Human rights are rights that are basic, inherent and inalienable in nature. The basic premise of these rights is to ensure that all human beings irrespective of their origin, ethnicity, race, colour, nationality, citizenship, sex or religion or any other factor. These rights are now recognized universally. This is a dynamic concept and since the beginning new rights have been recognized as human rights. To ensure that all are entitled to these rights, laws have been enacted at a national as well as international level.
The objective of human rights is to preserve the dignity of the people as well as the internal political structure, levels of social technological and economic development, the resource base and the religious and cultural background of the countries. Human Rights are the rights, which every individual must have against the state of other public authority by virtue of being a human. Human rights are important because they are essential for the development of the human race and shall prevent happenings such as World Wars where men behaved like animals.
A smallish storm was recently kicked up in India when the government of Uttar Pradesh made attempts to sideline the monument’s prominence by not including it in its official tourism brochure. But such actions, condemnable as they are, pale before much more radical and older projects that seek to question the Taj’s origins. There are fringe authors who would tell you that rather than being a mausoleum holding the bodies of a Muslim empress and her husband, the Taj Mahal is actually a Hindu “temple palace”, and they claim its name to be ‘Tejo Mahalaya’
In India, the Constitution is the primary document that declares human rights to all citizens of the country. These are enumerated in Part III of the Constitution. These include civil and political rights, such as the right to freedom of expression, the right to freedom of religion or conscience, the right to property, the right to freedom of assembly, the right to privacy, the right to vote, etc. They also cover economic and social rights, such as the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to adequate food, housing, water and sanitation, the rights you have at work, the right to education, etc.
The analysis of the human rights is to be made from three perspectives, i.e., the Socio-Economic dimension of Human Rights in India, the legal dimension of Human Rights in India and the role of international organizations and NGOs in promotion of human rights. Several initiatives have been undertaken in India for the greater protection of the women, children and certain other groups of the society such as: abolishment of the practice of Sati, child labour, dowry and child marriage; enacting laws such as The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, Right to Information act, 2005, The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, etc.
The approach in India with respect to human rights is an individualistic one where the law accepts the existence of the groups and individual human rights can be fully enjoyed if certain other human rights are fully or partially developed. Thus, it has a wide approach. Due to the growing human rights jurisprudence, violation of human rights in India is now seen equivalent to violations of the Constitution as well as humanitarian international law and international covenants that India is a party to.
Internationally, the growth of human rights was seen post the World Wars wherein instruments, treaties and other international documents were enacted to lay down, promote and recognize the international human rights law and the protection of human rights generally. They are classified into two categories; one, Political declarations adopted by bodies such as the United Nations General Assembly which are not legally binding but are considered as soft law; and, second, conventions and treaties which are legally binding instruments made under international law. International treaties and even declarations can, over time, obtain the status of customary international law. There also exist international human right instruments which though pertains to some particular states in a particular region of the world such as the African Charter.
The foundation of modern human rights is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The 30 articles of the Declaration have been integrated into national laws and international treaties. The core values of the UDHR - human dignity, fairness, equality, non-discrimination - apply to everyone, everywhere.
Other important international documents are the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. International human rights law lays down obligations which States are bound to respect. By becoming parties to international treaties, States assume obligations and duties under international law to respect, to protect and to fulfill human rights by incorporating it in their laws and implementing enforcement mechanism. These are in the nature of political, cultural and social rights.
No human rights can be detracted from the individual’s human rights and this is ensured with the ever evolving jurisprudence. The concept and scope of human rights is relevant today more than ever due to the issues such as of refugees, poverty, terrorism etc.