Presentation on theme: "Human rights principles"— Presentation transcript:
1 Human rights principles Universality and inalienabilityIndivisibilityInterdependence and interrelatednessEquality and non-discriminationParticipation and inclusionAccountability and the rule of lawThe colour shows a difference between the two sets of principles. Those in blackare content oriented while those in red are process oriented.Tip for presenter. HR Principles will be treated in more detailed through a separate presentation. This is to provide quick understanding of definitionsUniversality and inalienability: Human rights are universal and inalienable. Every man, woman or child everywhere in the world are holders of human rights by virtue of being human. The human person in whom they inhere cannot voluntarily give them up. Nor can others take them away from him or her. Article 1 of the UDHR, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” Universality also refers to the obligation of every State to respect and protect the human rights in international instruments. These rights form a core minimum standard to be observed by every State.Indivisibility: Human rights are indivisible. Whether of a civil, cultural, economic, political or social nature, they are all inherent to the dignity of every human person. Consequently, they all have equal status as rights, and cannot be rankedInter-dependence and Inter-relatedness: The realization of one right often depends, wholly or in part, upon the realization of others. For instance, realization of the right to health may depend, in certain circumstances, on realization of the right to education, the right to information, the right to food and nutrition, the right to safe water and sanitation etc. A malnourished girl is unable to perform in school and to benefit from an education that will enable her to participate in civil society and in the democratic process.Equality and Non-discrimination: All individuals are equal as human beings and by virtue of the inherent dignity of each human person. All human beings are entitled to their human rights without discrimination of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, age, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, disability, property, birth or other status as established by the human rights treaties and further interpreted by the human rights treaty bodies. For this reason, the advancement of the human rights of both men and women on the basis of equality is an absolute requirement of international human rights law.Participation and Inclusion: Every person and all peoples are entitled to active, free and meaningful participation in, contribution to, and enjoyment of civil, economic, social, cultural and political development in which human rights and fundamental freedoms can be realized.Accountability and Rule of Law: States and other duty-bearers are answerable for the observance of human rights. In this regard, they have to comply with the legal norms and standards enshrined in human rights instruments. Where they fail to do so, aggrieved rights-holders are entitled to institute proceedings for appropriate redress
2 Equality and non-discrimination This principle requires …Eradication of legal, institutional, interpersonal and structural discriminationProgramming implications:Legal framework should:Derogate discriminatory legislationBe conducive to the enjoyment of all human rights by allPublic institutions should ensure:Representation of marginalized or excluded groupsServices are accessible and sensitive to gender, age and cultural differencesAppropriate judicial and administrative redress mechanismsPublic policies should:Challenge model of appropriation and concentration of resources leading to structural discrimination and exclusionTake affirmative stepsPromote education and public awarenessEquality and Non-discrimination: All individuals are equal as human beings and by virtue of the inherent dignity of each human person. All human beings are entitled to their human rights without discrimination of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, age, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, disability, property, birth or other status as established by the human rights treaties and further interpreted by the human rights treaty bodies. For this reason, the advancement of the rights of both men and women on the basis of equality is an absolute requirement of international human rights law.Application of these principles: The question to ask is which are the sectors of society excluded or not enjoying equal status and thus deprived of exercising their human rights? Are there laws in the country that are discriminatory? Are there institutional, administrative or regulatory practices that are discriminatory against a particular group of the population? Is there a prevailing culture of “de facto” discrimination in the society? Are there national standards for positive discrimination or affirmative action recognized and applied?. It is important to keep in mind that the human rights treaties have identified particular discriminated and disadvantaged groups for focused attention: women (CEDAW), children (CRC), racial and ethnic minorities (CERD), and migrant workers (CMW).Structural discrimination: derives from historic processes of exclusion from access to the economic, political and institutional resources needed to live on an equal footing with the rest of the population
3 Participation This principle requires … Free, active, meaningful and inclusive participationProgramming implications:Policies, processes and procedures should provide:Opportunities for participation in planning and developmentAccess to relevant informationCapacities to marginalized groups to formulate proposalsInstitutional mechanisms should:Be based on democratic principlesNot disempower existing democratic or traditional structureCivil society should:Be active, independent and with capacitiesRepresent the voice of the marginalized and excluded groupsHave control over decision making processParticipation and Inclusion: Every person and all peoples are entitled to active, free and meaningful participation in, contribution to, and enjoyment of civil, economic, social, cultural and political development in which human rights and fundamental freedoms can be realizedApplication of this principle: The question to ask is whether marginalized and excluded people are able to participate freely in their own development and whether there are opportunities for participation? Do marginalized groups have access to information and the capacities to participate meaningfully And make specific proposals? are there spaces for public participation in the decision-making process? Are there parallel mechanisms disempowering the participation? Is there an active and independent civil society in the country that has the capacity to participate in such processes? Are civil society organizations representing the voice of the most marginalized and excluded? In the context of development cooperation it is necessary to ask whether the beneficiary target group is involved in the development and implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the programmes?The Meaning of Participation is EmpowermentA HRBA entails the free, active and meaningful involvement and participation of individuals and social groups in the development process. The meaning of participation here is in the sense of “empowerment” of individuals and groups, which implies significant control over decision-making processes, rather than mere consultation or information sharing. Accordingly, in the context of development programming broad participation involving for example, children, women, minorities, rural communities and civil society organizations during the assessment and in the gathering of information can lead not only to valuable findings but to increased understanding by all members of society of what their roles are in claiming and fulfilling human rights. Furthermore, when there are spaces for people to examine problems together and agree on the causes, they are more likely to support the implementation of actions to resolve them.The role of managing effective participationManaging effective participation takes time and patience. Whether it takes place at the local project level or the national policy level, it is important to stress that the principal mechanism for participation should, as far as possible, be existing democratic structures. In some circumstances, establishing alternative framework for participation can undermine fledging democratic structures, create unwelcome parallel systems and, in the longer term, prove unsustainable. Nevertheless, in many cases, innovative arrangements may well be needed to facilitate the participation of marginalized groups.
