International human rights are universal norms that determine the bounds of human freedom. They are established by the global community as the valid measures that should be accepted by all countries and ethnicities. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights initiated a new period in the world history (Darraj 2010). The needs and freedoms of the person are to be ensured by the government of the state.
They are common for all people, in spite of their nation, skin color, gender, religion, origin, etc. This document has provided essential rights, which started a number of standards and regulations on human rights: the right to life, right to liberty, the right to health, etc. (Fomerand 2014). Respect for human rights is an international value of vital importance for people all over the world. Human rights are a comprehensive philosophical, moral, political and lawful phenomenon.
Initially, they are the essentials of human nature that are composed according to the demands and needs of everyday life. The development of the current system of human rights demonstrates the inaccessibility of full realization of the set of rules that its initiators wanted to attain. Thus, it requires the profound structural and conceptual reforms.
Contextually, human rights are the regulations of the human attitude to other people ensured by the set of laws and ethical measures. Every human right is intended for guaranteeing possibilities for the realization of human self-perfection and self-development to satisfy public and personal needs. Structurally, human rights are introduced in the form of the set of regulations and measures created with the purpose of protection of the individual, welfare, and moral values.
The system of human rights provides the possibility to get the goods of civilization for all people all over the world. Human rights are the restrictions of state authority in relation to citizens. It is obvious that every single human right is owned by the person, and there are no sound reasons to neglect them. However, the set of human rights presents a high value for every developed society. Essentially, they are the tools for advocacy of individuals from different dangers threatening their well-being. From the standpoint of their social intentions, human rights are the measures, by which people try to secure themselves against the dangers of international terrorism, various disasters, ecological issues, and the growth of crime, hunger and misery existing in developing countries, HIV, and other factors influencing the world security.
As human rights are the owning of the people from all over the world, it presupposes their universal conception. The preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (2007, p. 1) says, “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”. The postulates of this conception were elaborated and enlarged by the liberal reformers during a long process of the fight for deliverance from slavery and pressure. The universal concept of human rights is based on the religious, social, moral, and lawful studies (Corradetti 2009).
According to this concept, respect for human dignity and honour is of great significance. All world beliefs are grounded on the concept of the high appreciation of human spiritual life. All religions insist on the absolute equality of all human beings in the sight of God. Christian tenets teach to perceive people equally as the children of Adam and Eve; Buddhism equalizes people in their pain and trials; Islam equates all the believers in their implicit obedience to Allah.
All religious doctrines maintain the principles of absolute humanism. International human rights contain a profound philosophical implication. The concept of human rights presupposes the projection of possible human behaviour regarding other people and their spiritual values. It means the philosophical basis of this conception. The investigation of this concept as the philosophical phenomenon is a substantial study connected with theoretical comprehension of their practical realization. The individual determines the measures for all possible doings; people would never obey the rules of behaviour inadmissible to their ethical norms.
Freedom is one of the most significant constituents of full-fledged human life. The universal concept of human rights was worked out by the adherents of liberal values in the XVIII-XIX centuries (Benoist & Maulin 2011). The structure of this theory represented in the code of international human rights consists of the following principles:
- the perception of human rights as the highest humanistic value for people all over the world;
- the recognition of human rights regardless of the policies conducted by the government of the state;
- the equality of people in dignity and human rights;
- the discrepancy between the concept and authoritarianism, misery, and despotism;
- democracy and equality are the primary principles of world order;
- one of the top tasks of the government is to establish the atmosphere within the country appropriate for the observance and extreme respect for human rights (Donnelly 2013).
Although, there are various interpretations of the sense of human rights, there is something in common between them. There is a number of different methodological approaches to the comprehension of human rights concept. Respect for human rights and the significance of their implementation in everyday life was widely cultivated since XX century. Unfortunately, this phenomenon is sometimes used with anti-humanistic aims.
Politicians all over the world used to apply them as the instruments for the achievement of their private goals and satisfaction of unsound ambitions. Thus, the regulations and norms aimed at the protection of original human needs and freedoms become the method of influence upon the minds of people (Alston & Goodman 2013). Therefore, most of the people do not believe in universalism of this concept.
They are disappointed with the generally accepted system of values. It is perceived by the majority of people as inefficient and useless. Some items of the international human rights code may be even treated as controversial by some people. Nowadays, there is a need for the creation of a new system of universal human rights of the third generation (Simmons, 2009). With the development of high technologies, with the invention of various innovations in the scientific field, new global threats expect people.
International terrorism expands its scale, air and water pollution, harmful products, and enormous international debts complicate global implementation of human rights. People do not recognize this system as aimed at the protection of their values as it constantly shows its inability to them guarantee the security. It reveals the necessity to establish new legal norms and lawful regulations for the realization of the primary purpose of human rights.
These standards should take into account the achievements of scientific progress and shifts in the directions of its world development. Universal status of human rights is rather disputable and doubtful as the majority of people do not have the universal instrument for the accomplishment of their essential freedoms. Most of the people just do not have a real possibility to use this formal norm in practice. Thus, these lawful norms are widely criticized by both, the experts and people, which cultural peculiarities and customs do not allow them to accept the international human rights as universal and conventional(Freeman 2011). This scepticism is rather understandable and justified, and over the last decades it was gaining wide popularity all over the world. The amount of the critics of the concepts grew significantly due to the practical ineffectiveness of this theory.
There are different alternatives to the existing system, which were created by them in order to establish the instruments that would be able to realize the freedoms of each person. These projects also acquire the interest of the opponents of current conception. Often, these approaches are based on the ideology of religious doctrines. The acute issue is in the controversy between the eastern and western system of views. This gap is not in the sense and meaning of the phenomenon but in the comprehension of its origin and development (Fagan 2009). Declaration represents European ideology and system of values contradictory to different non-European communities. Philosophical component of this concept is the subject of major misunderstandings and disputes between the representatives of both cultures.
Today, world history is on the eve of the absolutely new historical period. In addition to ecological, socioeconomic, and political problems facing modern society, there are some ideological gaps that cause a multitude of crucial challenges. One of the major challenges is the confrontation between the European and Islamic systems of values (Freeman 2011). Thus, the universality of this concept fails and the only possible approach to the solution of this issue is to revise existing system and to create new advanced human rights code for every cultural layer of world community individually.
Alston, P & Goodman, R 2012, International human rights. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
Benoist, A & Maulin, E 2011, Beyond Human Rights: Defending Freedoms, Arktos, London, UK.
Corradetti, C 2009, Relativism and Human Rights: A Theory of Pluralistic Universalism, Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands.
Darraj, S 2010, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Chelsea House Publishers, New York.
Donnelly, J 2013, Universal human rights in theory and practice, 3rd edn, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.
Fagan, A 2009, Human rights: Confronting Myths and Misunderstandings, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK.
Fomerand, J 2014, Historical dictionary of human rights, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD.
Freeman, M 2011, Human Rights: An Interdisciplinary Approach, 2nd edn, Polity Press, Cambridge, UK.
Simmons, B 2009, Mobilizing for Human Rights: International Law in Domestic Politics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 60th Anniversary Special Edition. 2007. Web.