Legal Studies Human Rights Notes

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Chapter 7: Human Rights

The Nature and Development of Human Rights

* The definition of human rights
* Human Rights: Basic rights and freedoms believed to belong justifiably to all human beings

* Developing recognition of Human Rights
Abolition of Slavery
* Slavery is when one person becomes the ‘property’ of another. The most traditional form of slavery is when a role (usually manual and/or labour-intensive) is filled for little to no cost. Some examples of types of enslavement include debt slavery, slavery for punishment and when prisoners of war are made into slaves. * When Europe was expanding its power across the new world, it needed cheap labourers in order to expand. Their solution to this problem was the Translantic slave trade, trading products to Africa in exchange for slaves for Europe. The slave trade operated between the 17th century and the 19th century. * The abolitionist movement was headed by rational thinkers and religious figures who realized that it was a breach of human rights. Over time different legislation was put into effect that abolished slavery and made it illegal. * Somersett (R v Knowles; exparte somersett (1772) made slavery illegal in Britain * Brit. Politician Willberforce’s pressure on the government led to the slavery abolition act 1833 (UK) which banned importation of slaves to British colonies * War of independence from Spain led to many Latin American countries to abolish slavery * Abraham Lincoln + American civil war, US slaves freed 1865 &Third amendment to US * Europe slave trade meeting= Belgium and 13 other European powers signs Act of Brussles (1885) * 1926 League of Nations slavery convention’s aim was to prevent and suppress slave trade. To bring about progressively and as soon as possible, the complete abolition of slavery in all forms. * Post WWII, UN states declare slavery prohibited under Universal Declaration of Human rights * 1981 West Africa last to abolish slavery

* Slavery in the 20th century to the present
* Despite the legislation that has been put into effect to abolish slavery, to this day it still exists in the form of human/sex trafficking and forced labour. It is estimated that a staggering 27 million are illegal enslaved worldwide. Trade Unionism and Labour Rights

* A trade union is a union within a workplace to protest working conditions such as low wages, unethical working conditions, long working hours and dangerous working conditions. Trade unions are intended to gain employers attention in hope that the employer might respond to employee’s demands. Trade unions were developed during the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries in response to appalling conditions, lack of safety, low wages and long working hours in the factories of new industrial cities. Employees began to demand better working conditions and wages and employers would continue to deny improvements. * Employers realized that they needed to form a union and hold rallies and strikes to gain their employers attention so that their conditions could be changed by employers. Early trade unions faced difficulties as legislation was created to ban trade unions. For example, in 1834, a group of farm labourer’s in England formed a society to campaign for higher wages. Six of the leaders were arrested and sentenced to transportation to Australia for seven years. The British Parliament was then pressured to pass the Trade Unions Act 1871 (UK). * Working conditions were appalling before trade unions came into effect. Slavery was in effect and there was no such thing as a minimum wage or guidelines that employers were legally required to follow. * Trade unions emerged during the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19thcentury in response to appalling working conditions, lack of safety, low wages and long working hours. Employees responded to these conditions by forming a union of people to protest and partake...
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