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Human and Cultural Minority Rights

Human Rights - generally defined as those rights, which are inherent in our nature, and without which, we cannot live as human beings - human rights are supreme, inherent and inalienable rights to life, dignity and self-development. General Characteristics of Human Rights


Derogable or relative rights may be suspended or restricted or limited depending on the circumstances which call for the preservation of social life. (right to freely move may be limited through the imposition of curfews)

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Inherent they are not granted by any person or authority. They do not need any event for their existence Fundamental without rights, life and the dignity of man will be meaningless Inalienable they cannot be rightfully taken away from a free individual Imprescriptible they cannot be lost even by a long passage of time Indivisible they are not capable of being divided. They cannot be denied even when other rights have already been enjoyed Universal applies to all human beings irrespective of their origin, status or condition or place where they live. Interdependent the fulfillment or exercise of one cannot be had without the realization of the other.

However, the imposition of restrictions of certain individual rights must satisfy the following requirements for it to be valid: 1) It is provided for by law which is made known to every citizen 2) There is a state of emergency which necessitates the urgent preservation of the public good, public safety and public moral 3) It does not exceed what is strictly necessary to achieve the purpose Categories of Human Rights 1) as Fundamental Freedom in Political Rights the Bill of Rights in the Philippine Constitution contains these fundamental freedoms of the individual (right to privacy, freedom of association etc) 2) as Democratic Rights these rights are commonly exercised in a democratic state such as the right to vote and to participate in the electoral process 3) as Mobility Rights includes the right to travel and to return to ones country, and the freedom of movement within the country 4) as Right to Life, Liberty and Security of the Person


Classification of Rights According to Source a) Natural Rights are God-given rights, acknowledge by everybody to be morally good. They are unwritten but they prevail as norms of the society. b) Legal Rights those which are conferred and protected by the State

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Constitutional Rights those which are conferred and protected by the Constitution and which cannot be modified or taken away by the law-making body Statutory Rights those rights which are provided by law promulgated by the law-making body and consequently, may be abolished by the same body.

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According to Recipient a) Individual Rights those rights being accorded to individuals b) Collective Rights also called peoples rights or solidarity rights are rights of the society, those that can be enjoyed only in company with others. (ex. right to self-determination) According to Aspect of Life

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Civil Rights those rights which the law will enforce at the instance of private individuals for the purpose of securing to the m the enjoyment of their means of happiness. (ex. right against involuntary servitude) Political Rights those rights which enable us to participate in running the affairs of the government either directly or indirectly. (ex. right to suffrage) Economic and social rights those which the law confers upon the people to enable them to achieve social and economic development, thereby ensuring them their well-being, happiness and financial security.

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Cultural Rights those rights that unsure the well-being of the individual and foster the preservation, enrichment, and dynamic evolution of national culture based on the principle of unity in diversity in a climate of free artistic and intellectual expression. According to Struggle and Recognition

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1st Generation of Human Rights covers civil and political rights 2nd Generation of Human Rights covers economic, social and cultural rights which find their origin primarily in the socialist tradition and have been variously promoted by revolutionary struggles and welfare movements. 3rd Generation of Human Rights covers collective rights

rights which represent the core of fundamental rights which relate to the right to physical and personal integrity, consistent with human dignity. (ex. right against torture) Legal Rights rights which constitute due process that can be invoked by persons accused Rights of Equality everyone is equal before the law and is entitled to equal protection or the equal benefit of the law. It includes the protection against discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, religion, ethnic origin, age, marital status, and political and social condition. Economic, Social and Cultural they are considered more of standards to be observed by the state Workers Rights include the right to association, the right to organize unions, to bargain collectively, the prohibition of forced labor, the prohibition of employment of children etc Aboriginal Rights rights which are associated with the rights of indigenous cultural tribes or communities Reproductive Rights these rights include the right to found a family and bear children, to gender sensitivity and the biomedical technology, and to family planning Protective Rights of Persons in Armed Conflicts these rights are provided in the international humanitarian law for the protection of the children, women and non-combatants during internal armed conflicts Right of Self-determination the right that asserted by colonial peoples in their struggle for independence. This means the right of people to be free from colonial rule and decide their own destiny. Minority Group Rights these rights include the protection of ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities.

Theories of Sources of Rights 1) Religious or Theological Approach the dignity of man as a consequence of human rights



Human and Cultural Minority Rights



According to its Derogabilty a) Non-derogable or absolute rights those that cannot be suspended nor taken away or restricted/limited even in extreme emergency and even if the government invokes national security.

rights are not concessions granted by human institutions or states, or any international organization as they are God-given rights. Natural Law Theory conduct of men must always conform to the law of nature embodies those elementary principles of justice which were right reason Historical Theory


advocates that the human rights are not deliberate creation or the effort of man but they have already existed through the common consciousness of the people of what is right and just human rights exist through gradual, spontaneous and evolutionary process without any arbitrary will of any authority The Functional or Sociological Approach human rights exist as a means of social control human rights exist to serve the social interest of the society

lays emphasis of obtaining a just equilibrium of multifarious interests among prevailing moral sentiments and the social and economic conditions of the time and place 5) The Positivist Theory all rights and authority come from the state and what officials have promulgated. under this theory, the only law is what is commanded by the sovereign the source of human rights is to be found only in the enactment of a law with sanctions attached natural law and natural rights can be valid only if they can be enforced by the state 6) Marxist Theory this theory emphasizes the interest of society over an individual mans interest. Individual freedom is recognized only after the interest of the society is served. it is concerned with economic and social rights over civil or political rights of the community 7) Theory Based on Equality and Respect equality with respect to basic liberty means the recognition of individual rights in the enjoyment of the basic freedoms such as freedom of speech, religion, assembly, fair trial and access to courts. governments must treat all their citizens equally 8) Theory Based on Justice the first virtue of any social institution is justice each person possesses inviolability founded in justice, and when the liberties of equal citizenship are settled 9) Theory Based on Dignity of Man This theory proceeds on the premise that human rights means sharing values of all identified policies upon which human rights depend on 10) The Utilitarian Theory seeks to define the notion of rights in terms of tendencies to promote specified ends such as common good

Human and Cultural Minority Rights