Student notes on Human Rights

Topics: Human rights, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations Pages: 17 (622 words) Published: July 22, 2015
Human Rights
“Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of
the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the
human family is the foundation of freedom, justice
and peace in the world”
-Preamble, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Essential Questions
● What are human rights and from where do
they originate?
● What issues prevent universal agreement on
what constitutes human rights?
● Are human rights culturally specific or
● How are human rights monitored and how
are human rights treaties enforced?

Origins of human rights- theories
● Natural law

________ ( Thomas Aquinas 1200s, John Locke + Thomas Hobbes 1600s ) all people have an ____________________________
good laws incorporate _________________________
_________________ reasoning process
not dependent upon a state or document to _________
them- _____________________________________

Born good? Babies and morality

Origins of human rights- theories
● Positivism

consent is ______________ to the establishment of
human rights norms (began with Protestant Reformation, then
writers of 1700-1800s)

question the idea that ______________________,
since what might be natural to some ___________
Human rights exist because states consent to them
States are ________________________________

Social norms

Historical background
● _____________ (1215) Britain, limited but was
an attempt to _________________________
○ habeas corpus: must be informed of charges against you

monarch must not be above the laws

● _____________________________________
_________ (1789) after French Revolution
○ list of _______________________- free speech, religion,
innocent until proven guilty

● _____________ (1789), ____________ (1791)

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)
● Describes the rights
● 18 delegates +
Chairperson former
First Lady Eleanor
Roosevelt created
the document

Debate over rights
● Western countries _____________
o free speech, right to practice one’s religion

● Soviet Union __________________
o jobs, places to live, health care
● Developing world _______________
o right to develop (w/o outside interference),
peace, clean environment

Negative and positive rights
● Negative: _______________________________

Have them until gov. ________________
right to free speech as long as gov. not restrict speech
right to bear arms

● Positive: ________________________________

Have them when gov. creates ___________________
right to food if citizens are starving
public education, police protection

How are human rights enforced?
● UN, NGOs, regional organizations and individuals
● Monitoring includes
o _________________________
o _______________________ to authenticate the info
o ________________ the information
o Using reports to ____________________________
● Human rights treaties require participating nations to

Human Rights Council

● Nation-states with poor human rights records

often try to ________________- harassing activists,
denying visas, covering up crimes

● ______________________________ to
● _____________________: quiet diplomacy,
public statements, cut aid/trade, International
Criminal Court

Emerging Human Rights
● __________________- connects water + health
● ___________________
o right to choose/refuse a partner, whether or not to procreate, LGBT recognized as a social group that could be granted
refugee status when facing persecution
o Homosexuality is banned in 80+ countries, punishable...
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