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HUMAN RIGHTS

OUTLINE
• • • • • • • • What are human rights? What are some of the most important characteristics of human rights? What is international human rights law? What are the core human rights treaties and has the Philippines ratified them? What are the obligations of the Philippines as a result of ratifying these treaties? How are treaties and international law treated in domestic law? What are the rights guaranteed under international treaties, the Constitution and other domestic legislations? What are some of the domestic legislations protecting and promoting human rights?

What are human rights?
• Human rights are universal legal guarantees protecting individuals and groups against actions and omissions that interfere with fundamental freedoms, entitlements and human dignity.

What are human rights?
• Commonly understood as being those rights which are inherent to the human being • “HUMAN”- what makes you human? • “RIGHT” – just claim • Need vs. Want • Need = Right

Defining Human Rights
• Meaning of “human” “rights”
– Right = Just Claim – Human= Body + Spirit

• Human rights and human needs
– Needs of the Body – Needs of the Spirit – Need=Right

Defining Human Rights
• NEED vs. WANT distinction is important • Some wants may graduate into needs (evolving) • In the end, it depends on how sensitive one is to a need

Defining Human Rights
• Ordinary rights and human rights
• • • • • Universal/ not universal Acquired/inherent Alienable/inalienable Unequal/equal Prescriptible/imprescriptible

What are some of the most important characteristics of human rights?
Human rights: • are universal – the birthright of all human beings • focus on the inherent dignity and equal worth of all human beings • are equal, indivisible and interdependent • cannot be waived or taken away

Characteristics of HR
• INHERENT
– From birth – Human rights are founded on respect for human dignity and worth of each person – Based on COMMON HUMANITY – all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights (Article 1 of the UDHR)

Characteristics of HR
• UNIVERSAL and EQUAL
– Attributes of being human – Applied equally and without discrimination to all people; without distinction of any kind – HR are not dependent on the background of people, whether such background is political, social, economic, cultural , racial, age or other types

Characteristics of HR
• INDIVISIBLE
– They relate to different aspects of human existence – One cannot separate the right to food from the right to express an opinion because they come as part of the natural attributes of human beings

• INTERDEPENDENT AND INTERRELATED
– All human rights are necessary to live a full and humane life – One cannot have the right to vote and to be free from torture without having the right to food and education at the same time

Characteristics of HR
– When some rights are not realized, other rights are affected – It is insufficient to respect some human rights and not others – The violation of one right will often affect respect for several other rights – All human rights should therefore be seen as having equal importance and being equally essential to respect for the dignity and worth of every person

Characteristics of HR
• INALIENABLE
– – – – No one can have his or her human rights taken away One cannot transfer his/her HR to another person They can be limited in specific situations The right to liberty can be restricted if a person is found guilty of a crime by a court of law

What are some of the most important characteristics of human rights?
Human rights: • impose obligations of action and omission, particularly on States and State actors • have been internationally guaranteed • are legally protected • protect individuals and, to some extent groups

What is international human rights law?
• It is a system of laws, both domestic, regional and international, designed to promote human rights.

HUMAN RIGHTS LAW
• Human Rights are legally guaranteed by human rights law, protecting individuals and groups against actions that interfere with fundamental freedoms and human dignity • NOTE:
– The law does not establish human rights. – Why: HR are inherent entitlements which come to every person as a consequence of being human

INT’L HUMAN RIGHTS LAW
• Formal expression of inherent human rights • A series of international human rights treaties and other instruments have emerged since 1945 conferring legal form on INHERENT human rights • The creation of the UN provided and ideal forum for the development and adoption of int’l human rights instruments

HUMAN RIGHTS LAW
• Human Rights Law
– places an obligation on STATES to act in a particular way – Prohibits STATES from engaging in specified activities

Human Rights are expressed in:
– Treaties – Customary international law – Declarations, Resolutions, etc. adopted by United Nations organs

INT’L HUMAN RIGHTS LAW
• Other instruments have been adopted at a regional level reflecting the particular human rights of the region • Most States have also adopted constitutions and other laws which formally protect basic human rights. • Often, the language used by States is drawn directly from the international human rights instruments

