Violation of Human Rights - Kapetanović Eldina

August 12, 2017 | Author: Jasmina Kapetanovic | Category: Malala Yousafzai, Natural And Legal Rights, John Locke, Human Rights, Liberalism
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A brief essay regarding the concept of human rights....


University of Sarajevo Faculty of Philosophy English Language and Literature Department

Violations of Human Rights

Student: Eldina Kapetanović

Mentor: dr. Nejla Kalajdžisalihović

Sarajevo, January 2016

Introduction Human rights are norms that all people obtain by birth in order to be protected everywhere from legal and social abuses.

Some human rights are:  

the right to freedom of religion; the right to be healthy - Access to all medical services, sanitation, adequate food,

decent housing, healthy working conditions, and a clean environment; the right to education - It is said that education should be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education is compulsory (required by law). Technical and professional education should generally be available and higher education should be equally accessible to everyone. It should promote understanding,

tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups; the right to fair trials, if and when it comes to being convicted for a crime – the right to a fair trial is an essential right in all countries respecting the rule of law. Now, individual elements which are included into that human right itself - the elements to which all humans are entitled within that law, may vary from one state or country to

another; the right not to be tortured, etc.

They are called universal, because they describe equal rights and freedom for anyone regardless of gender, language, nationality, race, religion, and some other personal ‘choices’ people take free-willingly.

Even though the rights themselves are called ‘universal’, the idea of them is not. It is a product of 17th and 18th European thought. Early philosophical sources of the idea of human rights derive from some of the world’s most famous philosophers, such as Samuel Pufendorf (1632–1694), John Locke(1632–1704), and Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), and others who will be mentioned further on.

One of the oldest Western philosophies on human rights is that they are a product of a natural law as natural rights, which cannot be repealed or restrained by any human law.

Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) argued that the human right was to use one’s own power for the preservation of one’s own life. Hobbes sharply distinguished this natural "liberty", from natural "laws", described as a general rule, by which a man is forbidden to do things that are destructive of his life.

Karl Marx (1818-1883) ‘’Above all, we note the fact that the so-called rights of man, the droits de l'homme as distinct from the droits du citoyen, are nothing but the rights of a member of civil society – i.e., the rights of egoistic man, of man separated from other men and from the community.’’ For Marx, liberal rights and ideas of justice are based on the idea that each of us needs protection from others. Therefore, liberal rights are rights of separation, designed to protect us from such threats. According to Marx, real freedom is to be found positively in our relations with other people. It is to be found in human community, not in isolation.

Liberalism Liberalism is a worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. There are three ideas which liberals support: The first is the idea that all people are born with rights, which they obtained and continue holding simply because they are a human being. Unfortunately, not everyone shares this belief. Many people believe that rights are simply entitlements granted by the government and held only by the state’s citizens. But for liberals, rights are universal, held by everyone, and inalienable, they continue to exist regardless of whether or not governments recognise them as legitimate rights. The second idea concerns what human rights actually are. Classical liberals believe that the list of human rights is comprised primarily of those things that are crucial to preserve life and individual liberty. The third idea in which classical liberals believe, that the role of the state in fulfilling or protecting human rights should be very limited. States should do only what is necessary to protect life and property.

Speaking of freedom, life, and property, this leads us to one of the most influential philosophers of the Enlightenment era, the so-called ‘Father of Classical Liberalism’, John Locke. John Locke incorporated natural law into many of his theories and his philosophy. Locke turned Hobbes' prescription around, saying that if the ruler (king, governor, etc.) went against

natural law and failed to protect "life, liberty, and property," people would have every right to overthrow the existing state and create a new one. John Locke uses the word ‘property’ in both broad and narrow senses. In a broad sense, it covers a wide range of human interests, more narrowly, it refers to material goods. He argues that property is a natural right and it is earned by labour. To deny valid property rights, according to Locke, is to deny human rights.

According to Locke there are three natural rights: 

Life: everyone is entitled to live.

Liberty: everyone is entitled to do anything they want to so long as it doesn't conflict with the first right.

Estate: everyone is entitled to own everything they create or gain through gift or trade so long as it doesn't conflict with the first two rights.

‘All mankind... being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions.’ (John Locke)

17th century German philosopher Samuel Pufendorf, who classified dozens of duties accordingly: duties to God, duties to oneself, and duties to others.

Concerning our duties towards God, he argued that there are two kinds:

1. a theoretical duty to know the existence and nature of God, and 2. a practical duty to both inwardly and outwardly worship God.

Concerning our duties towards oneself, these are also two kinds:

1. duties of the soul, which involve developing one's skills and talents, and 2. duties of the body, which involve not harming our bodies, as we might through gluttony or drunkenness, and not killing oneself.

Concerning our duties towards others, Pufendorf classifies these as absolute duties (which are universally binding on people)

Absolute duties are of three sorts:

1. avoid wronging others, 2. treat people as equals, and 3. promote the good of others.

