POLA84 Wk 07.pdf

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Department
Political Science
Course
POLD89H3
Professor
Christopher Cochrane
Semester
Fall

Description
What are human rights? 1. These are rights that belong to an individual or group of individuals as a consequence of being human. 2. They denote a continuum of values or capabilities thought to enhance the “human” in the human being 3. They are thought to and declared to be universal in character: all humans have them. Hence a. They do not have to be “given” b. They cannot be take away c. They cannot be suspended d. BECAUSE they are “natural” 4. Common forms of deprivation: a. exploitation, b. oppression, c. persecution. 5. There are national and international legal processes that are associated with human rights. 6. They are collective goods (public) goods Collective goods (public goods) possess two characteristics.  Jointness of supply o If a good is supplied to any member of a group, then it is supplied to all members of that group. In contrast to private goods, collective goods are therefore indivisible. If new members are added to the group, other members who are currently benefiting from (or “consuming”) the good will not receive a diminished amount. As in any prisoner’s dilemma, both sides have an incentive to defect (erect trade barriers), because, no matter what the other side does, defecting will yield a better outcome for the defector. Unfortunately, the equilibrium outcome is mutual protectionism.  Non-exclusiveness. o A jointly supplied good may be either excludable or non-excludable. Some jointly supplied goods can be withheld from members of the group, but a collective good is jointly supplied and non-excludable. Origins 1. Originate in ancient Greece 2. Related to the doctrine of the STOICS: human conduct should be in harmony with the law of nature 3. Roman law embraced the notion of human rights 4. In the Middle Ages natural law became associated with natural rights a. However, slavery was also acceptable 5. Natural law was fully transformed into natural right during the Enlightenment a. Locke, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau (“Social Contract”) Major Documents/Events important for human rights 1. The Glorious Revolution (1688) and Bill of Rights 2. American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence (1776) 3. Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, French Revolution 1789 1 The Persistence of the notion of human rights 1. The abolition of slavery 2. The rise of trade unions 3. Universal suffrage 4. The establishment of the United Nations and its Charter The content of Human Rights: 3 levels/nature/generations of human rights 1. Comes from the French Revolution of 1789 and its banner: Liberté Egalité Fraternité 2. Liberté a. Civil and Political Rights i. Based on the philosophy of individualism 1. No gender, racial and other discriminations 2. Freedom from torture and other cruel treatment 3. freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention, or exile; 4. the right to a fair and public trial; 5. freedom from interference in privacy and correspondence; 6. freedom of movement and residence; 7. the right to asylum from persecution; 8. freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; 9. freedom of opinion and expression; 10. freedom of peaceful assembly and association; 11. the right to participate in government, directly or through free elections. 12. the right to own property and the right not to be deprived of it arbitrarily ii. All those rights were fought for in the American and French revolutions and to the rise of capitalism 3. Egalité a. Economic, cultural and social rights b. These are right to (rather than freedoms from) Hence, they are “positive rights” i. Trade unionism ii. Right to employment, decent wages, education, etc. iii. Social equality 4. Fraternité a. Article 28 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights set forth in this declaration can be fully realized” i. the right to political, economic, social, and cultural self-determination; ii. the right to economic and social development; iii. the right to participate in and benefit from “the common heritage of mankind” (space resources, scientific, technical progress, etc. iv. the right to peace; v. the right to a healthy and sustainable environment; vi. the right to humanitarian disaster relief INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS REGIME  UN CHARTER  Article 1 (3) 2 o 3. To achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; … Articles 55 and 56 set out the basic human rights obligations of the UN and its member states  Article 55  With a view to the creation of conditions of stability and well-being which are necessary for peaceful and friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, the United Nations shall promote:  higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social progress and development;  solutions of international economic, social, health, and related problems; and international cultural and educational co-operation; and  universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.  Article 56 o All Members pledge themselves to take joint and separate action in co- operation with the Organization for the achievement of the purposes set forth in Article 55.  The rights and obligations listed in the Charter were codified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/b1udhr.htm This was the first instrument that articulated the fundamental rights and freedoms of all people. ration, the UN Commission on Human Rights outlined the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/b3ccpr.htm ) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/b2esc.htm ). The Covenant recognizes both the collective dimension of human rights: PART I Article I 1. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. 2. All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law
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