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Human Rights by Jorge R. Coquia

All persons are born free and equal in dignity and
rights without any distinction as to race, color, sex,
religion, origin and social status.
Judaism What is hateful to you, do not do to your
fellowman. That is the entire Law.
Buddhism Hurt not others in ways that you yourself
would nd it hurtful.
Confucianism If there is one principle which ought to
be acted upon throughout ones life, surely it is that of
loving kindness.
Islam No one of you is a believer until he desires for
his brother that which he desires for himself.
Christianity In everything, do to others just what you
want them to do for you.
Human rights are universal legal guarantees protecting
individuals and groups against actions which interfere
with fundamental freedoms and human dignity.

Human rights are generally dened as those rights

which are inherent in our nature and without which,
we cannot live as human beings.

Denition by the United Nations

Documentary History
of Human Rights
1215 1789
(Medieval) 1689 France
England England 1776 United Declaration
Bill of States of the
Carta (The Rights Bill of Rights Rights of
Great Man and of
Charter) the Citizen

No one, Americans French revolution

including the Act of the revolting against their
against the tyrannical king.
king, is above Parliament of
English King Declared that all men
the law England that are all free and equal
declared their
between King sets out basic own Bill of and armed the
John and the rights. Rights and their inalienable rights of
feudal barons independence
July 4, 1776
Where do these rights come from?
Theories of Sources of Rights
1. Religious or Our rights came from a Divine Criticism: some religions impose
Source and therefore cannot be so many restrictions on
Theological Approach denied by man. individual freedom. Some
discriminate against women and
Equality of men in the eyes of imposition of death penalty.

2. Natural Law Theory Espoused by the Greek

philosophers Plato and Aristotle;

Thomas Aquinas wrote that

natural law as law of right reason
in accordance with the law of

Hugo Grotius detached natural This appeals to everyone

law from religion, that man has a whatever culture or religion one
social impulse to live peacefully belongs to.
and in harmony with others.
Natural Law theory John Locke life, liberty and
property are deemed natural
(cont). rights.

Natural law became the basis of

the natural rights of man against
oppressive rulers. When the Nazi
army generals were prosecuted
in the Nuremberg Tribunal for
various oenses (genocide and The crimes committed were
mass killing), they put up a oenses against humanity and
defense that there is no crime there is no need of a law
unless there is a pre-existing law penalizing the acts.
condemning it as a crime.
3. Historical Theory Developed through the common Examples are customs and
consciousness of men. traditions.
4. Functional or Pragmatic principle; Human Regulate group behavior; leading
rights exist as a means of social to conformity and compliance to
Sociological Approach control rules.
5. Positivist Theory All rights and authority come Main criticism: what if the
from the state and what ocials authority that promulgates the
have promulgated. Under this law does not promote human
theory, the only law is what is rights? This theory states that
commanded by the sovereign. the law must be obeyed no
matter how immoral it may be.
Ex: The anti-Semitic laws of the
Nazis were obeyed as positive
6. Marxist Theory Society over an individual Communism

7. Theory based on Government must treat all their

citizens equally thats why
Equality and Respect government must intervene in
order to advance general welfare;

8. Theory based on Each person has equal rights to No justice in a community where
the whole system of liberties. there are social and economic
justice Social primary goods such as inequalities.
liberation, opportunity and
income are distributed equitably.

9. Theory based on Proceeds on the premise that Recognizing the inherent dignity
human rights means sharing of the person as the foundation
dignity of man values of all identied policies of freedom, justice and peace in
upon which human rights the world.
depend on.
10. The Utilitarian Theory Jeremy Bentham asserted that
the ultimate goal of government
and all of morality was the
advancement of public welfare;
to promote the greatest
happiness of the greatest

