as mostly a leftist program. Do social rights protect sufficiently important human interests? Maurice Cranston opposed social rights by suggesting that social rights are mainly concerned with matters such as holidays with pay that are not matters of deep and universal human interests Cranston , Treatments of objections to social rights include Beetham ; Howard ; and Nickel It is far from the case, however, that most social rights pertain only to superficial interests.
Consider two examples: the right to an adequate standard of living and the right to free public education. These rights require governments to try to remedy widespread and serious evils such as severe poverty, starvation and malnutrition, and ignorance.
The importance of food and other basic material conditions of life is easy to show. Without adequate access to these goods, interests in life, health, and liberty are endangered and serious illness and death are probable. Are social rights too burdensome? Another objection to social rights is that they are too burdensome on their dutybearers. It is very expensive to guarantee to everyone basic education and minimal material conditions of life.
Frequently the claim that social rights are too burdensome uses other, less controversial human rights as a standard of comparison, and suggests that social rights are substantially more burdensome or expensive than liberty rights.
Suppose that we use as a basis of comparison liberty rights such as freedom of communication, association, and movement. These rights require both respect and protection from governments. And people cannot be adequately protected in their enjoyment of liberties such as these unless they also have security and due process rights.
The costs of liberty, as it were, include the costs of law and criminal justice. Once we see this, liberty rights start to look a lot more costly. Further, we should not generally think of social rights as simply giving everyone a free supply of the goods they protect. Guarantees of things like food and housing will be intolerably expensive and will undermine productivity if everyone simply receives a free supply. A viable system of social rights will require most people to provide these goods for themselves and their families through work as long as they are given the necessary opportunities, education, and infrastructure.
Note that education is often an exception to this since many countries provide free public education irrespective of ability to pay. Countries that do not accept and implement social rights still have to bear somehow the costs of providing for the needy since these countries—particularly if they recognize democratic rights of political participation—are unlikely to find it tolerable to allow sizeable parts of the population to starve and be homeless.
Idem 3 The Tribunal or a court shall consider any standards prescribed by the regulations for assessing what is undue hardship. Announced intention to discriminate 13 1 A right under Part I is infringed by a person who publishes or displays before the public or causes the publication or display before the public of any notice, sign, symbol, emblem, or other similar representation that indicates the intention of the person to infringe a right under Part I or that is intended by the person to incite the infringement of a right under Part I.
Opinion 2 Subsection 1 shall not interfere with freedom of expression of opinion. Special programs 14 1 A right under Part I is not infringed by the implementation of a special program designed to relieve hardship or economic disadvantage or to assist disadvantaged persons or groups to achieve or attempt to achieve equal opportunity or that is likely to contribute to the elimination of the infringement of rights under Part I.
Application to Commission 2 A person may apply to the Commission for a designation of a program as a special program for the purposes of subsection 1. Designation by Commission 3 Upon receipt of an application, the Commission may, a designate the program as a special program if, in its opinion, the program meets the requirements of subsection 1 ; or b designate the program as a special program on the condition that the program make such modifications as are specified in the designation in order to meet the requirements of subsection 1.
Inquiries initiated by Commission 4 The Commission may, on its own initiative, inquire into one or more programs to determine whether the programs are special programs for the purposes of subsection 1. End of inquiry 5 At the conclusion of an inquiry under subsection 4 , the Commission may designate as a special program any of the programs under inquiry if, in its opinion, the programs meet the requirements of subsection 1.
Expiry of designation 6 A designation under subsection 3 or 5 expires five years after the day it is issued or at such earlier time as may be specified by the Commission. Renewal of designation 7 If an application for renewal of a designation of a program as a special program is made to the Commission before its expiry under subsection 6 , the Commission may, a renew the designation if, in its opinion, the program continues to meet the requirements of subsection 1 ; or b renew the designation on the condition that the program make such modifications as are specified in the designation in order to meet the requirements of subsection 1.
Effect of designation, etc. Crown programs 9 Subsections 2 to 8 do not apply to a program implemented by the Crown or an agency of the Crown. Tribunal finding 10 For the purposes of a proceeding before the Tribunal, the Tribunal may make a finding that a program meets the requirements of a special program under subsection 1 , even though the program has not been designated as a special program by the Commission under this section, subject to clause 8 b.