Human Rights Essay

1540 words - 6 pages

Human rights issues are taking on new focus in the new millennium. Economic and socialrights are a paramount concern as the link between adequate and inadequate livingstandards. Governmental and non-governmental organizations are realizing that somecountries take precedent over other countries when it comes to human rights. In the newmillennium, cases that violate human rights are being taken more serious than everbefore. International prosecution against individuals and corporations will take place ifhuman rights charges are brought against them. Human rights have been an issue in theinternational community since the beginning of time. Many bills and declarations havebeen written to distinguish what rights humans have by nature and what constitutes ahuman rights violation. The Bill of Rights in America, English Magna Carta of England,and the French Declaration of Man of France all set forth what human rights each citizenhas in their respective country (Slomanson, page 494). Human rights have and willcontinue to be a serious issue and concern of the international community. Poverty,rights of women and children, and corporate and military involvement are only some of theissues that human rights involves.Everyone has that right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well being ofhimself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care andnecessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment,sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstancesbeyond his control (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN General Assembly Resolution217A (III) of 10 December 1948. Article 25. The article above states that an adequatestandard of living is a basic human right. Yet, according to the United NationsDevelopment Program's (UNDP) 1998 Human Development Report showed that nearlythree-fifths of the 4.4 billion people living in the developing world lack basicsanitation, one third have no access to clean water and one quarter of the people do nothave housing. These type of statistics are not only found in the developing world.Currently in the United States 35 million people live in poverty. (Key Human RightsIssues in the New Millennium, Human Rights Brief, vol. 27, no 3 (Summer 2000).Although poverty is an important issue, the international human rights agendahistorically has not focused on poverty. This negligence of the international humanrights community has stemmed from the division of human rights. Human rights have beendivided into two distinct groups: civil and political rights vs. social and economical.One example of each would be freedom of expression vs. the right to adequate standard ofliving. Two separate groups were formed to deal with each division's needs. The ICCPR(International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) deals with the human rights issuesregarding civil and political violations. The ICESCR (International Covenant on Economic,Social, and...

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