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Human Rights

by: Erica Kugler

Human Rights PSC 204- Dr. Chyzh

Erica Kugler
GPA 4.0
International Relations
Dr. Chyzh

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Notes over Human Rights.
International Relations
Dr. Chyzh
Class Notes
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Erica Kugler on Friday April 17, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PSC 204- Dr. Chyzh at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Dr. Chyzh in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 171 views. For similar materials see International Relations in Political Science at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.

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Date Created: 04/17/15
Human Rights What are International Human Rights 0 quotRights possessed by all individuals by virtue of being a person regardless of their status 0 United Nations Charter Article 55 gt first attempt to est human rights provisions 0 Universal Declaration of Human Rights UDHR I First attempt to define what constitutes human rights I UDHR is considered the most authoritative standard on human rights I Soft law gt its provisions on human rights influence a state s decisionmaking I Contains four pillarstypes of human rights 0 Dignity 0 Liberty 0 Equality o Brotherhood least developed of the pillars 0 First hardlaw human rights treaty Genocide Convention 0 Two separate agreements were formed to translate the UDHR into legally binding treaties ie two documents created due to differing views of which rights constitute human rights 0 The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ICCPR o The International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights ICESCR 0 quotTwin Covenants ICCPR and ICESCR o The West favored ICCPR gt West democracies favor civilpolitical rights 0 Communists favored ICESCR gt Communists favor socialeconomic equality o ICCPR ICESCR are legally binding ratification means you must follow treaty terms 0 ICCPR gt what does it secures 0 Right to life liberty equality before the law Freedom of thought religion and expression Protection against torture and slavery antideath penalty in most cases Gives individuals the right to choose freely who to marry and to found a family Antiwar antihatred that is based on ethnicityreligionrace Signed by US ratified later on after some provisions to reconcile wdomestic laws 0 Focus is on individual rights 0 ICESCR gt provides basic economic social and cultural rights 0 Right to equal pay standard of living trade unions and strikes free primary education 0 US has signed but not ratified the treaty 0 Focus is on collective rights gt rights for whole groups or classes working class etc 0 Problem wICCPR ICESCR how to reconcile required provisions with internaldomestic laws 0 International Bill of Rights UDHR and the Twin Covenants ICCPR ICESCR 00000 Why Are Human Rights Controversial 0 States human rights interests differ bc of conflicting political institutions norms and ideals 0 Cold War division bwn East and West states continues to undermine US support for the ICESCR 0 US favors civil and political rights ICCPR because all people can have those rights 0 US problem wICESCR it promotes groupclassbased like the working class which the Communists favors socialecon rights rather than rights for all ppl regardless of status quotHuman rights manmade evolves based on social political economic and cultural norms 0 Evolution of human rights what we perceive as human rights are constantly changing I Some things we see as human rights now were not considered so in the past 0 Debate over whether somethings are human rights or not means that not all human rights have been internalized by states as norms Are Some Rights More Important than Others Some rights have broader support than others ICCPR identifies some nonderogable rights rights that can never be suspended 0 But these rights are not automatically enforced more than other rights I Ex rights against torture is a nonderogable right but some states still use torture ICESCR has no nonderogable rights Human rights TANs support many nonderogable rights One way to determine which rights states care about is by looking at the severity of punishment for criminals who violate rights 0 Severe punishment state probable values that right 0 Lenient punishment state probably doesn t value that right as much Govt officials often react to violations of human rights with simple statements of disapproval 0 Actual sanctions against violators are scarce bc they hurt the recipient and imposer I Ex economic sanctions result in loss of trade loss of profit for all actors Why Do States Violate Human Rights o 4 main reasons lack of capacity defend nat l sec preserve rule political instability 0 Some states lack the capacity to prevent human rights violations I Ex not all states can provide free primary education 0 States may want to provide free education but they not have the resources to do so I Since not all states can behave in a way dictated by international law on human rights many human rights are written as soft laws 0 Some states violate human rights in order to