Freedom of movement, mobility rights or the right to travel is a human right concept that the constitutions of numerous states respect. It asserts that a citizen of a state in which that citizen is present has the liberty to travel, reside in, and/or work in any part of the state where one pleases within the limits of respect for the liberty and rights of others, and to leave that state and return at any time. Some immigrants’ rights advocates assert that human beings have a fundamental human right to mobility not only within a state but between states.
Billions of women, men and children face levels of deprivation that undermine the right to live with dignity. Hunger, homelessness and preventable disease are not inevitable social problems or simply the result of natural disasters they are a human rights scandal. Even in rich countries, there are people who do not have access to education, health care and housing. Governments often blame a lack of resources, but, in fact, many people face systematic discrimination, while those on the margins of society are often overlooked altogether.
The international community has stood by while individual governments have ignored the human rights of millions of people. International financial institutions have imposed conditions on countries that have led to reduced access to education and health care for people living in poverty.
Elsewhere, those large-scale development projects devoid of any regard for human rights have resulted in widespread homelessness. In many countries, governments do not regulate corporations to ensure that they meet their human rights responsibilities. They allow pollution of the environment and extreme exploitation to continue unchecked.
Violations of economic, social and cultural rights are not a matter of inadequate resources; they are a matter of justice. All human rights are inter-linked and the denial of one leads to denial of others where there is no freedom of expression, for example, there is no right to education.
People’s action around the world has lead to great gains in making economic, social and cultural rights a reality, but much more needs to be done so that everyone has the right to live in dignity.
empower individuals and communities to claim their basic entitlements as human beings.
Throughout history, courageous and visionary people have sought to extend the boundaries of human rights protection to those outside its boundaries, whether it be those living in slavery, workers unprotected against exploitation or women denied the vote.
Of the many concepts employed in law and politics, the concept
of human rights is the most obvious expression of a moral ideal.
As such, it is also a view about, at least, the minimal social
conditions necessary for the existence of a healthy political
order. Yet, the specification, implementation and interpretation
of that ideal has, since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
been dominated by international law.
This fact should be striking for three reasons, all of them implied
in the above description of the ideal. The first is that a moral
ideal would seem to imply that the specification, definition and
interpretation of these rights is not a necessarily legal process—
the ideal is not a legal ideal, that is, unless one believes legal
codification is the only, or principal, way to express these moral
aims, and that legal interpretation is merely the working out of
these aims on a case-by-case basis.
Secondly, the ideal of human rights describes a social order in which
persons have social guarantees against certain abusive forms of behaviour,
or types of usage of state power. Law would normally be thought of as
just one element of such an order, and in fact the efficient operation of
law itself presupposes many other social practices and guarantees, for
example, a certain degree of social stability and confidence in the
Thirdly, there is no obvious reason why all human rights, or all aspects
of human rights, are most appropriately advanced through legal means,
unless that is one thinks that human rights ideals have an efficient
and functioning human rights law as their primary aim.
An additional complication for this simple image of a transference of
human rights aims or ideals into human rights legal aims and practice,
is the kind of laws that are involved. The legal codification of universal
human rights has taken place in international law which, by its nature,
has distinctive features we should be wary of when looking at what it
codifies and how. The way international law codifies human rights is
likely to be sensitive to a number of non-neutral influences, such
as inter-state negotiations, compromise, and the accommodation of
other goals and values than human rights themselves.
Furthermore, it is a significant feature of international human rights
law that, once ratification of international treaties has been achieved,
the process of implementation is state-driven.
Human rights legalized—defining, interpreting, and implementing an ideal
- Başak Çali and Saladin Meckled-García
The conceptual understanding of human rights is benefited by considering the reasoning that moves the activists and the range and effectiveness of practical actions they undertake, including recognition, monitoring and agitation. It is argued that the richness of practice is critically relevant for understanding the concept and reach of human rights.
Human rights’ is one of the most important and most
interesting subjects. After all, the study of human
rights is essentially about how we treat all other people
with whom we share this planet. In its essence, striving
for the respect of human rights is a quest for
Human rights are about recognizing, honoring and protecting
the human dignity of each one of the six billion people on
this planet. When human rights are not protected, the
victim’s human dignity is thereby ignored. But what this
also does is to deny the humanity in all of us.
We study human rights because they are deeply interested
in making a positive contribution to the world. Our goal
is to build on this interest and this passion. Along with
this, our strong sense is that we want to ‘get into’
human rights because it is
the right thing to do.
Sabine C. Carey
Steven C. Poe
This book attempts to consider human rights as relevant to the activities of armed forces especailly in the conduct of their in military operations. It puts the human rights perspective in the position of members of the armed forces and those with whom they will come into contact during some form of military operation.
In performing their rudimentary duties to maintain peace and security, it always gives rise to human rights issues. This book explores the application of human rights standards in this military context.
It is often, however, part of the function of armed forces to take part in armed conflict, or at least to train for such a possibility. Thus international humanitarian law will also apply alongside the human rights obligations of the State in certain circumstances. However, it takes appropriate distinction in order to consider the different nature of, and issues involved in, such conflict from both a human rights and an international humanitarian law standpoint.
Human rights are now the dominant approach to social justice globally. But how do human rights work? What do they do? Drawing on anthropological studies of human rights work from around the world, this book examines human rights in practice. It shows how groups and organizations mobilize human rights language in a variety of local settings, often differently from those imagined by human rights law itself. The case studies reveal the contradictions and ambiguities of human rights approaches to various forms of violence. They show that this openness is not a failure of universal human rights as a coherent legal or ethical framework but an essential element in the development of living and organic ideas of human rights in context. Studying human rights in practice means examining the channels of communication and institutional structures that mediate between global ideas and local situations. Suitable for use on inter-disciplinary courses globally.
Peace is a universal value. It is a prerequisite and consequence of the enjoyment of human rights by everyone. The positive concept of peace must go beyond the strict absence of armed conflict and is linked to the economic, social and cultural development of peoples as a condition for satisfying the basic needs of human beings, to the elimination of all kinds of violence and to the effective respect for all human rights.
Human Rights in the Philippines metaphorically
are like buds to bloom still to the fullest.
They are flowers zealously nurtured in the
midst of adversity - beautiful and rare.
Take away human rights and human existence
and dignity are turned to nothing but illusions.
-Gilberth D. Balderama is a faculty member of
the University of Santo Tomas, College of Law
and Editor in Chief, UST Law Review.