Influenced by Pufendorf, Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) agreed that we have moral duties to ourselves and others, such as developing our talents, and keeping our promises to others.

Along with the moral uprising of the society, many new human rights have been taken into consideration and established, such as the new LGBT rights, or euthanasia. The legal

recognition of those new ‘human rights’ must be based on the assumption that some kind of ‘Natural Law’ allows the recognition of those ‘rights’. Many funds have been formed throughout the second half of the 20th century, and many are formed daily in today’s day and age. Organizations have erupted in an effort to protect the rights of those whose rights have been violated. I have decided to give an example of such organisations, by presenting ‘The Malala Fund’ which may not be, by my assumption, well known in our society, taking in consideration that it is a fairly new, recent fund. Malala was born on 12 July 1997 in Mingora, a town in north-west Pakistan. Her father named her after Malalai, a Pashtun heroine. Little did he know, she would grow up to be one too. Her father ran a school adjacent to the family's home. He was known as an advocate for education in Pakistan, which has the second highest number of out-of-school children in the world, and became an outspoken opponent of Taliban efforts to restrict education and stop girls from going to school. With the help of her father, Malala stood up because she had wanted to make a change for a long time. Malala and her father received death threats but continued to speak out for the right to education. In 2011, she received Pakistan's first National Youth Peace Prize. In response to her rising popularity and national recognition, Taliban leaders voted to kill her. On 9 October 2012, as Malala and her friends were travelling home from school, a masked gunman entered their school bus and asked for Malala by name. She was shot with a single

bullet which went through her head, neck and shoulder. Two of her friends were also injured in the attack. Malala survived the initial attack, but was in a critical condition. She was moved to Birmingham in the United Kingdom for treatment at a hospital that specialises in military injuries. She was not discharged until January, 2013 by which time she had been joined by her family in the UK. The Taliban's attempt to kill Malala received worldwide condemnation and led to protests across Pakistan. In the weeks after the attack, over 2 million people signed a right to education petition, and the National Assembly swiftly ratified Pakistan's first Right To Free and Compulsory Education Bill.

2013 Establishing the Malala Fund Malala and her father became a global advocate for the millions of girls being denied a formal education because of social, economic, legal and political factors. In 2013, Malala and her father co-founded the Malala Fund to bring awareness to the social and economic impact of girls' education and to empower girls to raise their voices, to unlock their potential and to demand change.

2014 Nobel Peace Prize Malala accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on 10 December, 2014 with Indian children's rights and education advocate Kailash Satyarthi. Malala contributed her $1.1 million prize money to financing the creation of a secondary school for girls in Pakistan.

'The Malala Fund is the voice of girls. The goal of the fund is to see every girl in school for 12 years of a safe, quality education. There seems to be a view that basic literacy is enough, but it's not. Secondary education is the basic human right of every girl.'

Conclusion Human rights have been constantly evolving throughout the human history, and even though most of us are informed about our rights, we violate others’, whether we are aware of it, or not. We live in a world which has improved in the field of technology. Cars, planes, trains, ships, helicopters, robots are only some of the major breakthroughs and inventions throughout eras of human existence. We are given an amazing opportunity to put our intellects in good use, but are we actually wise enough to take that opportunity? As long as there are different races, religions, nationalities, people will disagree, fight and not tolerate each other. Yes we have come a long way since the Middle Ages, the First and Second World Wars, slavery is no longer present in our communities, women and children have gained many rights throughout the last century and they are still fighting for a better tomorrow where everybody is equal. Unfortunately, Jews had to suffer great losses, Muslims, Christians too, and they still do, and I am sure every race and religion will continue to suffer

great losses, as long as there are closed-minded and brainwashed people who disrespect the essential, natural, human rights of others. There are many solutions out there to prevent the abuse of human rights. Through education and the media people can be aware of the numerous human rights violations taking place in the world today and gain some knowledge of what's going on in the world. It is 2016, we should not be ashamed of who we are, who we love and what we do, if it does not harm anyone, invade anyone’s privacy, or endangers their life. I believe that the world and the people residing have had enough time to see what has occurred in the past. We need to learn from our mistakes in the past and never let such atrocities like the torture of the Jewish families, terrorist attacks all over the world in today’s day and age, dictate us towards hate and revenge, and never let those atrocities happen again. I sincerely hope I wake up one day and not fear being disrespected for being a woman, a Muslim, a Bosnian. We are who we are, and we cannot change our origins, we can only thrive towards becoming a better person tomorrow than what we are today. As Ernest Hemingway once said: ‘There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.’



INALIENABLE /in'eiliǝnǝbl/ - neotuđiv GENERAL ASSEMBLY / 'dӡenǝrǝl ǝ'sembli / - generalna skupština INTERDEPENDENT /ɪntədɪˈpendənt/ - međusavistan INDIVISIBLE /ˈindiˈvizəbəl/ - nedjeljiv, nerazdvojiv

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