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Human Rights` An Overview International Relations Fall, 2014.

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1 Human Rights` An Overview International Relations Fall, 2014

2 What are Human Rights?  The right that someone has simply because he or she is a human being.  It is inalienable.  It is universal.

3 What are Human Rights?  “International human rights are entitlements of individuals against the state or state-like entities guaranteed by international law for the purpose of protecting fundamental needs of the human person and his/her dignity in times of peace and war.”

4 Common Myths about Human Rights  Human rights violations occur only in poor, foreign countries.  Human rights are concerned only with violations.  Only adults and lawyers can understand the significance of human rights.

5 Precursors to 20th century Human Rights Documents  1750 B.C.E.- Code of Hammurabi  1200-300 B.C.E.- Old Testament  551- 479- Analects of Confucius  40-100 C.E. - New Testament  644-656 C.E. - Koran  1215 - Magna Carta  1688- English Bill of Rights

6 Precursors to 20th century Human Rights Documents  1776 U.S. Declaration of Independence  1789- French Declaration of the rights of Man and Citizens  1791- U.S. Bill of Rights

7 Origins of Thinking on Human Rights  John Locke (English political philosopher during the Enlightenment)  Natural law  Rulers not above the law  Led to universal rights such as person and property

8 19th and 20th century Human Rights Documents and Foundations  1863: Emancipation Proclamation, U.S.  1864 & 1949: Geneva Conventions, International Red Cross  1919: League of Nations-(Treaty of Versailles)- never mentioned human rights, but workers rights emphasized with the creation of the International Labor Organization (ILO)

9 19th & 20th century Human Rights Documents & Foundations  1920: Women gain the right to vote in the U.S.  1926: Slavery Convention  1945: United Nations Charter: San Francisco, California  1947: Gandhi uses non-violent protests leading to India’s independence  1948: Universal Declaration of Human Rights created by the U.N.

10 UDHR History and Current Status  December 10, 1948  Drafted by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights  Chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt  Adopted by 56 member nations of the U.N. General Assembly  U.S. Senate opposition  Opposition of other countries, e.g. South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Soviet Union, etc.

11 UDHR History and Current Status  December 10th is celebrated around the world as International Human Rights Day  Current membership of the U.N. agreed to educate their citizens about the principles of the UDHR.  Most of these countries have incorporated principles of the UDHR in their constitutions.  How old is the UDHR today?

12 Some Definitions  Declaration: document stating agreed upon standards or principles, but which is not legally binding  Covenant/treaty: legally binding agreement between states  Ratification: formal process by which the legislative body of a state confirms a government’s action in signing a treaty

13 Categories of Human Rights  First Generation Rights: Civil and political rights (protect individual against state interference) Include:  Protection of life and limb (torture, genocide, disappearances)  Liberty and security of person (slavery, detention)  Prohibition of discrimination (race, gender)  Provisions on fair trial, freedoms, and liberties, e.g. freedom of religion or marriage, right to vote, speak,right to get elected to office

14 Categories of Rights  Second Generation Rights: Economic, Social and Cultural rights  19th century response to results of European industrialization and class inequities Include Right to certain basic living requirements Right in sphere of work Right to education and a cultural life

15 Categories of Right  Third Generation rights: collective rights  Right to development, peace, and a clean and healthy environment  These rights are NOT yet codified into human rights treaties (exception 1981 African Charter on Human and People’s Rights) Who is entitled to such rights? Who is bound by them? How can they be enforced?

16 The Human Rights Covenants  The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)  The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)  Together with the UDHR, both are commonly referred to as the International Bill of Rights

17 Questions

18 The Human Rights Covenants  The ICCPR focuses on rights related to issues such as: Right to life Freedom of speech Freedom of religion Voting rights

19 The Human Rights Covenants  The ICESCR focuses on: Food Education Health shelter

20 Post WWII Human Rights Instruments  Genocide Convention, 1948  Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, 1979  Convention against Torture and other Cruel, inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 1984  Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989  International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant workers and members of their families, 1990

21 Regional Instruments  European Convention on Human Rights, 1950  The African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, 1981  The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, 1990

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