defend their national security after an attack or to prevent a future attack I Ex 911 gt Illegal detentionquestioning of people mainly Mid Easterners violation of right to privacy by monitoring citizens I Ex US internment ofJapanese citizens after Pearl Harbor I Government views national security as being above individual rights 0 Some states seek to preserve their own rule when citizens protest the government I When internal dissent is present states often violate the rights of their citizens in order to stay in control I Ex Argentina s Dirty War gt get rid of citizens who question the govt o Unstable democraciesautocracies more likely to violate HRs than stable democracies I Dictatorships suppress individual rights and use violence to deter people from challenging the government and its leaders I Weakless legitimate government more human rights abuses Why Do Countries Sign Human Rights Agreements 0 Reason to sign HR agreements 0 Demonstrate their devotion to democracy 0 Promote a good image of the state 0 To please the public 0 Some newly formed states aim to quotlockin new institutions and practices as a means to show that they are committed to promoting and upholding democracy 0 quotlockin is a type of domestic political reform because states make themselves follow international law 0 Today more established democracies are beginning to sign human rights treaties that were once ignored 0 Why I Gain contingent rewards provided by others eg linkage 0 Ex if state A signs a human rights treaty then state B will provide it with financial aid 0 Ex EU sets human rights standards for membership o If you want to join the EU you have to sign and uphold certain human rights treaties o Threat of nonmembershipexpulsion persuades countries to reform their behavior and agree to protect human rights I Bind themselves to treaties in order to influence human rights elsewhere 0 Being a treaty signatory gives you oversight authority to where you can scrutinize other states for their human rights abuses Why Protect Others Why have human rights gt Moral and Philosophical Motivations o Humans are social animals so many people feel personally affected by the treatment of others 0 Empathy generates support for victims 0 Some see own human rights as secure if they are universal in principle and practice o If one state abuses human rights what is to prevent our own government from abusing our human rights I Therefore securing human rights for everyone ensures the protection of our own rights 0 By framing issues and socializing actors TANs impact international human rights 0 Emphasize how protecting human rights abroad indirectly protects your rights I Makes people want to get more involved in human rights awareness and volunteer abroad to protect human rights Why Protect Others gt SelfInterest Motivations o Selfinterests peace and prosperity gt state wants to make sure it will prosper and survive 0 Work to protect human rights to ensure global peace and prosperity I Achieving global human rights protections global stability good geo political environment for your state 0 Modern human rights began during Great Depression and WWII 0 Fight fascismtotalitarianism and preserve internatl peace by protecting hrights o Suppressing human rights creates domestic political unrest and potential revolts 0 External actors get involved in these conflicts to prevent spill over into other countries which allows the conflict to escalate and expand 0 Some states promote human rights to secure the selfinterest of their citizens abroad 0 US Europe demand that HR clauses be inserted into regional trade agreements RTAs 0 Ex NAFTA I Provisions allow for unionization strikes employment standards etc I Problem some labor demands for HRs clauses are simply quotpoison pills designed to prevent free trade 0 HR clauses act as a trade protectionism policy 0 They can prevent countries from trading with each other due to accusations of human rights abuses 0 Human rights abuses are now more public because of the Internet Why Don t States Observe International Human Rights Law 0 Most human rights violators are governments o Deadliest and most frequent form of violence is by governments against their own citizens 0 Includes civil wars ethnic or religious genocides o Democide governmentsponsored killing of own citizens I Ex Great Leap Forward in China 19581962 0 Human rights practices have remained the same or deteriorated in the past 25 years 0 Trend little change in human rights practices over time o Improvements in HRs protection South America Central and Eastern Europe I Both experienced democratization movements after the fall of military regimes and communism respectively I Democratization movement toward democracy 0 Democracy favors human rights so moving toward democracy would reduce the number of human rights abuses 0 States that are good at protecting HRs New Zealand Western Europe 0 States that are bad at protecting HRs S Asia SubSaharan Africa Middle East Does International Human Rights Law Make a Difference 0 Research findings ratifying human rights treaties is associated wan increase in individual human rights violations 0 Three possible explanations I International human rights