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WHAT ARE HUMAN RIGHTS? General form of a rights-based claim: –Logical relationship between two agents (x) and (y) and a condition (z) –Specification of.

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Presentation on theme: "WHAT ARE HUMAN RIGHTS? General form of a rights-based claim: –Logical relationship between two agents (x) and (y) and a condition (z) –Specification of."— Presentation transcript:

1 WHAT ARE HUMAN RIGHTS? General form of a rights-based claim: –Logical relationship between two agents (x) and (y) and a condition (z) –Specification of a rights-holder/s (x), duty holder/s (y) condition (z) CONDITION RIGHTS OBLIGATIONS Human rights –Subset: rights-holders = human beings, duty-holders = governments, conditions = fundamental human freedoms -Claim to a benefit that everyone should have - universal domain (all people everywhere) - equal rights - claims against governments FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS HUMANGOVERNMENT RIGHTS OBLIGATIONS

2 BASIS OF THE JUSTIFICATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS Human rights justified in terms of a theory (T) which specifies: –the class of claims to be regarded as human rights –which agents have obligations to fulfil the human rights The theory (T) could be a philosophical or ethical theory, a political theory or a legal theory –e.g. the basis of the justification might relate to moral arguments, to political agreements by governments, or international human rights law The class of human rights justified by the theory might be narrow or broad –Narrow theories focus on civil and political liberties –Broad theories focus on a broader class of human rights and take account of poverty, hunger and starvation The obligations of governments might be negative obligations (of omission or restraint) or positive obligations (of assistance and aid)

3 LINKING THE IDEA OF CAPABILTIY EXPANSION AND THE IDEA OF HUMAN RIGHTS Ways in which Sens research agenda goes beyond the human development paradigm by providing a framework for thinking about human rights


5 THE INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS RECOGNITION OF HUMAN RIGHTS ADEQUATE STANDARD OF LIVING + FREEDOM FROM HUNGER Article 11 (1) States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing (2) The fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE Article 12 The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. EDUCATION Articles 13&14 The right of everyone to education…. Compulsory primary education, free of charge RECOGNITION OF THE OBLIGATIONS Article 2 Each State party … undertakes to take steps, individually and through international assistance and co- operation, especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its available resources, with a view to achieving progressively the full realisation of the rights recognised in the present Covenant by all appropriate means, including … the adoption of legislative measures.

6 UK HUMAN RIGHTS ACT, SECTION 1 (CONVENTION RIGHTS) INDEX OF RIGHTS Life Torture Slavery and forced labour Liberty and security Fair Trial Punishment under the law Private family life Freedom of Expression/Assembly/Association Non-discrimination Political Activity Abuse of Rights Property Education Free Elections Death Penalty

7 INDEX OF SECTIONS 7. Rights 8. Application 9. Equality 10. Human Dignity 11/12 Life, Freedom and Security of the Person 13. Slavery, Servitude and Forced Labour 14. Privacy 15. Freedom of Religion, Belief and Opinion 16. Freedom of Expression 17. Assembly, Demonstration, Picket and Petition 18. Freedom of Association 19. Political Rights 20. Citizenship 21. Freedom of Movement and Residence 22. Freedom of Trade, Occupation and Profession 23. Labour Relations 24. Environment 25. Property 26. Housing 27. Health Care, Food Water and Social Security 28. Children 29. Education 30/31 Language, Culture and Linguistic and other Communities 32. Access to Information 33. Just Administrative Action 34. Access to Courts 35. Arrested, detained and Accused Persons 36/37. Limitation of Rights and States of Emergency 38/39. Enforcement and Interpretation CONSTITUTION OF SOUTH AFRICA (1996): CHAPTER 2 (BILL OF RIGHTS)

8 JURISPRUDENCE OF S.A. CONSTITUTIONAL COURT Article 27 (Health care, food and water and social security) (1) Everyone has the right to have access to care services, including reproductive health care; b.sufficient food and water; and security, including, if they are unable to support themselves and their dependants, appropriate social assistance. (2) The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of each of these rights. (3) No one may be refused emergency medical treatment. [H]undreds of thousands of people [are] living in deplorable conditions throughout the country. The Constitution obliges the State to act positively to ameliorate these conditions. The obligation is to provide access to housing, health-care, sufficient food and water, and social security to those unable to support themselves and their dependents…Those in need have a corresponding right to demand that this be done. [It] is an extremely difficult task for the State to meet these obligations in the conditions that prevail in our country...[This is recognised by] the Constitution which expressly provides that the State is not obliged to go beyond available resources or to realise these right immediately…[D]espite all these qualifications, these are rights, and the Constitution obliges the State to give effect to them. This is an obligation that Courts can and in appropriate circumstances, must enforce.

9 Questions What are human rights? Why are they important? Does everyone have them? What if different countries have different rules? Does everyone deserve human rights?

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