Human rights are like armor: they protect you; they are like the rules because they explain how you can behave and they are the same as the judges because you can appeal to them. They are abstract, like emotions, and like them, they belong to everyone, regardless of what happens.
They are like nature because they can be violated; and like the spirit, because they cannot be destroyed. Like time, rich and poor, old and young, white and black, tall and short are treated in the same way. They offer us to respect and force us to treat others with respect. As well as goodness, truth, and justice, about which we can sometimes disagree when defining them, but which we recognize when we see them.
A right is a request that is justified by facts: I have a right to the products in my shopping cart if I have paid for them. Citizens have the right to elect a president if their country’s constitution guarantees it, and the child has the right to go to the zoo if his parents have promised. These are the things that people may have a right to expect, given a promise or guarantee made by a third party.
However, human rights are super petitions with a difference: they do not depend on the promises or guarantees of a third party. Someone’s right to life does not depend on another person agreeing not to kill them: their life may be, but their right to life is not. The right to life depends on only one thing: that we are human beings.
Acceptance of human rights means accepting that everyone has the right to make these claims: I have these rights, no matter what I say or do, because I am a human being, just like you. Human rights are inherent to all human beings as a birthright. Why should it be claimed that they don’t need any kind of behavior to back them up? Why should we not demand that human beings deserve their rights?
A human rights claim is, ultimately, a moral right, and supported by moral values. What my right to life really means is that no one should take my life; that it would be a mistake to do so. All readers probably agree with this statement because we all recognize that there are certain aspects of our lives, of our being, that must be inviolable and that no one should be able to violate, because they are essential to our being, who we are, and what we do. we are, are essential to our humanity and human dignity. Without respect for human rights, we cannot reach our full potential. And therefore the objective that we must set ourselves is to be able to spread this idea among all the individuals on the planet.
Characteristics of human rights
Philosophers may continue to argue about the nature of human rights, but the international community began its amazing commitment to them through the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Since then, the international community has established the powerful concepts of the Universal Declaration in numerous national, regional, and international legal instruments. It does not claim to be legally binding, but the establishment of its rules in numerous subsequent treaties (also known as “conventions” or “pacts”) makes the legal status of its rules unquestionable today. According to these principles:
Human rights are inalienable.
This means that they cannot be lost, since they are related to the very fact of human existence, they are inherent in all human beings. In certain circumstances some, but not all, may be suspend or restrict. For example, if someone is guilty of a crime, his freedom; o In a national emergency, the government can publicly declare and set aside some rights, for example, impose a curfew and restrict freedom of movement.
Human rights are indivisible and interdependent and interrelated.
This means that the different human rights are intrinsically related and cannot be consider in isolation. Enjoying a right depends on the possibility of having others and one is not more important than the rest.
Human rights are universal.
This means that they apply equally to all people around the world and with no time limit. Everyone has the right to enjoy their human rights without distinction as to “race” or ethnic origin, color, disability, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, birth, or any other social conditions.
We have to point out that the universality of human right in no way constitutes a danger to the rich diversity of people or to different cultures; It is not synonymous with uniformity. Diversity requires a world where everyone is equal and deserves the same respect. This is why human rights serve as minimum standards applicable to all human beings and each state and society is free to define and apply more specific standards. For example, in the field of economic, social and cultural rights there is an obligation to adopt measures to progressively achieve the full realization of these rights, but there is no stipulated position on tax collection to facilitate this process, rather it is the It is the responsibility of each country and each society to adopt these policies according to their own circumstances.
A historical summary
The idea that people have inherent rights has its roots in many cultures and traditions. We can see in numerous examples of great leaders, codes of good practice of the values enshrined in human rights are not “Western”, nor an invention of the 20th century, but rather a response to human and universal needs for the search for justice. All human societies have had ideals and systems for guaranteeing justice, within their oral or written traditions, although not all have survived.
- The Code of Hammurabi in Babylon (Iraq, c. 2000 BC) was the first written legal code, established by the king of Babylon. He vowed to “make justice reign in the kingdom, to destroy the wicked and violent, to prevent the strong from oppressing the weak, to enlighten the country and promote the good of the people.”
- An Ancient Egyptian pharaoh (c. 2000 B.C.) would have instructed his subordinates that “when someone arrives from Upper or Lower Egypt, they make sure that everything is in accordance with the law, respecting the customs and rights of each man.”
- The Charter of Cyrus (Iran, c. 539 B.C.) was drawn up by the king of Persia for the people of his kingdom and recognized the rights to liberty, security, religious tolerance, freedom of movement, freedom of slavery, and some economic and social rights.
- The teachings of Confucius (c. 500 B.C.) contain the concept of “ren” or compassion, and loving others as a central theme. Confucius said: “What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others.” Dr. Peng-chun Chang, a Chinese expert on Confucianism who played an active role in drafting the Universal Declaration, believes that Confucianism laid the foundation for human rights.
- Imam Ali Ibn Al Hussein wrote the epistle of rights in the early 8th century. To our knowledge, this letter is the first document that establishes important rights as they were perceived at that time and the first attempt to address them from a positive dimension. The Epistle methodologically lists 50 of these rights. They are, in spirit, anchored in the first Islamic precepts.
- The Charte du Mande (1222 CE) and the “Charte de Kurukan Fuga (1236 CE), based on the codification of West African oral tradition, uphold principles such as decentralization, environmental conservation, human rights, and cultural diversity.
- A person is a person through other people.
- The African ‘ubuntu’ vision captures the essence of what it means to be human and emphasizes respect for all members of the community, hospitality and generosity. The concept of Ubuntu is summed up in this: “a person is a person through other people.” This notion has profound implications for human rights. If we are human beings through others, then dehumanizing them dehumanizes us too – hence the need to promote and respect the rights of others, to give and receive forgiveness.