While the idea of human rights as a universal norm has attracted much attention in recent decades, it is fraught with difficulties. Human rights treaties and declarations are intended to transform the moral consensus already in place. But they are not magic. They must be implemented as resources allow. To be effective, they must be consistent with the cultural practices of individuals and societies. Let us look at some of the main challenges and obstacles to achieving human rights in the modern world.
First, the state must respect the rights of the individual. For example, the state cannot interfere with peaceful demonstrations, but it must take active steps to protect demonstrators from aggression. Second, the state must protect the prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment. Third, the state must provide basic needs, including schools, hospitals, and doctors. Furthermore, it must ensure that the individual has access to information about his or her rights. This is because without access to information, people cannot exercise their rights.
Third, human rights need to be rooted in the philosophy of natural rights. John Locke, an English philosopher, argued that natural rights are the foundations of government legitimacy. This idea has since gained broad acceptance and is even reflected in some countries’ constitutions. Fourth, human rights were a reformulated version of this idea. These rights asserted the relationship between the government and citizens, and made the concept of natural rights more concrete.
Fourth, human rights should be universal. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) has been enacted since 1948. It has over 30 rights, including the right to expression, education, asylum, and more. The United Nations has a charter that states that each person has the right to live in dignity and freedom. This charter was drafted after World War II and the Holocaust. As a result, it seeks to protect the weakest members of society from oppression and genocide.
Fifth, human rights must be respected. The idea of tolerance must be upheld in order to be effective. Religious freedoms and the rights of women are a prime example of intolerance. In addition to the fundamental right to freedom of expression, human rights are a fundamental aspect of the culture and society. Ultimately, the goal of human rights must be to achieve equality and to ensure that everyone has equal access to the means to express themselves freely.
Fifth, human rights must respond to the different risks and dangers of each person. Whether one is a young man or an old woman, the rights they value are highly dependent on their gender, age, political affiliation, religion, and individual interests. Due process rights, for example, are more valuable to young men and women than to old people. But they also need to be more relevant to everyone. There is no one-size-fits-all human rights.
As long as these principles are respected, human rights are essential for a society. Hence, human rights should be prioritized. But that does not mean we should ignore violations of rights. Human rights are complex and can only be balanced on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, they are often subject to fierce debate. But this is a good sign – it shows that people are still grappling with the issues of human rights. It is important to remember that human rights are evolving moral and legal thought, and their existence is not a fixed ‘ideology.’