4 Accountability (1) This principle requires … States and other duty bearers to be answerable for the observance of human rightsProgramming implications:State institutions should:Be provided with sufficient resources, responsibilities and independent authority to effectively monitor the GovernmentE.g., independent human rights parliamentary bodies, national human rights institutions, judges, courts and legal counselStates to cooperate with international human rights systems:Complying timely with international reporting obligationsInviting Special Rapporteurs and providing informationImplementing the TB/SP recommendationsAccountability and Rule of Law: States and other duty-bearers are answerable for the observance of human rights. In this regard, they have to comply with the legal norms and standards enshrined in human rights instruments. Where they fail to do so, aggrieved rights-holders are entitled to institute proceedings for appropriate redress before a competent court or other adjudicator in accordance with the rules and procedures provided by law.Application of these principles: By voluntarily accepting the obligations of the international human rights instruments, and the corresponding domestic laws, the State and all its actors have a duty to respect, protect and fulfil human rights. Therefore, the question to ask is whether the relevant authorities at the State, local and community level comply with their duties? If not, what are the main obstacles? Are there mechanisms in place for those deprived of their rights and entitlements to seek appropriate redress? Is the Rule of Law respected and enforced in the country? Do the Civil Society Organizations have the capacity to mobilize the society in monitoring and evaluating the performance of institutions and public policies?
5 Accountability (2) This principle requires … Accessible, effective and independent mechanisms and procedures of redressProgramming implications:Legal framework should:Be in conformity with human rights normsEstablish conditions, procedures and mechanisms for rights-holders to claim their rights and duty-bearers to comply with their obligationsPublic policies should:Take progressive steps to address the weakness in the accountability systemsImplement the human rights obligations of the State at a central, regional and local levelsThe Role of Constitutional Court or Similar InstitutionThe existence or establishment of an independent institution, charged with the surveillance of laws adopted by the Parliament and to rule on their constitutionality and/or their conformity with international human rights norms and standards, is important in the context of an effective NHRPS. Ideally, such courts or institutions automatically review all adopted legislation. However, in many cases they review laws which have been challenged - either by the Government, the Parliament, or in some cases by a judge or members of the civil society. Prerogatives of a Constitutional Court can be mandated to the Supreme Court.Constitutional & Legal Frameworks Should:Be in conformity with international human rights norms, standards and principlesEstablish frameworks for policies for human rights protectionAllow effective remedies for violations and abusesPromote participation, decision-making processes and cooperation with international and regional protection system
6 Accountablity (3) This principle requires … Free and independent media, and groups of human rights defenders representative of men, women and marginalized or excluded groupsProgramming implications:An active, rights-sensitive civil society should:Monitor the State compliance with its human rights obligationsArticulate concerns of the society and advocates for social human rights mechanismsE.g. Campaign on access to retro-viral medication in South AfricaCourts in a wide range of countries and legal systems are applying international human rights principles and standards. For example, in 2002 the Constitutional Court of South Africa declared that the Government had breached its human rights obligations by failing to take reasonable measures (at affordable cost) to make wider provision of anti-retroviral medication to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. This decision and the grass-roots campaign surrounding it have helped to save many lives. The successful outcomes in these cases are to a great extent attributable to the fact that litigation strategies were integrated within wider social mobilization processes.