310Lspring2009HumanRights

310Lspring2009HumanRights - Studying Human Rights Click to...

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Click to edit Master subtitle style Studying Human Rights
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The concept of human rights The essence: Human rights are the natural rights people hold simply because they are human Our textbook: no coverage The definition from a typical international relations textbook : “the political rights and civil liberties recognized by the international community as inalienable and valid for individuals in all countries by virtue of their humanity” [Kegley, World Politics , 12th ed. 2008, glossary]
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Origins of human rights Intellectual origins Old Testament Magna Carta (1215) United States Declaration of Independence (1776) Political origins French Declaration of the Rights of Man (1789): “Men are born and remain free and equal in respect of their rights.” United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948): “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
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Major elements of UNUDHR Equality of human beings in dignity and in rights Nondiscrimination between human beings on any basis such as race, color, sex, language, religion, politicfal opinion, national or social origin Right to life, liberty, and security of person Prohibition of slavery Prohibition of torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment Judicial due process Right to property Right to take part in government, directly or through freely chosen representatives
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Contributions of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1. Helped convert a rather discredited philosophical idea —natural rights—into a dominant political ideology 2. Defined a vague colloquialism—human rights—in an authoritative code of 30 articles 3. Universalized human rights, promoting a constitutional ideology accepted in a few countries into a standard of constitutionalism for all countries 4. internationalized human rights, transforming matters that had been subject to exclusive domestic jurisdictions into matters of international concern [Louis Henkin, Columbia Univ. Law School]
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The development of human rights UN passage of more than 70 resolutions, declarations, covenants, etc. Declaration only gets force of law if turned into a covenant or convention passed by U.N. In U.S., must be signed by U.S. president,
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310Lspring2009HumanRights - Studying Human Rights Click to...

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