Brief notes on the Nature of Human Rights

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The welfare of the individual has become the matter of concern to the international community. With the development of the concept of ‘family of nations’, the human rights problem of a particular state is the problem of the entire humanity. The fundamental freedoms of all human beings without the distinction of race, language or religion constitute the text of human rights all over the world. The concept of human rights was evolved originally by the domestic legislation of some states in the form of natural-law-documents like the Magna Carta in England, the Bill of Rights in the U.S.A. and the Declaration of Rights of man in France. After the Second World War, all the civilised nations of the world being obsessed by the brutality of nuclear war decided to adopt a universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The U.N. Commission on Human Rights formulated a Draft Declaration of Human Rights on June 10, 1948 which was accepted by the General Assembly as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948 without a dissenting vote. Art 1 of the Declaration proclaims that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. The Declaration from Art 2 to Art 21 provides civil and political rights such as right to life, liberty, freedom of religion, freedom of thought and expression etc. From Art 22 to Art 27 it provides social and economic rights such as right to work leisure, equal pay for equal work etc. This epoch-making Declaration was clothed with legal form in the year 1966 (16th December 1966). The two Covenants. On Civil and Political rights as well as Economic Social and Cultural Rights, were formulated. Right of Self-determination was also inserted in Art 1 of the Covenant.

The Member-States of the United Nations may also follow few steps in this direction. They are:

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(1) To sign and ratify the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination.

(2) To take early steps by legislation or otherwise to ensure effective ma­chinery for protection of human rights within their territories.

(3) To endeavour to set up regional arrangements establishing regional bod­ies for hearing of appeals on human rights and

(4) To take prompt steps for setting up a Universal Court of Human Rights with international jurisdiction.

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