Rudolf Ikering emphasized that

an individual cannot be more
important than the entire group.
An act is good only when it takes
into consideration the interests
of the society.
What are examples of these rights?
! The right to life
! The right to liberty and freedom
! The right to the pursuit of happiness
! The right to live your life free of discrimination
! The right to control what happens to your own body and to make medical decisions for yourself
! The right to freely exercise your religion and practice your religious beliefs without fear of being
prosecuted for your beliefs
! The right to be free from prejudice on the basis of race, gender, national origin, color, age or sex
! The right to grow old
! The right to a fair trial and due process of the law
! The right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment
! The right to be free from torture
! The right to be free from slavery
! The right to freedom of speech
! The right to freely associate with whomever you like and to join groups of which you'd like to be a
! The right to freedom of thought
! The right not to be prosecuted from your thoughts
Rights that are not readily
! The right to reproductive freedom including the right
to choose abortion
! The right to be free from discrimination on the basis
of sexual orientation, including the right to marry a
person of the same sex
! The right to bear arms and to not have the
government infringe unduly on that right
! The right to regular and aordable health insurance
subsidized or supported by the government
Human Rights
- Basic Characteristics - 7
- Classication - 5
- Categories - 13
Basic Characteris&cs
Characteristic Description Examples, but not limited to

Inherent Not granted by any Right to Life

person or authority; Right to dignity as a
distinguished from human being
constitutional or legal
rights which are
provided in state
constitutions or
legislative bodies.
Fundamental Without them the life Right to individual
and dignity of man will liberty and security of a
have no meaning person or freedom of
thought or religion
Imprescriptible Cannot be lost even by Freedom of thought,
a long passage of time conscience and religion
Basic Characteris&cs
Characteristic Description Examples, not limited to

Inalienable Cannot be taken away Life, liberty and the

from a free individual pursuit of happiness
Freedom from torture
Indivisible Not capable of being Freedom of expression
divided of belief or opinion
Universal All human beings have Rights are the same
rights irrespective of whether you are Asian
origin, status, or place or European
Interdependent The fulllment or Right to life and
exercise of one cannot existence as a person,
be had without the as well as the right to
realization of the other work in order to
maintain a good
standard of living
Classica&on of Rights
1. According to Source
Natural Rights God-given rights, Life, liberty and pursuit of
acknowledged by everybody happiness, right to property,
to be morally good. right to love

Constitutional Rights Conferred and protected by Freedom of religion, speech,

the Constitution, cannot be assembly, petition, right to
modied or taken away by speedy trial, rights against
unreasonable searches and
the law-making body seizures, right against a bill of

Statutory Rights Provided by law, Right to receive a minimum

promulgated by the law- wage, right to adopt a child by
making body and an unrelated person, right to
preliminary investigation
consequently may be
abolished by the same body.
2. According to recipient
Individual Rights accorded to individuals
Collective Those that can be enjoyed only in
company with others, such as right to
peaceably assemble, right to peace,
right to development, right to self-
determination, and right to
3. According to aspect of life
Civil Rights Rights which the law will enforce Rights against involuntary
at the instance of private servitude and imprisonment for
individuals for the purpose of non-payment of debt or poll tax;
securing to them the enjoyment constitutional rights of the
of their means of happiness accused; liberty of abode

Political Rights Rights that will enable us to Right to vote, right to

participate in government information on matters of public
concern, right to initiative and

Economic and Social Those that allows people to Right to property, education and
achieve social and economic the promotion of social justice
Rights development, ensuring their
well-being, happiness and
nancial security

Cultural Rights Rights that ensure the well-being Right to participate in our
of the individual and foster the cultural heritage, including
preservation, enrichment, and language and participation in
dynamic evolution of national cultural life
4. According to struggle and recogni&on in terms of
historical development
First Generation of Covers civil and political Right to life, equality
Human Rights rights, deal essentially before the law, freedom
with liberty and of speech, right to a fair
participation in political trial, freedom of religion
life; serve to protect the and voting rights
individual from the
excesses of the State
Second Generation of Covers economic, social Right to be employed in
Human Rights and cultural rights; began just and favorable
to be recognized after condition, rights to food,
WWII housing and health care
Third Generation of Covers collective rights; Right to self-
Human Rights goes beyond civil and determination, right to
social development, right to a
healthy environment,
right to natural resources
5. According to derogability
Non-derogable or Cannot be suspended or Right to life, freedom
absolute rights taken away or restricted from torture, right to be
recognized as a person,
right to freedom of
thought or conscience
Derogable or relative Precondition: State of Right to freely move
rights Emergency; (which may be limited by
May be suspended or a curfew)
restricted or limited
depending on the
Are there restric&ons to human
rights? Limita&ons? Can we?
Valid if:
1. Provided by law
2. State of emergency
3. Does not exceed what is necessary

