Human Rights: UN Charter and UDHR

International Law was solely concerned with states in the classical period, influenced by the State sovereignty theory. The rule was based on the thesis that only conditions create rules of International Law, and as such, rules are valid for them alone. Thus, no place was left for the individuals, and therefore, they had no legal significance from the International Law’s point of view.

The dignity of human beings was only a matter of State Jurisdiction. If an injury was caused to an individual, the state alone owed the responsibility under international law to another state.

Concept of Human Rights                                                                                

Human rights are one such right that has been conferred to individuals by the States in modern International Law. It is basically regarded as those fundamentals and inalienable rights essential for life as a human being. These are rights become operative by birth itself. These rights are the minimal rights that are possessed against the State or any public authority.

The World Conference on Human Rights was held in 19993 in Vienna. In the declaration, it was stated that all human rights are derived from the dignity and worth inherent in the human being.

The need for human rights arose due to the inevitable increase in the government’s controlling power over men’s actions. There is a universal acceptance of human rights in the principle of domestic and international planes.

Protection of Human Rights under the UN Charter

  • United Nations Charter: UN Charter was signed in 1945 with the formal realization that human rights are international concerns. The issue of human rights is directly addressed by the UN Charter and provides the baseline of human rights.
  • Article 1 lays down the UN’s purposes and principles, which include maintaining international peace and security.
  • Article 13 (1) (b) says that the General Assembly’s powers and functions shall initiate studies and make recommendations without any distinction as to any race, sex, language, or religion.
  • Article 55 and 56 charges the UN and its member states to observe human rights and fundamental freedoms.
  • Article 62 talks about the powers and functions of the economic and social council.
  • Article 68 says that the Economic and Social Council shall set up commissions in economic and social fields and promote human rights.

 

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), 1948: The charter provision for human rights came with UDHR. It was drafted after 2 years of study by the Commission on Human Rights.
  • Article 1 talks about equality in dignity and rights of human beings by birth.
  • Article 2 lays down that every person is entitled to all the rights and freedom mentioned in this declaration like race, color, property, etc.
  • Articles 3 to 21 talks about all the political and civil rights.
  • UDHR is one of the first major achievements of the UN in the field of Human Rights

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