San Sebastian College – Recoletos Manila

College of Law
Human Rights

SCOPE OF HUMAN RIGHTS

SUBMITTED TO:
Atty. Jose C. Montemayor, Jr., M.D., LL.M., MBA

SUBMITTED BY:
Basbas, Daryll Ian
Butardo, Glenn
Equiza, Janil Jay
Marasigan, Gian Jose
Ramos, Christian Ador
Tan, John Lester

together with interpretive practice by treaty organs. entitlements and human dignity. Human rights have been enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and codified in a series of international human rights treaties ratified by States and other instruments adopted after the Second World War. guidelines and principles adopted at the international level contribute to its understanding. HUMAN RIGHTS Human rights are universal legal guarantees protecting individuals and groups against actions and omissions that interfere with fundamental freedoms. implementation and development. There are also regional human rights instruments. Human rights are inherent in all human beings and are founded on respect for the dignity and worth of each person. While international treaties and customary law. form the backbone of international human rights law. . and most States have adopted constitutions and other laws that formally protect basic human rights and freedoms. They stem from cherished human values that are common to all cultures and civilizations. other non-binding instruments such as declarations.

have been in existence for much longer but since the Universal Declaration. the numerous international treaties on human rights promulgated since the Universal Declaration to which an increasingly large number of nation states are a party define the core content of human rights that ought to be protected across categories of civil. political. economic. and cultural rights. protections. (2) economic. . and violations of such rights. or categories of rights that have become useful shortcuts for talking about human rights among scholars and practitioners in the field. Today. and (3) solidarity rights. history. and will be used throughout the remainder of this paper. The collection of human rights protected by international law draws on a longer of tradition of rights from philosophy. social. social. while the state is the prime organ that can protect and/or violate human rights. however. These three categories are: (1) civil and political rights. and normative political theory and now includes three sets. Arguments. theories. the evolution of their express legal protection has grown rapidly. THE SCOPE OF HUMAN RIGHTS In their contemporary manifestation. It has been typically understood that individuals and certain groups are bearers of human rights. and solidarity rights. human rights are a set of individual and collective rights that have been formally promoted and protected through international and domestic law since the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

These rights are enshrined in various international documents. economic. such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (1966). civil and political rights have been considered fundamental human rights for which all nation states have a duty and responsibility to uphold. the right of protection from arbitrary arrest. the rights to assembly and association. the right to liberty and security of person. and the right to religious freedom and worship. as well as the right to vote. and the right to vote and political participation. the right to equality before the law. both historically and theoretically. assembly and association. the right to be equal before the courts and tribunals and the right to a fair trial. and personal security. They have also been seen as so- called ‘negative’ rights since they merely require the absence of their violation in order to be upheld. freedom of thought. . opinion. and political society. the right to the due process of law. enslaved or required to perform forced labour. Civil rights include such rights as the right to life. liberty. In many ways. civil rights guarantee one's 'personhood' and freedom from state-sanctioned interference or violence. and confer an opportunity upon people to contribute to the determination of laws and participate in government (political rights). When protected. Political rights thus guarantee individual rights to involvement in public affairs and the affairs of state. Civil and political rights are rights that permit people live in freedom and liberty: they include the right to life. CIVIL & POLITICAL RIGHTS Civil and political rights uphold the sanctity of the individual before the law and guarantee his or her ability to participate freely in civil. These rights guarantee the positive liberty to contribute to the process of governing the affairs of society in which one lives. the right not to be tortured. the right to a fair trial. conscience. including freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention. Political rights include such rights as the right to speech and expression. and the rights to equality and self- determination. religion and expression. Civil and political rights are the rights that generally restrict the powers of the government in respect of actions affecting the individual and his or her autonomy (civil rights).

when the force used is not absolutely necessary and proportionate to the circumstances. to take part in the conduct of public affairs. including: deaths in custody as a result of torture. every citizen should have the right and opportunity. directly or through chosen representatives. from the beginning. Everyone has the right to a fair trial. without unreasonable restrictions. and . access to a lawyer.this right can be violated in a variety of ways. excessive delays in bringing a case to trial and/or in completing court proceedings. killings by state agents. one party has a significant advantage over the other which is said to breach the principle of "equality of arms". or persons acting in direct or indirect compliance with the State. failure by the state to investigate alleged violations of the right to life and to bring those responsible to justice. the Right to privacy.Political rights presume that the government processes should be structured so as to provide opportunities for political participation of all eligible citizens. the use of force. time to prepare a defense. neglect. secret trials. and . Everyone has the right to freedom of assembly and association. RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL. Everyone has the right to life. the Right to a Fair Trial. Civil Rights include the Right to Life.this right can be violated in a variety of ways. this right can be violated in a variety of ways. RIGHT TO LIFE.according to the international human rights mechanisms . According to the modern concept of political rights. expulsion or "refoulement" (illegal return) of persons to a country where their lives are in danger. trials in which. failing to respect the presumption of innocence by denying procedural protection to accused persons such as information about the nature of the charge. and the Right to Liberty & Security. the possibility to confront witnesses and (if necessary) access to interpretation. the Right to Freedom of Expression. RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY & ASSOCIATION. the Right to a Freedom of Assembly & Association. or life- threatening conditions of detention. According to the international human rights mechanisms. including by: hearing criminal charges before administrative bodies which are not independent and impartial courts. including: preventing .according to the international human rights mechanisms .

