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Human Right Essay

2285 words - 9 pages

Human right represents legally protected entitlements of individuals in society. And many have the impression that certain rights taken for granted are a sacred legacy from the past. 'Historically, the dialectic was between the rights of the rulers and the duties of the subjects. Beginning with the seventeenth century, the subjects or former subjects of the lords, kings, Church and God began to assert their own rights, those claims that they demand the law to protect.'(Susan Whitfield, 1993: 26). Rights therefore, rely on law for enforcement: even such a fundamental right as that to life and security. Without the proper laws of the land, especially if chaos is the order of day, this right would remain only a fiction even in our own Western society. Human since by human rights, we are referring to the rights of human beings, not dwell on the definition of a human being, since even this could be controversial.Human right is based on liberal, moral and political philosophy, the French Enlightenment and liberal English thinking, among other things. Moreover, international law, first the Revolution of American Independence and then the French Republican Revolution of the late eighteenth century. Such papers as the American Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen may be considered its birth certificate. The ensuing Bills of Rights that became incorporated in many national constitutions worldwide, and especially the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, might be described as its introduction to high society. But its ancestry includes further back, Stoic concepts of natural law and the traditions of Roman civil law on the continent and of the Anglo-Saxon common law to the extent that these lent protection to the rights of citizens and of individuals. (Eugene Kamenka, 1978.)United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights in 1948, that has been widely publicized, commands a general consensus regarding the definition of these rights. I quote briefly here:Article 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of person.Article 5. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.Article 7. All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law....Article 9. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.Article 18. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.Article 19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.Article 20. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. ( The Human Rights Reader, pp. 194-198)These are principles, which are generally what people refer to when speaking of 'human right' in international arena. However, although enshrined by the authority of the founding nations of the United Nations...

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