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Human rights and the international law

There is a popular quote regarding human rights ;


“The evolution of the human rights movement clearly illustrates humanity's ongoing struggle
toward creating a better world”.

Meaning
Human rights are "basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled".. The doctrine of
human rights aims to identify the necessary positive and negative prerequisites for a "universal"
minimal standard of justice, tolerance and human dignity that can be considered the public moral
norms owed by and to individuals by the mere virtue of their humanity. Such prerequisites can
exist as shared norms of actual human moralities, as justified moral norms or moral rights
supported by strong reasons, as legal rights at a national level, or as a legal right within
international law. Human rights advocates seek the strong protection of human rights through
their effective realisation in each of these ways. The claim of human rights is therefore that they
are universal, in that they are possessed by all by virtue of the fact that they are human, and
independent in that their existence as moral standards of justification and criticism is
independent whether or not they are recognized and by a particular national or international legal
system. Or government..
The general idea of human rights has widespread acceptance, and it has been argued that the
doctrine of human rights has become the dominant moral doctrine for regulating and evaluating
the moral status of the contemporary geo-political order. Indeed, the charter of the united nations
which has been signed by virtually all sovereign states recognises the existence of human rights
and calls for their promotion and respect. However, debate and disagreement over which rights
are human rights, and about the precise nature, content, justification and appropriate legal status
of those rights continues. The universal declaration of human rights has acted as the predominant
modern codification of commonly accepted human rights principles and many national many
international documents, treaties and instruments that have expanded on its principles and act as
a collective expression of widespread conceptions of human rights by the international
community. Examples of rights and freedoms which have come to be commonly thought of as
human rights include civil and political rights, such as the right to life and liberty, freedom of
expression, and equality before the law; and economic, social and cultural rights, including the
right to participate in culture, the right to be treated with respect and dignity, the right to food,
the right to work, and the right to education.
International law is the term commonly used for referring to the system of implicit and explicit
agreements that bind together sovereign states in adherence to recognized values and standards.
It differs from other legal systems in that it primarily concerns states rather than private citizens.
However, the term "international law" can refer to three distinct legal disciplines:
Public international law, which governs the relationship between states and international entities,
either as an individual or as a group. It includes the following specific legal field such as the
treaty law, law of sea, international criminal law and the international humanitarian law.
Private international law, or conflict of laws, which addresses the questions of (1) in which legal
jurisdiction may a case be heard; and (2) the law concerning which jurisdiction(s) apply to the
issues in the case.
Supranational law or the law of supranational organizations, which concerns at present regional
agreements where the special distinguishing quality is that laws of nation states are held
inapplicable when conflicting with a supranational legal system.
Purpose
International human rights law refers to the body of international law designed to promote &
protect human rights at the international, regional and domestic levels. International human
rights law is primarily made up of international treaties & customary international law. However,
other international human rights instruments in the form of declarations, guidelines &
international principles contribute to the implementation, understanding and development of
international human rights law.
International human rights law can be enforced on either a domestic, regional or international
level. States that ratify human rights treaties commit themselves to respecting those rights and
ensuring that their domestic law is compatible with their international legislation. Customary
peremptory norms of international law that relate to human rights are considered binding on all
nations, although the status of such norms is commonly disputed. When domestic law fails to
provide a remedy for human rights abuses parties may be able to resort to regional or
international mechanisms for enforcing human rights.
International human rights law is related to, but not the same as international humanitarian law,
which regulates armed conflicts and refugee law. War crimes, crimes against humanity and
genocide may be regulated by international human rights law but each have a substantial body of
independent international law.

Laws and provisions regarding human rights at international level and at national
level

The international human rights movement was strengthened when the United Nations General
Assembly adopted of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on 10 December
1948. Drafted as ‘a common standard of achievement for all peoples and nations', the
Declaration for the first time in human history spell out basic civil, political, economic, social
and cultural rights that all human beings should enjoy. It has over time been widely accepted as
the fundamental norms of human rights that everyone should respect and protect. The UDHR,
together with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional
Protocols, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, form the so -
called International Bill of Human Rights. A series of international human rights treaties and
other instruments adopted since 1945 have conferred legal form on inherent human rights and
developed the body of international human rights. Other instruments have been adopted at the
regional level reflecting the particular human rights concerns of the region and providing for
specific mechanisms of protection. Most States have also adopted constitutions and other laws
which formally protect basic human rights. While international treaties and customary law form
the backbone of international human rights law other instruments, such as declarations,
guidelines and principles adopted at the international level contribute to its understanding,
implementation and development. Respect for human rights requires the establishment of the
rule of law at the national and international levels.