disrupting family life which includes the right to marry and to found a family. RIGHT TO LIBERTY & SECURITY. detention of persons because they have exercised the rights and freedoms guaranteed by international instruments. including by: intervening in a person's private life which includes their right to form relationships and to enjoy sexual autonomy. denying persons the right to form and/or join organized unions. and . artistic or commercial information and ideas such as denying pregnant women information about abortion facilities. . including by: restricting access to political. including the ones described in this manual.according to the international human rights mechanisms . for example when a person is kept in detention after the completion of their prison sentence or despite an amnesty law which applies to them.according to the international human rights mechanisms . RIGHT TO PRIVACY. RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION.this right can be violated in a variety of ways. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. restricting possibilities to join voluntary associations. limiting the freedom of the press. placing undue restrictions excluding reasonable licensing restrictions on broadcasting. interfering with private correspondence.this right can be violated in a variety of ways. destroying a person's home or preventing a person from living in his/her home.according to the international human rights mechanisms .this right can be violated in a variety of ways. detention after a trial which did not comply with international standards for a fair trial.peaceful public demonstrations unless it can be shown that there would be a serious danger to public safety and order if the demonstration took place. Everyone has the right to liberty and security and . Everyone has the right to privacy. and . including: unlawful or arbitrary detention where there is no legal basis for the deprivation of liberty.

Economic and social rights guarantee that every person be afforded conditions under which they are able to meet their needs. the right to form trade unions and free associations. these rights help promote individual flourishing. Both are severely compromised when human beings cannot meet their fundamental needs. this second set of social. It guarantees freedom from hunger and access to safe and nutritious food. the Right to Housing. the Right to Food. rituals. the right to work and fair remuneration. the right to education. When protected. the right to indigenous land. and the right to speak one's own language and ‘mother tongue’ education. and self-esteem. It enables all persons to participate effectively in a free society and is directed to the full development of the human personality. and the right to social security. include such rights as the right to the benefits of culture. the right to health and well-being. Cultural rights. RIGHT TO EDUCATION. Economic and Social rights include the Right to Education. on the other hand. and the Right to Work. economic. RIGHT TO FOOD. They have thus been considered less fundamental than the first set of rights and are seen as ‘positive’ rights whose realization depends heavily on the fiscal capacity of states. Social and economic rights are human rights that are based on principles of dignity and freedom. social and economic development. and protect minority communities against the incursions of national assimilationist and nation-building projects. SOCIAL & ECONOMIC RIGHTS Social and economic rights include such rights as the right to a family. In contrast to the first set of rights. the Right to Social Security. Cultural rights are meant to maintain and promote sub-national cultural affiliations and collective identities. . and shared cultural practices. the Right to Health. the right to leisure time. and cultural rights is often seen as an aspirational and programmatic set of rights that national governments ought to strive to achieve through progressive implementation.

habitable. It ensures access to a safe. . It ensures the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health including access to care. nutrition. RIGHT TO SOCIAL & SECURITY. secure. It guarantees that everyone regardless of age or ability to work has the means necessary to procure basic needs and services. RIGHT TO WORK. and clean water and air. It guarantees the opportunity to have fulfilling and dignified work under safe and healthy conditions with fair wages affording a decent living for oneself and one's family. RIGHT TO HEALTH. RIGHT TO HOUSING. and affordable home with freedom from forced eviction. It also provides for freedom from unemployment and the right to organize.

Dimensions of Human Rights The distinction between these sets of rights follows the historical struggle for them. as well as the relative effectiveness of 'green' political ideology and social mobilization around concerns for the health of the planet. which include rights to public goods such as development and the environment. For example. and innovation. But significant sections of the human rights community have challenged these traditional distinctions between ‘generations’ of human rights and have sought to establish the general claim that all rights are indivisible and mutually reinforcing. SOLIDARITY RIGHTS Solidarity rights. expansion. Of the three sets of rights. this final set is the newest and most progressive and reflects a certain reaction against the worst effects of globalization. as well as those goods and products that are made through processes of economic growth. Equally. and the methodological issues surrounding their measurement. pay compensation for past imperial and colonial adventures. education. and help promote policies for sustainable development. which themselves may rely on the variable protection of other human rights. a sentiment that found formal expression in the 1993 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. those interested in combating torture need to examine possible underlying socio-economic. since the protection of one right may be highly contingent on the protection of other rights. the appearance of the separate international instruments that protect them. since high rates of illiteracy and poverty may mean the de facto disenfranchisement of large sectors of the population. Many of these rights are transnational in that they make claims against wealthy nations to redistribute wealth to poor nations. and organizational reasons for the practice of torture. This human rights challenge also suggests that there is a false dichotomy between negative and positive rights that tends to privilege civil and political rights over economic and social rights. cultural. cancel or reduce international debt obligations. the philosophical arguments concerning their status. and social welfare provision. reduce environmental degradation. seek to guarantee that all individuals and groups have the right to share in the benefits of the earth's natural resources. since the protection of the former appears less dependent . full protection of the right to vote is largely meaningless in societies that do not have adequate health. Such a challenge suggests that it is impossible to talk about certain sets of human rights in isolation.

