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The division of human rights into three generations was initially proposed in 1979 by the Czech jurist Karel Vasak at the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg. He used the term at least as early as November 1977.Vasak's theories have primarily taken root in European law.
His divisions follow the three watchwords of the French Revolution: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity . The three generations are reflected in some of the rubrics of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.[ citation needed ] The Universal Declaration of Human Rights includes rights that are thought of as second generation as well as first generation ones, but it does not make the distinction in itself (the rights listed are not in specific order).
First-generation human rights, sometimes called "blue" rights, deal essentially with liberty and participation in political life. They are fundamentally civil and political in nature: They serve negatively to protect the individual from excesses of the state. First-generation rights include, among other things, the right to life, equality before the law, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, property rights, the right to a fair trial, and voting rights. Some of these rights and the right to due process date back to the Magna Carta of 1215 and the Rights of Englishmen, which were expressed in the English Bill of Rights in 1689. A more full set of first-generation human rights was pioneered in France by the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in 1789, and by the United States Bill of Rights in 1791.
They were enshrined at the global level and given status in international law first by Articles 3 to 21 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and later in the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In Europe, they were enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights in 1953.
Second-generation human rights are related to equality and began to be recognized by governments after World War II. They are fundamentally economic, social, and cultural in nature. They guarantee different members of the citizenry equal conditions and treatment. Secondary rights would include a right to be employed in just and favorable condition, rights to food, housing and health care, as well as social security and unemployment benefits. Like first-generation rights, they were also covered by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and further embodied in Articles 22 to 28 of the Universal Declaration, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.
In the United States of America, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed a Second Bill of Rights, covering much the same grounds, during his State of the Union Address on January 11, 1944. Today, many nations, states, or groups of nations have developed legally binding declarations guaranteeing comprehensive sets of human rights, e.g. the European Social Charter.
Some states have enacted some of these economic rights, e.g. the state of New York has enshrined the right to a free education,as well as "the right to organize and to bargain collectively", and workers' compensation, in its constitutional law.
These rights are sometimes referred to as "red" rights. They impose upon the government the duty to respect and promote and fulfill them, but this depends on the availability of resources. The duty is imposed on the state because it controls its own resources. No one has the direct right to housing and right to education. (In South Africa, for instance, the right is not, per se, to housing, but rather "to have access to adequate housing",realised on a progressive basis. )
The duty of government is in the realization of these positive rights.
Third-generation human rights are those rights that go beyond the mere civil and social, as expressed in many progressive documents of international law, including the 1972 Stockholm Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and other pieces of generally aspirational "soft law".
Also known as Solidarity human rights, they are rights that try to go beyond the framework of individual rights to focus on collective concepts, such as community or people. However, The term remains largely unofficial,just as the also-used moniker of "green" rights, and thus houses an extremely broad spectrum of rights, including:
The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights ensures many of those: the right to self-determination, right to development, right to natural resources and right to satisfactory environment.Some countries also have constitutional mechanisms for safeguarding third-generation rights. For example, the Hungarian Parliamentary Commissioner for Future Generations, the Parliament of Finland's Committee for the Future, and the erstwhile Commission for Future Generations in the Knesset in Israel.
Some international organizations have offices for safeguarding such rights. An example is the High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. The Directorate-General for the Environment of the European Commission has as its mission "protecting, preserving and improving the environment for present and future generations, and promoting sustainable development".
A few jurisdictions have enacted provisions for environmental protection, e.g. New York's "forever wild" constitutional article,which is enforceable by action of the New York State Attorney General or by any citizen ex rel. with the consent of the Appellate Division.
Several analysts claim that a fourth generation of human rights is emerging, which would include rights that cannot be included in the third generation, future claims of first and second generation rights and new rights, especially in relation to technological development and information and communication technologies and cyberspace.
However, the content of it is not clear, and these analysts do not present a unique proposal. They normally take some rights from the third generation and include them in the fourth, such as the right to a healthy environment or aspects related to bioethics. Some of those analysts believe that the fourth generation is given by human rights in relation to new technologies,while others prefer to talk about digital rights, where a new range of rights would be found, such as:
Others point out that the differentiating element would be that, while the first three generations refer to the human being as a member of society, the rights of the fourth would refer to the human being as a species.