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 fulfil human rights. The obligation to respect means
that States must refrain from interfering with or curtailing the enjoyment of human rights. The
obligation to protect requires States to protect individuals and groups against human rights
abuses. The obligation to fulfil means that States must take positive action to facilitate the
enjoyment of basic human rights
1829 - the practice of sati was formally abolished by governor general william bentick after
years of campaigning by hindu reform movements such as the brahmo samaj of ram mohan roy
against this orthodox hindu funeral custom of self-immolation of widows after the death of their
husbands.
1929 - child marriage restraint act, prohibiting marriage of minors is passed.
1947 - india achieves political independence from the british raj.
1950 - the constitution of india establishes a sovereign democratic republic with universal adult
franchise. Part 3 of the constitution contains a bill of fundamental rights enforceable by the
supreme court and the high courts. It also provides for reservations for previously disadvantaged
sections in education, employment and political representation.
1952 - criminal tribes act 1871 repealed by government, former "criminal tribes" categorized as
"denotified" and habitual offenders act (1952) enacted.
1955 - reform of family law concerning hindus gives more rights to hindu women.
1958 -armed forces (special powers) act, 1958-
1973 - supreme court of india rules in kesavananda bharati that the basic structure of the
constitution (including many fundamental rights) is unalterable by a constitutional amendment.
1975-77 - state of emergency in india - extensive rights violations take place.
1978 - sc rules in menaka gandhi v. Union of india that the right to life under article 21 of the
constitution cannot be suspended even in an emergency.
1978-jammu and kashmir public safety act, 1978
1984 - operation blue star and the subsequent 1984 anti-sikh riots
1985-6 - the shah bano case, where the supreme court recognised the muslim woman's right to
maintenance upon divorce, sparks protests from muslim clergy. To nullify the decision of the
supreme court, the rajiv gandhi government enacted the muslim women (protection of rights on
divorce) act 1986
1989 - scheduled caste and scheduled tribe (prevention of atrocities) act, 1989 is passed.
1989-present - kashmiri insurgency sees ethnic cleansing of kashmiri pandits, desecrating hindu
temples, killing of hindus and sikhs, and abductions of foreign tourists and government
functionaries.
1992 - a constitutional amendment establishes local self-government (panchayati raj) as a third
tier of governance at the village level, with one-third of the seats reserved for women.
Reservations were provided for scheduled castes and tribes as well.
1992 - babri masjid demolished by hindu mobs, resulting in riots across the country.
1993 - national human rights commission is established under the protection of human rights act.
2001 - supreme court passes extensive orders to implement the right to food.
2002 - violence in gujarat, chiefly targeting its muslim minority, claims many lives.
2005 - a powerful right to information act is passed to give citizen's access to information held
by public authorities.
2005 - national rural employment guarantee act (nrega) guarantees universal right to
employment.
2006 - supreme court orders police reforms in response to the poor human rights record of indian
police.
2009 - delhi high court delcares that section 377 of the indian penal code, which outlaws a range
of unspecified "unnatural" sex acts, is unconstitutional when applied to homosexual acts between
private consenting individuals, effectively decriminalising homosexual relationships in india.

