Presentation on theme: "General form of a rights-based claim:"— Presentation transcript:
1 General form of a rights-based claim: WHAT ARE HUMAN RIGHTS?Claim to a benefit that everyone should have - universal domain (all people everywhere) - equal rights - claims against governmentsGeneral 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)CONDITIONRIGHTS OBLIGATIONSHuman rightsSubset: rights-holders = human beings, duty-holders = governments, conditions = fundamental human freedomsFUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMSHUMAN GOVERNMENTRIGHTS 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 rightswhich agents have obligations to fulfil the human rightsThe theory (T) could be a philosophical or ethical theory, a political theory or a legal theorye.g. the basis of the justification might relate to moral arguments, to political agreements by governments, or international human rights lawThe class of human rights justified by the theory might be narrow or broadNarrow theories focus on civil and political libertiesBroad theories focus on a broader class of human rights and take account of poverty, hunger and starvationThe 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 Sen’s research agenda goes beyond the “human development paradigm” by providing a framework for thinking about human rights
4 KEY INTERNATIONAL TREATIES IN THE FIELD OF HUMAN RIGHTS
5 THE INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS RECOGNITION OF HUMAN RIGHTSADEQUATE STANDARD OF LIVING + FREEDOM FROM HUNGERArticle 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 hungerACCESS TO HEALTH CAREArticle 12 The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.EDUCATIONArticles 13&14 The right of everyone to education…. Compulsory primary education, free of chargeRECOGNITION OF THE OBLIGATIONSArticle 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, 1998. SECTION 1 (CONVENTION RIGHTS) INDEX OF RIGHTSLifeTortureSlavery and forced labourLiberty and securityFair TrialPunishment under the lawPrivate family lifeFreedom of Expression/Assembly/AssociationNon-discriminationPolitical ActivityAbuse of RightsPropertyEducationFree ElectionsDeath Penalty
7 CONSTITUTION OF SOUTH AFRICA (1996): CHAPTER 2 (BILL OF RIGHTS) INDEX OF SECTIONS7. Rights8. Application9. Equality10. Human Dignity11/12 Life, Freedom and Security of the Person13. Slavery, Servitude and Forced Labour14. Privacy15. Freedom of Religion, Belief and Opinion16. Freedom of Expression17. Assembly, Demonstration, Picket and Petition18. Freedom of Association19. Political Rights20. Citizenship21. Freedom of Movement and Residence22. Freedom of Trade, Occupation and Profession23. Labour Relations24. Environment25. Property26. Housing27. Health Care, Food Water and Social Security28. Children29. Education30/31 Language, Culture and Linguistic and other Communities32. Access to Information33. Just Administrative Action34. Access to Courts35. Arrested, detained and Accused Persons36/37. Limitation of Rights and States of Emergency38/39. Enforcement and Interpretation
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 a.health care services, including reproductive health care; b.sufficient food and water; and c.social 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?