Maurice Cranston argued that scarcity means that supposed second-generation and third-generation rights are not really rights at all.If one person has a right, others have a duty to respect that right, but governments lack the resources necessary to fulfill the duties implied by citizens' supposed second- and third-generation rights.
Charles Kesler, a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College and senior fellow of the Claremont Institute, has argued that second- and third-generation human rights serve as an attempt to cloak political goals, which the majority may well agree are good things in and of themselves, in the language of rights, and thus grant those political goals inappropriate connotations. In his opinion, calling socio-economic goods "rights" inherently creates a related concept of "duties", so that other citizens have to be coerced by the government to give things to other people in order to fulfill these new rights. He also has stated that, in the US, the new rights create a "nationalization" of political decision-making at the federal level in violation of federalism.In his book Soft Despotism, Democracy's Drift, Paul Rahe, the Charles O. Lee and Louise K. Lee Chair in Western Heritage at Hillsdale College, wrote that focusing on equality-based rights leads to a subordination to the initial civil rights to an ever-expanding government, which would be too incompetent to provide for its citizens correctly and would merely seek to subordinate more rights.
19th century philosopher Frederic Bastiat summarized the conflict between these negative and positive rights by saying:
M. de Lamartine wrote me one day: "Your doctrine is only the half of my program; you have stopped at liberty; I go on to fraternity." I answered him: "The second half of your program will destroy the first half." And, in fact, it is quite impossible for me to separate the word "fraternity" from the word "voluntary". It is quite impossible for me to conceive of fraternity as legally enforced, without liberty being legally destroyed, and justice being legally trampled underfoot.
Economist Friedrich Hayek has argued that the second generation concept of "social justice" cannot have any practical political meaning:
No state of affairs as such is just or unjust: it is only when we assume that somebody is responsible for having brought it about ... In the same sense, a spontaneously working market, where prices act as guides to action, cannot take account of what people in any sense need or deserve, because it creates a distribution which nobody has designed, and something which has not been designed, a mere state of affairs as such, cannot be just or unjust. And the idea that things ought to be designed in a "just" manner means, in effect, that we must abandon the market and turn to a planned economy in which somebody decides how much each ought to have, and that means, of course, that we can only have it at the price of the complete abolition of personal liberty.
New York University School of Law professor of law Jeremy Waldron has written in response to critics of the second-generation rights:
In any case, the argument from first-generation to second-generation rights was never supposed to be a matter of conceptual analysis. It was rather this: if one is really concerned to secure civil or political liberty for a person, that commitment should be accompanied by a further concern about the conditions of the person's life that make it possible for him to enjoy and exercise that liberty. Why on earth would it be worth fighting for this person's liberty (say, his liberty to choose between A and B) if he were left in a situation in which the choice between A and B meant nothing to him, or in which his choosing one rather than the other would have no impact on his life?"
Hungarian socialist and political economist Karl Polanyi made the antithetical argument to Hayek in the book The Great Transformation . Polanyi wrote that an uncontrolled free market would lead to repressive economic concentration and then to a co-opting of democratic governance that degrades civil rights.
The World Conference on Human Rights opposed the distinction between civil and political rights (negative rights) and economic, social and cultural rights (positive rights) that resulted in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action proclaiming that "all human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated".
Human rights are moral principles or norms that describe certain standards of human behaviour and are regularly protected as natural and legal rights in municipal and international law. They are commonly understood as inalienable, fundamental rights "to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being" and which are "inherent in all human beings", regardless of their age, ethnic origin, location, language, religion, ethnicity, or any other status. They are applicable everywhere and at every time in the sense of being universal, and they are egalitarian in the sense of being the same for everyone. They are regarded as requiring empathy and the rule of law and imposing an obligation on persons to respect the human rights of others, and it is generally considered that they should not be taken away except as a result of due process based on specific circumstances; for example, human rights may include freedom from unlawful imprisonment, torture, and execution.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is an international document adopted by the United Nations General Assembly that enshrines the rights and freedoms of all human beings. It was accepted by the General Assembly as Resolution 217 at its third session on 10 December 1948 at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France. Of the 58 members of the United Nations at the time, 48 voted in favour, none against, eight abstained, and two did not vote.
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from infringement by governments, social organizations, and private individuals. They ensure one's entitlement to participate in the civil and political life of society and the state without discrimination or repression.