What are the core human treaties and has the Philippines ratified them?
– – International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD)

What are the core human treaties and has the Philippines ratified them?
• • • Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (ICRMW) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance

What are the obligations of the Philippines as a result of ratifying these treaties?
• The obligation to RESPECT • The obligation to PROTECT • The obligation to FULFIL

How are international human rights treaties treated in domestic law?
(a) PART OF THE LAW OF THE LAND Article II, Section 2, of the 1987 Constitution states: “The Philippines…adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land…” Article VII, Section 21 “No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate.”

How are international human rights treaties treated in domestic law?
• (b) EQUAL STANDING TO DOMESTIC LAW • “Withal, the fact that international law has been made part of the law of the land does not by any means imply the primacy of international law over national law in the municipal sphere. Under the doctrine of incorporation as applied in most countries, rules of international law are given a standing equal, not superior, to national legislation.” - G.R. No. 151445, April 11, 2002, Arthur D. Lim, et al. vs. Honorable Executive Secretary, etc.., et al. quoting Philip Morris, Inc. V. Court of Appeals, 224 SCRA 576, 593 (1993)

How are international human rights treaties treated in domestic law?
• (c ) FAVORED OVER MUNICIPAL LAW (PIL PERSPECTIVE) • “From the perspective of public international law, a treaty is favored over municipal law pursuant to the principle of pacta sunt servanda. Hence, "[e]very treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith."14 Further, a party to a treaty is not allowed to "invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty." - G.R. No. 151445, April 11, 2002, Arthur D. Lim, et al. vs. Honorable Executive Secretary, etc.., et al.

How are international human rights treaties treated in domestic law?
(d) SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY THE SUPREME COURT (IF CONFLICTS WITH CONSTITUTION AND ACT OF CONGRESS)
• “Our Constitution espouses the opposing view. In Ichong v. Hernandez,16 we ruled that the provisions of a treaty are always subject to qualification or amendment by a subsequent law, or that it is subject to the police power of the State. In Gonzales v. Hechanova,17 xxx As regards the question whether an international agreement may be invalidated by our courts, suffice it to say that the Constitution of the Philippines has clearly settled it in the affirmative, by providing, in Section 2 of Article VIII thereof, that the Supreme Court may not be deprived "of its jurisdiction to review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal, certiorari, or writ of error as the law or the rules of court may provide, final judgments and decrees of inferior courts in -( I) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, law, ordinance, or executive order or regulation is in question." In other words, our Constitution authorizes the nullification of a treaty, not only when it conflicts with the fundamental law, but, also, when it runs counter to an act of Congress.” - G.R. No. 151445, April 11, 2002, Arthur D. Lim, et al. vs. Honorable Executive Secretary, etc.., et al.

UDHR

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiFIu_z4dM8

What are the rights guaranteed under international treaties, the Constitution and other domestic legislations?
• Right to Equality (1, 1) • Freedom from Discrimination (2, 1) • Right to Life, Liberty and Personal Security (3, 1 and 2) • Freedom from Slavery (4, 18 (2)) • Freedom from Torture and Degrading Treatment (5, 19) • Right to Recognition as a Person before the Law (6) • Right to Equality before the Law (7, 1)

What are the rights guaranteed under international treaties, the Constitution and other domestic legislations?

• Right to Remedy by Competent Tribunal (8, 14 (2)) • Freedom from Arbitrary Arrest and Exile (9, 2) • Right to Fair Public Hearing (10, 14 (2)) • Right to be Considered Innocent until Proven Guilty (11, 14 (2)) • Freedom from Interference with Privacy, Family, Home and Correspondence (12, 3)

What are the rights guaranteed under international treaties, the Constitution and other domestic legislations?
• Right to Free Movement in and out of the Country (13, 6) • Right to Asylum in other Countries from Persecution (14) • Right to a Nationality and the Freedom to Change Nationality (15) • Right to Marriage and Family (16, Article XV) • Right to Own Property (17)

What are the rights guaranteed under international treaties, the Constitution and other domestic legislations?