law might not matter 0 There is no global police force to make states follow international human rights laws 0 Enforcement of HRs laws falls on shoulders of victims or TANs I States may ratify treaties simply to mask their continuing patterns of abuse 0 Externally appear to uphold human rights but internally domestically continue to violate human rights 0 Duplicity by a state gt appear one way but act in another way I Countries signing human rights agreements are most likely to abuse them 0 Ex Dictatorships sign antitorture treaties but still use torture 0 Paradox of action 0 Two types of states that sign HRs treaties I Upholders gt states that already uphold human rights before the treaty signing I Violatorsgt states that already violate human rights before the treaty was signed 0 Despite violations international human rights laws may have benefits in the long run 0 International human rights laws empower actors to advocate for their own rights 0 International human rights laws allow TANs to create political pressure 0 TANs name and shame expose states who violate human rights I Makes those states gain a bad reputation and makes citizens more willing to put political pressure on the state to reform its behavior What Can Lead to Better Protection of International Human Rights 0 Most states generally escape any significant punishment for abusing the rights of their citizens o Sanctioningintervention is rare because of the costs incurred by other the imposer of the sanctions and the recipient of the sanctions 0 Low probability of intervention emboldens violators to continue with their behavior 0 Ineffectiveness of human rights laws gt inconsistent enforcement due to high enforcement costs 0 States want to benefit from human rights protection but states do not want to spend resources to ensure protection of rights 0 Some states act contradictory to their ideals gt promote a certain human right but violate it in reality When Do States Take Action on Human Rights 0 Three conditions make states more like to protect human rights 0 Domestic pressure gt pressure on state to quotdo something prevent or stop HRs abuses I Sources of domestic pressure citizens domestic activists TANs I Influence of TANs o Gain info about abuses pressure internat l community to intervene o Geopolitical interests gt protecting human rights benefits a state geopolitically I Promoting the protection of human rights can make you look like the good guy and the abuser state look like the bad guy 0 you gain international geopolitical favor o Sovereignty and nonintervention I Promotion of human rights is most likely to occur when nonintervention non violation of a state s sovereignty is favored over intervention 0 States are more likely to take action against a human rights abuse when that action does not involve violating another country s sovereignty Hope for the Future 0 Five innovations of human rights institutions to promote future HR protection 0 Transitional justice I create truth commissions to document past HR violations I problem when HRs violators agree to work wtransitional justice organizations and confess their actions they are granted amnesty pardon for wrongdoing 0 Individual petition gt right of private or individual petition to a supranational court I Gives individuals the right to file a complaint against a state and take a state to court I Petition rights are found in the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ECHR o ECHR was adopted by the Council of Europe in 1950 0 Individuals are allowed to petition the Court directly if they claim a state has violated rights that are denoted in the ECHR 0 Universal Jurisdiction gt countries can prosecute perpetrators of crimes against humanity regardless of where the perpetrator is from I Location of the crime and the citizenship of the individuals involved are irrelevant 0 Countries can prosecute citizens of other countries for crimes against humanity I Universal jurisdiction is useful for war crimes genocide and torture 0 International Criminal Court ICC gt lastresort for criminal prosecution of HR abusers I Criteria for the ICC to hear a case ie for it to have jurisdiction 0 Person being prosecuted must be a citizen of one of the ICC member states member state quotstate party 0 Crime in question occurred within a state that is an ICC member 0 UN Security Council referred the case to the prosecutor I ICC is a court of last resort 0 Regional Trade Agreementsgt link RTAs and human rights obligations I There has been an increase of RTAs with human rights provisions 0 Some have soft and others have hard human right requirements I RTAs and HRs provisions help link human rights to material benefits of trade Conclusion 0 States can seek to protect the human rights of people outside their borders 0 States do so when it is in their own interest and when human rights TANs intervene 0 International human rights law is an institution developed by strategic interaction 0 Some states violate HRs laws because states are not willing to pay the high cost to protect them 0 Most effective way of protecting human rights redesign a more efficient institution


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