Social justice is a concept of fair and just relations between the individual and society, as measured by the distribution of wealth, opportunities for personal activity, and social privileges. In Western as well as in older Asian cultures, the concept of social justice has often referred to the process of ensuring that individuals fulfill their societal roles and receive what was their due from society. In the current global grassroots movements for social justice, the emphasis has been on the breaking of barriers for social mobility, the creation of safety nets and economic justice.
Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory. Rights are of essential importance in such disciplines as law and ethics, especially theories of justice and deontology.
The American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, also known as the Bogota Declaration, was the world's first international human rights instrument of a general nature, predating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by less than a year.
Natural rights and legal rights are the two basic types of rights.
The right to work is the concept that people have a human right to work, or engage in productive employment, and may not be prevented from doing so. The right to work is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law through its inclusion in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, where the right to work emphasizes economic, social and cultural development.
Broadly speaking, liberty is the ability to do as one pleases. It is a synonym for the word freedom. In modern politics, liberty is the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behaviour, or political views. In philosophy, liberty involves free will as contrasted with determinism. In theology, liberty is freedom from the effects of "sin, spiritual servitude, [or] worldly ties". Sometimes liberty is differentiated from freedom by using the word "freedom" primarily, if not exclusively, to mean the ability to do as one wills and what one has the power to do; and using the word "liberty" to mean the absence of arbitrary restraints, taking into account the rights of all involved. In this sense, the exercise of liberty is subject to capability and limited by the rights of others. Thus liberty entails the responsible use of freedom under the rule of law without depriving anyone else of their freedom. Freedom is more broad in that it represents a total lack of restraint or the unrestrained ability to fulfill one's desires. For example, a person can have the freedom to murder, but not have the liberty to murder, as the latter example deprives others of their right not to be harmed. Liberty can be taken away as a form of punishment. In many countries, people can be deprived of their liberty if they are convicted of criminal acts.
The Second Bill of Rights was proposed by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt during his State of the Union Address on Tuesday, January 11, 1944. In his address, Roosevelt suggested that the nation had come to recognise and should now implement, a second "bill of rights". Roosevelt argued that the "political rights" guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights had "proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness". His remedy was to declare an "economic bill of rights" to guarantee these specific rights:
Economic, social and cultural rights are socio-economic human rights, such as the right to education, right to housing, right to an adequate standard of living, right to health, victims' rights and the right to science and culture. Economic, social and cultural rights are recognised and protected in international and regional human rights instruments. Member states have a legal obligation to respect, protect and fulfil economic, social and cultural rights and are expected to take "progressive action" towards their fulfilment.
The right to property or right to own property is often classified as a human right for natural persons regarding their possessions. A general recognition of a right to private property is found more rarely and is typically heavily constrained insofar as property is owned by legal persons and where it is used for production rather than consumption.
Negative and positive rights are rights that oblige either inaction or action. These obligations may be of either a legal or moral character. The notion of positive and negative rights may also be applied to liberty rights.
The right to education has been recognized as a human right in a number of international conventions, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which recognizes a right to free, compulsory primary education for all, an obligation to develop secondary education accessible to all, on particular by the progressive introduction of free secondary education, as well as an obligation to develop equitable access to higher education, ideally by the progressive introduction of free higher education. Today, almost 75 million children across the world are prevented from going to school each day. As of 2015, 164 states were parties to the Covenant.
The Permanent Assembly for Human Rights is an Argentine non-governmental human rights organization; founded in 1975. According to its official website the organization is the product of a "call from people coming from distinct areas: the church, politics, Human Rights, sciences, culture, and labour Argentinians in response to the increasing violence and the collapse of the most elemental Human Rights in the country".
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was drafted between early 1947 and late 1948 by a committee formed by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Further discussion and amendments were made by the Commission on Human Rights, the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations.
The right to housing is the economic, social and cultural right to adequate housing and shelter. It is recognized in some national constitutions and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) is an international human rights organization that functions primarily as a research and advocacy nonprofit in the area of economic and social rights.
The Declaration of Human Duties and Responsibilities (DHDR) was written for reinforcing the implementation of human rights under the auspices of the UNESCO and the interest of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights and was proclaimed in 1998 "to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights"(UDHR) in the city of Valencia. Therefore, it is also known as the Valencia Declaration.
María Eugenia Rodríguez Palop is a Spanish jurist, professor of Philosophy of Law at the Charles III University of Madrid (UC3M), specializing in human rights.