Human Rights: A Very Short Introduction

Human Rights: A Very Short Introduction

Andrew Clapham

Language: English

Pages: 193

ISBN: 0199205523

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


From the controversial incarceration of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, to the brutal ethnic cleansing being practiced in Darfur, to the widespread denial of equal rights to women in many areas of the world, human rights violations are a constant presence in the news and in our lives. Taking an international perspective, and focusing on highly topical issues such as torture, arbitrary detention, privacy, health, and discrimination, this Very Short Introduction will help readers to understand for themselves the controversies and complexities behind this vitally relevant issue. Looking at the philosophical justification for rights, the historical origins of human rights and how they are formed in law, Andrew Clapham explains what our human rights actually are, what they might be, and where the human rights movement is heading.

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attracted the most vehement criticism as the taunting was caught on a mobile phone camera and seen via the internet around the world. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Let us leave the contemporary use of the concept of crimes against humanity and return to the end of the Second World War. The establishment of the United Nations signalled the beginning of a period of unprecedented international concern for the protection of human rights. Under the auspices of the UN, several key

expression and association can ensure that the best decisions are taken to protect rights to food, health, and work. Despite the logic of such a desire to secure 'all rights for all people', traditional assumptions about what constitute 'proper' human rights still persist. One does not have to look very far to find voices claiming that the rights we are discussing in this next chapter are not really human rights (see Box 27). Such an approach probably conceals a sense that such rights get in the

trade union members as violations by the striking workers of a right of employers to refuse to enter into agreements with trade unions. While the principles of freedom of association at work and protection from unfair dismissal may be universally recognized, the detail of how these rights are implemented is dependent on ideology, political power, and cultural context. Some countries have a long tradition of recognizing the importance of giving trade unions a central role in negotiating working

Court of South Africa, 18 August 2000, at para 15* 30 Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), Article 29* 172 31 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right of Everyone to the Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health, Paul Hunt, paras 40-2* 32 UN General Assembly 2005, Summit Outcome, para 68(i)* 33 UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat Agenda) 1996, para 60* 34 N Klein, No Logo (London: Flamingo, 2001), pp. 210-11 35 Amnesty International, It's

declared to be the servant of egoistic homme, that the sphere in which man acts as a communal being is degraded to a level below the sphere in which he acts as a partial being, and that, finally, it is not man as citoyen, but man as bourgeois who is considered to be the essential and true man. rights enthusiasts and their critics in perpetual antagonism? Modern rights theorists have sought to justify the existence and importance of rights by reference to some overriding value, such as freedom,

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