Universal Declaration of Human RightsHuman rights are a very sensitive topic the society has been trying to address for so long now. I decided to include a news article that exemplifies an actual human rights violation that happened to a 16- year old girl in Iran. Ateqeh Sahaleh was sentenced to be hanged in public without a fair trial. She was not given any support from a lawyer and was given a punishment her family and other human rights advocators condemned. Ateqeh is just one of so many other people that suffered from human rights violation.
Whether it may be in the East or West side of the world, this problem consumes every being in a society wherein ideally, human rights are given rights to every human being. Human rights are the rights that are inherent to man by virtue of being human. They are also known as natural rights. In many countries, the topic of human rights and the various violations to it is a serious topic. Indeed, many countries today whether Islamic or Christian or otherwise subscribe to the notion that human rights are granted by the divine and must be protected and honored without distinction based political considerations, religion, or whatsoever. In this connection, many countries have codified “universal” human rights to which they subscribe.
For many Christian countries, the United Nations Universal declaration of Human Rights is the foundation to which they based many of their own declarations of human rights. However, Islamic countries also drafted their own universal declaration, the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam. This paper aims to find reconcilable differences in the two rather similar declarations and also to discuss how important Human rights are. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was espoused and promulgated by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
It was on December 10, 1948 that the Assembly called upon representatives of different countries all over the world to publicize the contents and full narration of the Declaration. The Universal declaration of Human Rights must be "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories. " - http: //www. un. org/Overview/rights. html(nations, 1984)It was stated, after the preamble, that: “The UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.
“ - http: //www. un. org/Overview/rights. html(nations, 1984)The Universal Declaration is written in the civil law format. Meaning it starts with a preamble followed by the articles and sections. The Declaration is composed of thirty articles but the following are some of those that bear greatest weight: The right to life, liberty, property and security of person; the right to an education; the right to employment, paid holidays, protection against unemployment, and social security; the right to participate fully in cultural life; freedom from torture or cruel, inhumane treatment or punishment; freedom of thought, conscience and religion; freedom of expression and opinion. These rights summarize the most basic rights that a human being must be accorded.
For example the right to life has always been fundamental to the serious debate on capital punishment. We will take this point as a comparative point between the two declarations. In the UN Declaration, and in other Human Rights declarations such as the US Declaration of Independence, it is recognized that the rights to life and liberty are among the most intrinsic of all human rights.
It is argued that the right to life is the origin of all other rights which is logically so. After all you can’t expect to exercise any of your other rights say the right to free speech, after you’re dead, can you? These two rights are so basic that even in cases where someone is incarcerated for crimes he/she have committed, the right to liberty is still not taken away. It is only temporarily restrained. The person cannot exercise his right for the duration of his penalty.
After his sentence though, he is once again allowed to exercise his right to liberty. Although the case of the right to life is slightly different, it is still evident that these two rights are indeed the most valued of all rights. Even in the Islamic declaration, the right to life is also protected. Article 2 state that life is given by Allah and no one has the right to take it away except as prescribed by the shari’ah. This however is where the similarity between the two ends.
The shari’ah is the body of laws that govern all Muslim jurisprudence. It governs many aspects of daily Islamic living. It includes laws on diet, marriage, sex, etc. however, the laws of the shari’ah are so strict to the point that they will not be compatible with common international lifestyle; especially in cases where sexual behavior is concerned, for example. The shari’ah prescribes the death penalty for homosexuality, sex without marriage among others. Thus even though both declarations protect the right to life and liberty, the operational definitions of these rights will differ based on the cultural and religious contexts of the two Declarations.
The general idea of Human Rights is presenting the different rights of every human being living in a society, that a country or government should respect and protect- keeping in mind the welfare of the citizens all over the world. The specific rights mentioned in the Declaration can be subdivided into security rights, due process rights, liberty rights, political rights, equality rights, social or welfare rights, and group rights. The actual Declaration did not include group rights but other agreements do include this specific group of rights.
Let me first define what human rights are. Human rights are “The basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled, often held to include the right to life and liberty, freedom of thought and expression, and equality before the law. ” (http: //www. thefreedictionary. com/human+rights).