Certain rights may never be limited or suspended even

in emergency situations.
Categories of Human Rights
As fundamental freedom Freedom of thought, belief, Bill of Rights Article III, Phil.
opinion, expression, association, Constitution; Articles 2, 4 & 5,
in political rights assembly, right to privacy, Civil and Political Rights
reputation and human dignity

As democratic rights Commonly exercised in a Articles I and III, Phil. Consti.

democratic state; Right to vote Articles 2, 4 & 5, Civil and
and participate in the electoral Political Rights
process, right to participate in
public or governmental aairs

As Mobility Rights Right to travel and return to Art. 3, Civil & Pol Rights;
ones country Art. III, Sec. 6 Phil. Consti.
As Right to Life, Liberty Represent the core of Art. III, Sec. 1 Phil. Consti.
fundamental rights, include the Art. 6, Civil and Pol Rights
and Security of the right to protection against
Person political and other extrajudicial
killings and disappearances of
As Legal rights Freedom from arbitrary arrest Art. III Phil. Consti.
and detention, and the Arts. 8, 9, 10 Civil & Pol Rights
protection against unreasonable Rule 113, Rules of Court, RA8943
search and seizures; due process

As rights of equality Right against discrimination on Art. III, Sec. 1

the grounds of sex, race, religion, Same
ethnic origin, age, marital status,
political and social condition

As economic, social and Right to social security, Same

protection and assistance to the
cultural rights family, right to an adequate
standard of living, adequate
food, clothing, housing and the
right to physical and mental
As Workers Rights Right to association, organize Labor Code of the Phils
unions, bargain collectively,
prohibition of force labor, the
prohibition of the employment
of children, guarantee of
minimum wage and other
As Aboriginal Rights Rights of the indigenous cultural Consti
tribes or communities RA 8731 and 8971
As Reproductive Rights Right to found a family and bear Consti
As Protective Rights of Protection of children, women Geneva Convention
and non-combatants during Convention on the Rights of the
Persons in Armed internal armed conicts Child
As Right of Self- Right of people to be free from Consti
colonial rule and decide their
determination own destiny
As Minority Group Rights Protection of ethnic, linguistic Article 27 of the Covenant on
and religious minorities Civil and Political Rights and
Article XIV of the Phil. Consti.
2nd, 3rd and 4th The 2nd generation rights are the Better known as collective rather
Economic, Social and Cultural than individual rights.
Generation Rights Rights.
The 3rd and 4th generation rights In LLDA v. CA, 231 SCRA 292
were developed to include the (1994), the Supreme Court cited
control of manufacture and use the Universal Declaration of
of weapons of mass destruction Human Rights and the Alma
like atomic bombs, chemical or Conference Declaration of 1978
biological warfare, the protection which recognize health as a
of the environment and the right fundamental human right.
to development.
Human Rights in the
Philippine SeMng
1. Malolos Constitution Denition Human rights
June 20, 1899
are supreme, inherent
2. Philippine Bill of 1902
and inalienable rights to
3. Philippine Autonomy Act
of 1916 (Jones Law)
life, dignity and self-
4. Philippine Independence
development. It is the
Act of 1934 (Tydings- essence of these rights
McDue Act) that makes man human
(Phil. Commission on Human
5. Philippine Constitution in Rights.)
6. Bill of Rights in the Phil.
Constitution 1973
Narrow concept of Human Rights in the Philippines
Carino v. Commission on Human Rights, 204 SCRA 483
Simon v. Commission on Human Rights, 229 SCRA 7

Commission on Human Rights (CHR) primarily handles

the investigations of human rights violations but has
no power to resolve issues.
Status - Now
1. Extrajudicial killings
2. Attack on indigenous peoples
3. Issues such as poverty, education, labor, human
tracking, homelessness, gender equality
4. Violations of reproductive health rights, child labor,
discrimination related to HIV-positive persons
Our Responsibility
Your human

Neighbors Others
right right