Human Rights Syllabus Notes The Nature and Development of Human Rights Define human rights - The definition of human rights Widespread acknowledgement of the concept of human rights is a relatively new concept. Human rights transcend culture, ethnicity, religious orientation and even nationality. All people are entitled to these rights simply because they are human beings. Human rights refer to basic rights and freedoms that are believed to belong to all human beings. These rights are considered to be universal, inalienable (cannot be taken away) and inherent in all people. They transcend culture, ethnicity, religious orientation and nationality. They aim to protect individuals from injustice, allow people to achieve their full potential in society and prevent discrimination against groups of people because of their physical characteristics or beliefs.
Outline how human rights have changed and developed over time - the abolition of slavery The Abolition of Slavery Slave trade is a very ancient institution, it is a system in which individuals had no personal rights. They were bought and sold and often physically, emotionally and sexually abused. Ideas of natural rights and political liberty influenced thinking into the 19th Century. Protestants saw slavery as against the teachings of the Church. The Society for the Abolition of Slavery publicised the abuse of slaves. In spite of opposition, the British Government passed the Emancipation Act 1833 finally abolishing slavery and achieving humane and liberal principles as the only motive. The 13th amendment of the US Constitution outlawed slavery in 1865. The southern states defeated in conflict who had supported slavery regarding it as essential to a profitable economy. Despite abolition there remained discrimination in the US against former slaves until the 1960ʼs. The intimidation of blacks still continued, and still is to a certain degree today. Post WW1, there was continued slavery in Ethiopia and Arabia. This prompted the League of Nations to appoint the Temporary Slavery Commission which recommended a treaty against slavery. The Convention to Suppress the Slave Trade and Slavery negotiated in 1926. Signatories to end slavery ʻas soon as possibleʼ. UN replaced League of Nations after WW2 and took over agencies. War also exposed the forced labour used by Nazis. The Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery was added to the Convention in 1957. Slavery is banned under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2008 stated that 2.5 million people throughout the world are still exploited as a sort of slave. In Australia, slaves appear in the sex industry as seen in the case in 2006, Wei Tang. Found guilty of possessing and using a slave, sentenced 10 years. Criminal Code 1995 (Cwlth). Appeal was dismissed by the High Court. - trade unionism and labour rights
Trade Unionism Was an outcome of the Industrial Revolution. Unions were association of employees that were created to protect the rights of workers, utilising the concept of power of united action. In Britain in 1820ʼs, it was recognised that workersʼ organisations should be given some status to encourage bargaining collectively rather than striking. Rural unrest in England 1830ʼs, saw wages reduced. The Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers dedicated themselves to increasing the wage and conditions. Although this trade union was formed legally, requiring members to take an oath was not. This was against the Unlawful Oath Act 1797. They were arrested with the charges later dismissed. Trade unions played a role in establishing that employers owed a responsibility to their employees. Aust union movement led to the Australian Labour Party. Trade unions are entrenched in the UDHR: ʻeveryone has the right to form and join trade unions for the protections of his or her rightsʼ. The...
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