Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world, from birth until death. These basic rights are based on shared values like dignity, fairness, equality, respect and independence. These values are defined and protected by law.
Why are human rights violated?
I imagine there are a number of causes, and an even greater number explanations of those causes. When the question is asked/answered in a political context, the opportunity for finger pointing, race baiting, victimhood, and identity politics runs rampant. I’ll try to evade all that just offer my opinion on the question as asked.
- The very concept of “human rights” is not deeply ingrained in all societies.
“Human Rights”, sometimes called “Natural Rights”, is primarily a Western European concept with genesis in Medieval European society. Even within the European community, there is no long standing societal tradition of immutable “human rights”. The medieval concepts didn’t become formalized thoughts as immutable and incapable of surrender in the social contract. until the 17th century. The first attempts to codify and protect human rights from infringement occurred in the 1689 English Bill of Rights and Scottish Claim of Rights. The issue of human rights protections didn’t achieve global focus until the years following World War II, primarily in the decades of the 1960’s and ‘70’s.
2.“Human Rights” are often not clearly understood.
“Human Rights”, which are considered to devolve to the individual by virtue of their humanness, therefore immutable and sacrosanct, are often conflated with “civil rights”, which are granted to individuals by virtue of law and may be withdrawn, suspended, or rescinded. Therefore, many discussions of “human rights violations” are actually more properly discussions of civil rights. The issue is exacerbated as varied philosophies are given input into the definition of what constitutes a human right. The 17th century philosophies considered only a half dozen or so rights as being inalienable human rights. The 1948 United Nations list of human rights includes thirty.
3.Many people cannot recognize a human right on an individual basis.
Freedom of speech is one of the classical human rights and is the first right protected in the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution. It is Article 19 in the UN List of Human Rights. However, as recent events attest, those groups most reliant on their right to freedom of expression are the most militant in weaponizing their freedom of speech to suppress that same freedom as it pertains to those who dare espouse a contrary opinion. “It applies to thee but not to me” increasingly becomes the order of the day.
I believe that I could go on for several more points but it’s late, I’m tired, and I believe you get the point that human rights are not the same thing to all people at all times. Besides, Quora will probably suppress this answer like they do most of the ones I write. Until then, you may discuss this quietly among yourselves.
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