What are human rights, and why do they have implications for global politics?
Human rights are understood as fundamental rights in which a person is inherently entitled to, simply because she or he is a human being. These rights are a modern a secular version of ’natural’ rights, which are believed under a religious perspective. Human rights are therefore universal, fundamental and absolute. The are universal in the sense that they apply to all humans everywhere in the world, regardless of nationality, ethnicity or social background etc. the are fundamental in that they can only be denied or violated under law, but the human being’s entitlement to them cannot be removed completely. Finally they are absolute in the sense that there are no compromises, it applies to all. If they were not universal, fundamental or absolute then they could be open to interpretation. The movement developed in the aftermath of WWII and the atrocities of the Holocaust, culminating in the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Paris by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.
The declaration is one of the most important international documents because it has influenced law-making, how organizations and institutions operate, personal and collective actions, values, attitudes and beliefs about human rights. It was conceived as a statement of objectives to be followed by governments, rather than a list of rights to be consulted by citizens. One of the main implications of the declaration for global politics is that it establishes a framework of standards to which all states and other bodies should conform too and which has a higher moral authority than any state legal system. Therefore, this doctrine of human rights has large implications for the principle of state sovereignty. Furthermore, the declaration forms a basis for international law and is a powerful tool in applying diplomatic and moral pressure to governments that violate any of its articles, e.g the...
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