why do we have rights as a human

What are Human Rights? You are a human being. You have rights inherent in that reality. You have dignity and worth that exists prior to law. Human rights are the rights that every person is entitled to simply by virtue of being human. At the root of the human rights concept is the idea that all people should be able to live with dignity. Violations of our human rights amount to denials of our basic humanity. There were many important people throughout history that contributed to the notion and understanding of human rights. Plato believed in universal truth and virtue. This idea has continued on to become universalism, that human rights are universal, and as such are above the laws of individual states. Human rights are often discussed and defended by the key philosophers.


For example, Kant argued that human rights are based in the fundamental moral right to be treated as an end in oneself, a view that he felt was completely justified by the value of human reason: a species that has the extraordinary reasoning power of human beings is special enough to have natural, basic rights. So, he argued, because these rights arise from and are an inseparable part of our basic human nature, they are inalienable they cannot be treated like commodities that are given to us or taken away from us. Based on this argument, as long as we are human, in principle we always have fundamental human rights. This is true whether we are free or in prison, or whatever our circumstances. However, human rights can t just be based on the rights-holder s personal needs and interests.


Rights are normally considered to be above practical considerations of that sort: instead, they exist at the level of the moral duties we owe each other as reasoning beings. positive law principles. We look at these next.
Why do We Need to Set Down Human Rights? When the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was written, it was controversial. No one had ever tried to set down a full list of rights that applied universally. Looking back at it now, many of us would be surprised by some of the debates, especially if we have been raised with the language of human rights. Below are three reasons why human rights are necessary. We need to set down human rights because they give us a moral vision of human nature and human dignity.


They create a vision of what life would look like if everybody s basic humanity was equally respected and protected. If our needs for survival and protection were met, then we could focus on developing our individual and collective potential through educational and cultural activities. The reality is that war, violence, intolerance and poverty around the world result in daily violations of human dignity. Human rights remind us of what is possible and what is due to people, even in the worst of situations. Political vision Human rights also give us a political vision or an agenda for change. If we evaluate our own schools, communities or countries against the standards set out in the Declaration, we can develop an agenda for social and political change.


New policies and procedures, new development projects and new laws can be constructed in order to try to improve the achievement of human rights for all. No Commonwealth country can really claim to have fully implemented human rights there is always room for improvements, like reducing the inequalities between the very poor and the very wealthy, or between women and men. Protection We need human rights for protection when our legal rights are violated by the state, and to encourage justice and fairness within our societies. Ironically, we may be most aware of our human rights when they are being threatened or denied. Human rights can be matters of life and death. For example, in many countries during times of unrest the police have been used to detain opponents of the government or to confiscate their property, even though such actions may be against the written laws.


Because of these three widely-accepted reasons, human rights are occasionally protected by raising both national and international awareness of human rights violations. This can help draw attention to and resolve such situations, by creating moral pressure on governments. This kind of strategy has been successfully used by groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. During the period of Ian Smith s illegal occupation of Southern Rhodesia, Amnesty International ran a concerted campaign against the mistreatment of black activists by the state. In the next section we look at some other ways in which human rights are protected.