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This chapter examines the concept of human rights and its origins, explaining the different Term papers on human rights and classifications.
Historical antecedents The origins of human rights may be found both in Greek philosophy and the various world religions. In the Age of Enlightenment 18th century the concept of human rights emerged as an explicit category. Human rights were henceforth seen as elementary preconditions for an existence worthy of human dignity.
Before this period, several charters codifying rights and freedoms had been drawn up constituting important steps towards the idea of human rights. During the 6th Century, the Achaemenid Persian Empire of ancient Iran established unprecedented principles of human rights. Cyrus the Great or BC - BC issued the Cyrus cylinder which declared that citizens of the empire would be allowed to practice their religious beliefs freely and also abolished slavery.
These documents specified rights which could be claimed in the light of particular circumstances e. Freedoms were often seen as rights conferred upon individuals or groups by virtue of their rank or status.
In the centuries after the Middle Ages, the concept of liberty became gradually separated from status and came to be seen not as a privilege but as a right of all human beings. Spanish theologists and jurists played a prominent role in this context.
These two men laid the doctrinal foundation for the recognition of freedom and dignity of all humans by defending the personal rights of the indigenous peoples inhabiting the territories colonised by the Spanish Crown.
The Enlightenment was decisive in the development of human rights concepts. The ideas of Hugo Grotiusone of the fathers of modern international law, of Samuel von Pufendorfand of John Locke attracted much interest in Europe in the 18th century.
Locke, for instance, developed a comprehensive concept of natural rights; his list of rights consisting of life, liberty and property. Jean-Jacques Rousseau elaborated the concept under which the sovereign derived his powers and the citizens their rights from a social contract. The people of the British colonies in North America took the human rights theories to heart.
The American Declaration of Independence of 4 July was based on the assumption that all human beings are equal. It also referred to certain inalienable rights, such as the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
These ideas were also reflected in the Bill of Rights which was promulgated by the state of Virginia in the same year. The provisions of the Declaration of Independence were adopted by other American states, but they also found their way into the Bill of Rights of the American Constitution.
Both the American and French Declarations were intended as systematic enumerations of these rights. The classic rights of the 18th and 19th centuries related to the freedom of the individual. Even at that time, however, some people believed that citizens had a right to demand that the government endeavour to improve their living conditions.
Taking into account the principle of equality as contained in the French Declaration ofseveral constitutions drafted in Europe around contained classic rights, but also included articles which assigned responsibilities to the government in the fields of employment, welfare, public health, and education.
Social rights of this kind were also expressly included in the Mexican Constitution ofthe Constitution of the Soviet Union of and the German Constitution of In the 19th century, there were frequent inter-state disputes relating to the protection of the rights of minorities in Europe.
These conflicts led to several humanitarian interventions and calls for international protection arrangements. One of the first such arrangements was the Treaty of Berlin ofwhich accorded special legal status to some religious groups. It also served as a model for the Minorities System that was subsequently established within the League of Nations.
The need for international standards on human rights was first felt at the end of the 19th century, when the industrial countries began to introduce labour legislation.
This legislation - which raised the cost of labour - had the effect of worsening their competitive position in relation to countries that had no labour laws. Economic necessity forced the states to consult each other. The Bern Convention of prohibiting night-shift work by women can be seen as the first multilateral convention meant to safeguard social rights.
Remarkable as it may seem, therefore, while the classic human rights had been acknowledged long before social rights, the latter were first embodied in international regulations.
The atrocities of World War II put an end to the traditional view that states have full liberty to decide the treatment of their own citizens.
The signing of the Charter of the United Nations UN on 26 June brought human rights within the sphere of international law. In particular, all UN members agreed to take measures to protect human rights. The Assembly adopted the Declaration in Paris on 10 December This day was later designated Human Rights Day.
During the s and s, more and more countries joined the UN. Upon joining they formally accepted the obligations contained in the UN Charter, and in doing so subscribed to the principles and ideals laid down in the UDHR.
This commitment was made explicit in the Proclamation of Teheranwhich was adopted during the first World Conference on Human Rights, and repeated in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, which was adopted during the second World Conference on Human Rights Since the s, the UDHR has been backed up by a large number of international conventions.HUMAN RIGHTS term papers and essays Human rights are considered to be those advantages that all human beings deserve by virtue of being human.
In the iconic words of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, those rights are summarized .
CMF Description, CMF build in , cmf description. Human Rights Human Rights Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, language, or any other status. Human Rights Watch's Ole Solvang (center, left) and Anna Neistat (center, right) interview victims of ethnic conflict in Kyrgyzstan, June Studybay is an academic writing service for students: essays, term papers, dissertations and much more!
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Printable Version § Purposes of article § Equality of opportunity a civil right § Definitions.