Principle 1 of the Stockholm Declaration established a foundation for linking human rights and environmental protection. . RIGHT TO PEACE. (3) Emphasizes that ensuring the exercise of the right of peoples to peace demands that the policies of States be directed towards the elimination of the threat of war. One response to this false dichotomy is to claim that ‘all rights are positive’ since the full protection of all categories of human rights ultimately relies on the relative fiscal capacity of states. the renunciation of the use of force in international relations and the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means on the basis of the Charter of the United Nations. RIGHT TO CLEAN ENVIRONMENT. it is the sacred duty of the state in recognizing the maintenance of a peaceful life for people to (1) Solemnly proclaims that the peoples of our planet have a sacred right to peace. Every human has a right to live in a clean and healthy environment. They not only prevent any kind of environmental destruction but also aim to preserve the nature and its natural resources. and (4) Appeals to all States and international organizations to do their utmost to assist in implementing the right of peoples to peace through the adoption of appropriate measures at both the national and the international level. declaring that man has a fundamental right to freedom. Solidarity Rights include the Right to Peace and the Right to Clean Environment. in an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being. This is a general right which is inalienable. The Stockholm Declaration was the first international conference on human environment held on 1972 which emphasis on right to healthy environment.on state resources than the latter. Under the Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace as approved by the UN General Assembly. Many constitution all over the world has guaranteed a healthy environment and they also take appropriate measures to prevent any kind of environmental harm so as to maintain a healthy environment. equality and adequate conditions of life. The resolution called for enhanced efforts towards ensuring a better and healthier environment. (2) Solemnly declares that the preservation of the right of peoples to peace and the promotion of its implementation constitute a fundamental obligation of each State. particularly nuclear war.

(6) Pollution must not exceed the environment’s capacity to clean itself. There are two basic conceptions of environmental human rights in the current human rights system.Furthermore. (2) Natural resources must be safeguarded (3) The Earth’s capacity to produce renewable resources must be maintained. usually – the right to life. the right to health. apartheid and colonialism condemned. Some of the principles of the said Stockholm Declaration includes that (1) Human rights must be asserted. (4) Wildlife must be safeguarded. . (5) Non-renewable resources must be shared and not exhausted. and (8) Development is needed to improve the environment. the right to private family life and the right to property. (7) Damaging oceanic pollution must be prevented. They are the right to a healthy or adequate environment is itself a human right and the idea that environmental human rights can be derived from other human rights.

even if they do it thinly. It is strictly a matter of good or bad luck that determines whether individuals are born into a wealthy and secure country. gender and ethnicity. They apply to all human beings regardless of nationality. and in contrast to the tidy opposition described above. it may be argued that at least some communitarians and cosmopolitans have arrived at . In contrast. While Miller emphasizes that notions of justice vary across societies (a communitarian position). A significant flaw within the communitarian approach is that borders are often arbitrary and by no means reflect the actual religious and cultural affinities of the people who live within them. Beitz argues.. Finally. Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. critics might ask. This is especially the case with former Great Power colonies in the Middle East. or into a poor and unstable one. But just who and what are you protecting. As a result of imperial land- grabs and lines drawn in the sand. COMMUNITARIANISM Cosmopolitan thinkers such as Charles Beitz argue that human rights must be universal in terms of their scope and applicability. At the same time. So. his own conception of global justice is sufficiently strong that it pays due respect to the idea of world-wide human rights (a cosmopolitan position). class. Hence. The communitarians further attach considerable value to state boundaries and sovereignty as needed tools that protect communities from predatory forms of outside interference. communitarians such as Michael Walzer contend that factors such as the self-determination of communities should take priority over the application of supposedly universal human rights.e. whether or not they protect the human rights of their citizens. there are communitarian thinkers such as David Miller who try to apply universal human rights to their arguments. And there are also many state boundaries that cut across cultures and communities. SCOPE OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN TODAY’S WORLD: COSMOPOLITANISM vs. there are many post-colonial states in which one ethnic grouping wields disproportionate and rights-violating power over another. the moral standing of any particular state depends on its domestic institutions – i. state boundaries cannot (and should not) limit the applicability of such rights because they are inherently arbitrary and most people do not have the opportunity to choose their citizenship.

a consensus that believes in protecting distinct cultural norms and practices. .. regardless of however broadly those are defined. but only if they do not violate the basic human rights of any individual.e.a consensus – i.

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