At international level
Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination (cerd) (adopted 1966, entry
into force: 1969)
Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (cedaw) (entry into
force: 1981)
United nations convention against torture (cat) (adopted 1984, entry into force: 1984)
Convention on the rights of the child (crc) (adopted 1989, entry into force: 1989)
International convention on the protection of the rights of all migrant workers and members of
their families (icrmw) (adopted 1990)
Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities(crpd) (entry into force: 3 may 2008)
In india there is human right act 1993 , and there is national human right commission state
human right commission , and also under the Indian constitution ther are provisions for the
protection of human rights . We see that both at international level and at national level there are
lot of convention , treaties and act where there are articles and provisions for the protection of
human rights.
Violation of human rights at international level and at national level

We can see that at several places at international level human rights of the people has been
violated but no one put the question because the violation done by the supreme countries like
america attack on iraq , afghanistan but no put the question and in these wars rights of several
violated
The number of deaths related to combat and the collateral damage caused by warfare are only a
small part of the tremendous amount of suffering and devastation caused by conflicts. Over the
course of protracted conflict, assaults on political rights and the fundamental right to life are
typically widespread. Some of the gravest violations of the right to life are massacres, the
starvation of entire populations, and genocide. Genocide is commonly understood as the
intentional extermination of a single ethnic, racial, or religious group. Killing group members,
causing them serious bodily or mental harm, imposing measures to prevent birth, or forcibly
transferring children are all ways to bring about the destruction of a group. Genocide is often
regarded as the most offensive crime against humanity.
The term "war crime" refers to a violation of the rules of jus in bello (justice in war) by any
individual, whether military or civilian.[3] the laws of armed conflict prohibit attacks on civilians
and the use of weapons that cause unnecessary suffering or long-term environmental damage.[4]
other war crimes include taking hostages, firing on localities that are undefended and without
military significance, such as hospitals or schools, inhuman treatment of prisoners, including
biological experiments, and the pillage or purposeless destruction of property.[5] although
clearly outlawed by international law, such war crimes are common. According to kofi annan,
secretary-general of the united nations, it is increasingly true that "the main aim...[of conflicts]...
Is the destruction not of armies but of civilians and entire ethnic groups
What can be done for protection of human rights

International humanitarian law has been enacted to preserve humanity in all circumstances, even
during conflicts. Such law "creates areas of peace in the midst of conflict, imposes the principle
of a common humanity, and calls for dialogue. it rules out unlimited force or total war and seeks
to limit the use of violence in the hopes of maintaining the necessary conditions for a return to
peace. Various international committees are in place to monitor compliance with human rights
standards and report any violations. When breaches do occur, they are brought to the attention of
international tribunals or tried in an international court or war crimes tribunal.
But conflicts sometimes progress beyond the state at which international law can help. As the
number of victims grows and more individuals are taken prisoner, tortured, or executed, it
becomes more difficult to resort to the legal path. in addition, it is often difficult to "reconcile the
safeguarding of human rights with conflict resolution. many peacekeeping and conflict-
prevention initiatives have failed both to protect human rights and help the parties towards
conflict resolution. In part this is due to the fact that while wars between states have diminished,
wars within states have escalated. Many internal conflicts involve a surge in organized violence.
Genocide, crimes against humanity, and aggression against civilians have become a central part
of warfare in these "internal" conflicts. Such violence often arises out of identity issues -- in-
group/out-group dynamics -- and attempts of one ethnic or religious group to gain and maintain
political control and to exclude other groups. such conflicts are often not fought over principles
or ideas, but rather focus on differences. The "outsiders" are dehumanized, making human rights
violations such as severe discrimination or ethnic cleansing all the more psychologically feasible.
Thus, attacks on human rights are often at the very heart of these internal conflicts.
In response, public authorities must regain control of organized violence. This means a re-
establishment of the rule of law and a rebuilding of trust in public authorities. In addition, more
inclusive, democratic values are needed to defuse exclusivist ideals. in the face of such
violations, leaders must champion international legal norms and human rights. These human
rights norms are central to the maintenance of civil society, and necessary for grounding attitudes
of tolerance and mutual respect within communities.
Serious difficulties arise, however, when those in power are responsible for human rights
violations. In this case, outside intervention is necessary to stop the abuse.

My view point

At last i would like to say that protection of human rights doesn’t mean only it is the duty of law
to protect it is our duty to protect not only but also of other rights because if we say that why i
have to bother about the rights of other then we forget one thing one day our right may be
violated then no one stand for us to protect our human rights . I appreciate that National human
rights commission, State human rights commission under the supremacy of justice Shri R.S.
Mongia they are trying to protect violation of human rights but there is need that more ngo ,
individuals join to achieve the goal that no one right has been violated .Human rights are our
birth right and we have to raise our voice for the protection of human rights.