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In this essay, I seek to provide a deeper understanding about the constant struggle for human rights and international law, In first instant, I am going to make a small review about the meaning of human rights and international law, basing on general context, secondly, I will introduce us the “capabilities approach” of human rights in a framework for understand the universal declaration of human rights (UDHR) and finally, I am going to illustrate how the main elements affect the relationship between countries in the international system.
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For start with the development of the essay, it is important to have full knowledge about the main topic that I am going to develop during the course of the document, I mean, the human rights and the international law. So, we cam say that the human rights are “rights to which everyone human being is entitled simply for because he or she is a human being”. These rights do not necessarily have to be linked to a legal system and must not be protected by law, because as everybody knows, there are some of them that exist do not matter how, equally, it is very relevant to note that when these rights are stipulated within the legislation, the enforcing human rights is much easier.
Also, due to the fact that most countries in the world agree that human rights are fundamental for living in a more harmonize international community, I mean, this is, shared by all people regardless of age, race, sex, religion, etc., so, if most of the people are agree with this, it tend to be classify as universal rights, and in order that these rights are taken into account in a global level, it was necessary the creation of a document in which is stipulated all the human rights, This document accepted as the foundation of international human rights law is the universal declaration of human rights passed by the United Nations (UN) in 1948, and which is use until today
Within this document, there are include some of the rights that probably could be the most important ones in international terms; these human rights are linked with the ideas of justice, respect and equality. And as I said before, this rights are global, and as universal rights means that they are not necessarily conferred on anyone, but are simply inherent and due to all human beings. En plus, the thought of some countries are different with respect to the other, which may make different laws regarding these rights and some of them may not have any laws regarding them, some of the most frequent ones, are: the right to life the right to freedom of religion, the right to education and work, etc, later, we will see that this fundamental rights in many parts of the world are too often violated
To deepen understanding of the struggle for global justice, it is important to appreciate the concept of international law, which is a complex process of authoritative and controlling decision operating across national and equivalent boundaries, at a minimum, to maintain world order. To this end, by way of an interpenetrating mix of command and enforcement structures both internal and external to states, this includes a variety of doctrines, principles and rules. We can said, that the field of international human rights has achieved the comprehensive and elevated global status of preferred world public policy. It supplies a framework for a world order of human dignity
To begin, I want to give a clear explanation about the meaning of “gender”, because this is a very important issue when we want to talk about human rights, moreover, it is vital to identify that gender Is not only associated with the women, it also is related with men, because, this concept must be understood as a social and cultural construction which is based on biological differences that probably can cause inequalities in the international system; also, the “gender” contributes to an important analysis about the real situation of human rights, because, in the case of human rights violation, the gender analysis, could help us in order to know which are the action that the country have to apply.
It is important to remember, that within the document there are included the rights of equal gender and the rights of non sex discrimination, so, the state have the obligation to protect in the same level both sexes.
At this point I would like to make a lot of emphasis in the challenges that Colombia has with respect to the rights of women:
One of the biggest challenges is related with the promotion of true culture of human rights in Colombia. Because the equality between men and women, and the realization of greater efforts in implementation and effectiveness of the policy to allow women to achieve true gender equality and contribute to the creation of the culture human rights; Also, the State must adopt measures to modify stereotypes and cultural patterns that cause discrimination against women, this will also help to achieve this purpose.
The active role of civil society to complement efforts state is crucial, because as the recent Report of the High Commissioner recommends, the Government and the defenders of human rights have to develop and institutionalize a stable dialogue, both nationally and regionally, to achieve greater degree of understanding, and improve the promotion and protection of human rights throughout the country.
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Finally, I want to talk about the challenges of the state in relation to the internal armed conflict in Colombia. In this topic is important to remember the recommendation of the High Commissioner to the Government, to the illegal armed groups and civil society “to no spare efforts to establish contacts dialogue and negotiation in order to resolve the armed conflict and achieving peace (…)”.
Also, the High Commissioner added in its recommendation that “dialogue and negotiations should take into account, from the beginning, the human rights and international humanitarian law.”
One of the most famous example of violation of human rights is closed related with religious traditions, because the international law of human rights poses considerable challenges for religious traditions, here, I consider some of this challenges, particularly that raised by the idea of woman’s human rights.
The international law of human rights has not been largely detached from religious world view, because a human rights law does not ignore religion as an aspect of people’s lives. International human rights law recognizes a right to freedom of religion and discrimination on the basis of religion is prohibited at international law. Historically, the UN general assembly adopted a declaration on the elimination of all forms of intolerances based on religion or belief, but the UN commission appointed a special reporter on religion intolerance, but the engagement of human rights law and religion has been by and large at a procedural level, concern with freedom of religion as an aspect of controversial, because some religious traditions cannot accept the idea of freedom to chose a religion. So, if human rights law has not engaged explicitly with religious traditions what have religious tradition made of human rights? In one hand, human rights and religious are intimately, if ambivalently, related in that religions provide a transient perspective by revealing a dimension of human life over and above the social and political order. Religions set a limit to the power pretend to be the unitary source of all authority. The tension between the region and the state is obviously in almost all the cases.
In the case of Catholic Church this lack of engagement on the international level did not mean lack of interest in human rights issues. In wake of Vatican II, the church endorsed many human rights notions; the ideal of equality and human dignity is part of the catholic culture. Other think that is important, is that religious tradition are the idea of sanctity which supports humans rights, it also has been very active in the grassroots of human rights struggles in many parts of the world. Both leaderships from Rome and the work of local churches have supported and guided human rights movement in central and Latin America.
The relation of Islam to human rights is more complex. Islamic religious law, developed in the second and third centuries of Islam. It is not a formally enacted code, but a vast body of jurisprudence in which jurist’s holy scriptures of Islam. It is a body of religious and moral directives and principles. It affects the thinking and behavior of Muslims the worlds over and it is the foundation of the institutions and customs of most Muslim societies. Because of the deep significance of the Islamic society belief that t should take precedence over any other legal system. The basis of international human rights law, the idea that a person has rights by virtue of being human, is foreign to Islamic jurisprudence. Indeed, many Islamic precepts are based on distinctions between humans- Muslims and non-Muslims, men and women, for example: the Islamic makes repudiation of Islam or, as we know from the salman Rushdie case, the expression of views contrary to Islam punishable by death. Recently, the Islamic world has made an attempt to come to grips with international human rights law. The declaration refers in its preamble to the charter of the UN and the international bill of rights, but does not endorse those instruments’ acceptance of a right to be free from slavery and the right to change one’s religion. Many of international human rights guarantees are weakened considerably in the Arab charter.
While the Catholic Church and the Islamic can claim an engagement with international human rights issues on some issues, they have played a negative and problematic role in other human rights context. The issue that has most often provoked this reaction is that of woman’s rights and it has fostered a striking and incongruous alliance between the 2 religions traditions. A coalition of the Islamic countries, the Holy See and some catholic countries has been most prominent at united nation conference
The catholic and the Islamic religious traditions strenuously opposed placing women’s health, reproduction and sexuality within a human rights framework, because the UN conferences work on a consensus principle, the coalition resisted a definition of the notion of reproductive health to include sexual health, “the purpose of which is the enhancement of life and personal relations, and not merely counseling and car related to reproduction and sexually transmitted disease”
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