• Freedom of Belief and Religion (18, 5) • Freedom of Opinion and Information (19, 4) • Right of Peaceful Assembly and Association (20, 4) • Right to Participate in Government and in Free Election (21, Article V) • Right to Social Security (22)

What are the rights guaranteed under international treaties, the Constitution and other domestic legislations?

• Right to Desirable Work and to Join Trade Unions (23, 8) • Right to Rest and Leisure (24) • Right to Adequate Standard of Living (25) • Right to Education (26, Article XIV)

What are the rights guaranteed under international treaties, the Constitution and other domestic legislations?

• Right to Participate in the Cultural Life of Community (27, Article XIV) • Right to a Social Order that Articulates the UDHR (28) • Community Duties Essential to Free and Full Development (29) • Freedom from State or Personal Interference in the above Rights (30)

What are some of the measures and domestic legislations protecting and promoting human rights?
Women’s Human Rights: (a) the Philippine Plan for Gender-Responsive Development, 1995-2025; (b) the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 (Republic Act No. 7877); (c) the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 (Republic Act No. 9208); (d) the Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children Act of 2004 (Republic Act No. 9262) (e) the Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act No. 9710)

What are some of the measures and domestic legislations protecting and promoting human rights?
• Indigenous People’ Rights: – (a) the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 (Republic Act No. 8371); – (b) the Free and Prior Informed Consent Guidelines, adopted by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples in 2002, which emphasize the right of indigenous peoples to participate in decisions affecting them; and – (c) Executive Order 270-A, which aims at safeguarding the ecological integrity of indigenous lands and resources from the negative impact of mining operations

What are some of the measures and domestic legislations protecting and promoting human rights?
• Children’s Rights: • (a )Special Protection Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act (Republic Act 7610)
– Elimination of Child Labor (Republic Act 9231)

• (c) The Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 (Republic Act 9344) • (d )The Comprehensive Program Framework for Children in Armed Conflict • Migrant Workers’ Rights: • Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 (Republic Act 8042)

What are some of the measures and domestic legislations protecting and promoting human rights?

• Rights of other vulnerable groups: • Anti-Squatting Repeal Act of 1997 (Republic Act No. 8368), which decriminalizes squatting

Foundations of Human Rights
• Religion
– Image & Likeness of God – “God-like” – Human dignity – Equal before the eyes of God

• Natural rights
– Based on Natural Law – What is in the nature of man and woman becomes the basis of HR – Danger: Difficulty in determining real rights

Foundations of Human Rights
• Positivism
– The only true and real rights are those granted by law or based on a law. This is in response to the natural rights philosophy – Rights are granted or come from the State – Problem: Depends on the State

Foundations of Human Rights
• Socialism/Marxism
– Emphasis on the rights of a community or a collective – In response to the Natural Rights theory which is so concerned about the individual

Concepts and Principles
• Universality; Cultural Relativism (CR) – Universal-Basis of HR is our being human or humanity – CR-Rights have to be implemented in the context of cultures – Genital Mutilation, Dowry System – Even with CR, HR remain universal – It is the degree of sensitivity or appreciation that is different

Concepts and Principles
• Indivisibility – The enjoyment of one HR hinges on the enjoyment of all the other HRs • Non-discrimination – Articulated in the Equal Protection Clause of the 1987 Constitution – In reality, we are different and not equal – Laws allow reasonable classification – The enjoyment of rights and freedoms on an equal footing, however, does not mean identical treatment in every instance. – Equality is not the same as equal treatment.

Concepts and Principles
• Non-discrimination – Aristotle: Like cases should be treated alike, unalike cases should be treated unalike in proportion to their unalikeness – The accommodation of differences is the essence of true equality. (Eldridge v. British Columbia, 151 D.L.R (4th) 577, citing Andrews v. Lake Society of
British Columbia)

Concepts and Principles
• Rights and obligations • Human rights and state sovereignty
– HR is a limit to state sovereignty