An analysis of the concept of human rights and the international human rights law

Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen; Declaration of Independencemost ethical theorists have treated rights as something that must be derived… Historical development The expression human rights is relatively new, having come into everyday parlance only since World War IIthe founding of the United Nations inand the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in It replaced the phrase natural rights, which fell into disfavour in the 19th century in part because the concept of natural law to which it was intimately linked had become controversial with the rise of legal positivism. Legal positivism rejected the theory, long espoused by the Roman Catholic Churchthat law must be moral to be law. The term human rights also replaced the later phrase the rights of Man, which was not universally understood to include the rights of women.

An analysis of the concept of human rights and the international human rights law

The General Idea of Human Rights This section attempts to explain the generic idea of human rights by identifying four defining features. The goal is to answer the question of what human rights are with a general description of the concept rather than a list of specific rights.

Two people can have the same general idea of human rights even though they disagree about which rights belong on a list of such rights and even about whether universal moral rights exist. This four-part explanation attempts to cover all kinds of human rights including both moral and legal human rights and both old and new human rights e.

The explanation anticipates, however, that particular kinds of human rights will have additional features. Starting with this generic concept does not commit us to treating all kinds of human rights in a single unified theory see Buchanan for an argument that we should not attempt to theorize together universal moral rights and international legal human rights.

Lest we miss the obvious, human rights are rights see the entry on rights and Cruft Most if not all human rights are claim rights that impose duties or responsibilities on their addressees or dutybearers. Rights focus on a freedom, protection, status, or benefit for the rightholders Beitz The duties associated with human rights often require actions involving respect, protection, facilitation, and provision.

Rights are usually mandatory in the sense of imposing duties on their addressees, but some legal human rights seem to do little more than declare high-priority goals and assign responsibility for their progressive realization. One can argue, of course, that goal-like rights are not real rights, but it may be better to recognize that they comprise a weak but useful notion of a right See Beitz for a defense of the view that not all human rights are rights in a strong sense.

A human rights advocate might wish to see human rights exist in all four ways See Section 2.

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If someone accepted that there are human rights but held that there is only one of them, this might make sense if she meant that there is one abstract underlying right that generates a list of specific rights See Dworkin for a view of this sort.

But if this person meant that there is just one such specific right such as the right to peaceful assembly this would be a highly revisionary view. Human rights address a variety of specific problems such as guaranteeing fair trials, ending slavery, ensuring the availability of education, and preventing genocide.

Some philosophers advocate very short lists of human rights but nevertheless accept plurality see Joshua Cohen and Ignatief All living humans—or perhaps all living persons—have human rights.

Human rights are at the core of international law and international relations. They represent basic values common to all cultures, and must be respected by countries worldwide. Human rights are inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because he or she is a human being. lection introduces the study of human rights in international law and practice. Conceptual and definitional difficulties are inherent in any study of human rights. To avoid possible confusion I will identify and clarify the concept of human rights in . 1 THE CONCEPT OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN INTERNATIONAL LAW, by Anthony D'Amato [FNa-b], 82 Columbia Law Review () (Code A82a) In the past ten years, the concept of human rights has become a permanent part of the way we think.

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.

First, some rights, such as the right to vote, are held only by adult citizens or residents and apply only to voting in one's own country. 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.

Let's now consider five other features or functions that might be added.Footnotes.

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1. Directive 95/ /EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of On the Protection of Individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data. Human Rights Law, Islam and Human Rights, Human Rights under International Law and Islamic Law, Islamic Concept of Human Rights International Human Rights & Islamic Human Rights: A Comparison This analysis shows the overwhelming similarities between IHR and IsHR: Let us move forward with the greater common ground between us than the lesser.

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An analysis of the concept of human rights and the international human rights law

Bodily integrity is recognized as a fundamental human right, basic to the autonomy of the individual and guaranteed by law. Reflections On How To Address The Violations Of Human Rights By Extractive Industries In Africa: A Comparative Analysis Of Nigeria And South Africa [] PER 7.

Human rights are at the core of international law and international relations. They represent basic values common to all cultures, and must be respected by countries worldwide. Human rights are inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because he or she is a human being.

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