HUMAN RIGHTS & CONSTITUTION

What are human rights?

In order to live with dignity certain basic rights and freedoms are necessary, which all Human beings are entitled to, these basic rights are called Human Rights

Human rights demand recognition and respect for the inherent dignity to ensure that everyone is protected against abuses which undermine their dignity, and give the opportunities they need to realize their full potential, free from discrimination.

Human rights include civil and political rights, such as :

  • # The right to freedom of expression
  • # The right to freedom of religion or conscience
  • # The right to property
  • # The right to freedom of assembly
  • # The right to privacy
  • # The right to vote.

Human rights also cover economic and social rights, such as :

  • # The right to an adequate standard of living
  • # The right to adequate food, housing, water and sanitation
  • # The rights you have at work
  • # The right to education.

Human rights belong to everyone, everywhere, regardless of nationality, sexuality, gender, race, religion or age. The foundation of modern human rights is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The 30 articles of the Declaration were adopted in 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly, and over time these have been integrated into national laws and international treaties. The core values of the UDHR – human dignity, fairness, equality, non-discrimination – apply to everyone, everywhere.

Historical Development of Human Rights

Human rights are the rights a person has simply because he or she is a human being. Human rights are held by all persons equally, universally, and forever. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Kant said that human beings have an intrinsic value absent in inanimate objects. To violate a human right would therefore be a failure to recognize the worth of human life. Human right is a concept that has been constantly evolving throughout human history. They have been intricately tied to the laws, customs and religions throughout the ages. Most societies have had traditions similar to the “golden rule” of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The Hindu Vedas, the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi, the Bible, the Quran (Koran), and the Analects of Confucius are five of the oldest written sources which address questions of people’s duties, rights, and responsibilities.

Human rights are fundamental to the stability and development of countries all around the world. Great emphasis has been placed on international conventions and their implementation in order to ensure adherence to a universal standard of acceptability. With the advent of globalization and the introduction of new technology, these principles gain importance not only in protecting human beings from the ill-effects of change but also in ensuring that all are allowed a share of the benefits. The impact of several changes in the world today on human rights has been both negative and positive. In particular, the risks posed by advancements in science and technology may severely hinder the implementation of human rights if not handled carefully. In the field of biotechnology and medicine especially there is strong need for human rights to be absorbed into ethical codes and for all professionals to ensure that basic human dignity is protected under all circumstances. For instance, with the possibility of transplanting organs from both the living and dead, a number of issues arise such as consent to donation, the definition of death to prevent premature harvesting, an equal chance at transplantation etc. Genetic engineering also brings with it the dangers of gene mutation and all the problems associated with cloning. In order to deal with these issues, the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with Regard to the Application and Medicine puts the welfare of the human being above society or science.

However the efficacy of the mechanisms in place today has been questioned in the light of blatant human rights violations and disregard for basic human dignity in nearly all countries in one or more forms. In many cases, those who are to blame cannot be brought to book because of political considerations, power equations etc. When such violations are allowed to go unchecked, they often increase in frequency and intensity usually because perpetrators feel that they enjoy immunity from punishment. – – Faisal Fasih

Human Rights Violation

The Founding Fathers of the Indian Constitution had a vision of the Indian society, which they wanted to realize through the Constitution. That vision was primarily reflected in the Preamble, the chapters on Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy is the product of human rights movement in the country. It is the duty of the State to guarantee what is said in the Constitution. But the shocking evidence that the State is itself the culprit, according to Mr. J.S. Verma, the former chairman of the NHRC. According to a statement made by him on Jan. 15, 2003, just a few days before his demitting the office: It is often the State which is violator of Human Rights in maximum cases in the country. But the maximum responsibility to protect and safeguard the rights of its citizens also lies with the State – – Deepesh Mittal

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