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University of Toronto Scarborough
Political Science
Waldemar Skrobacki

What are human rights1 These are rights that belong to an individual or group of individuals as a consequence of being human2 They denote a continuum of values or capabilities thought to enhance the human in the human being3 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 deprivationa exploitationb oppressionc persecution5 There are national and international legal processes that are associated with human rights 6 They are collective goods public goodsCollective goods public goods possess two characteristics Jointness of supplyo 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 prisoners 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 Nonexclusivenesso A jointly supplied good may be either excludable or nonexcludable Some jointly supplied goods can be withheld from members of the group but a collective good is jointly supplied and nonexcludableOrigins 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 Enlightenmenta Locke Montesquieu Voltaire Rousseau Social ContractMajor DocumentsEvents 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
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