Human rights are one of the most important doctrines in the modern world. It would seem that every person should agree that the protection of human rights is the main task of any government and the international community. However, the issue of the protection of human rights remains controversial, causing debate both within individual states and internationally. This is due to the fact that there is no single definition of this concept, and each interprets this term differently. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the essence of natural human rights, as well as the role of the United Nations their enforcement.
Firstly, it should be mentioned what natural human rights are. Many individuals believe that “right” and “law” are identical concepts. However, this opinion is erroneous, as there have been many cases in history when established laws violated natural human rights. Unfortunately, even in the twenty-first century, the laws of many countries ignore the natural rights of humans. For example, according to BBC, some Muslim countries provide for the death penalty for sexual minorities, violating one of the fundamental natural human rights, the right to life.
Accordingly, already from the title, it is clear that natural rights are given to humans from birth by nature itself rather than the government. Some Christians believe that natural rights are given to man by God, and therefore cannot be taken away either by the state or by another person (Hamlin). Nonetheless, regardless of religion, the question of the existence of natural rights should not be questioned. Otherwise, millions of lives will end up in the hands of a separate group of people who can make laws, which will inevitably lead to dictatorship and bloodshed.
The idea of the universality of human rights, stemming from the conviction of their natural origin, is of Western origin (Flowers 5). The western concept of human rights has been shaped over many centuries and is reflected in the writings of J. Locke, S. Montesquieu, and J. J. Rousseau. Moreover, it was as well as documents such as the Bill of Rights 1689 in England, the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776, and French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen in 1789 (Flowers 5). The origin of the principle of universality makes it challenging to apply it in other regions in which it had no place in the development of social philosophy. As a result, it can no longer be applied to the modern world order everywhere since by being introduced at the national level of one country, certain rights are not applicable at the national level of another country.
The interdependence between globalization and sovereignty leads to the inevitable narrowing of the internal affairs of a state, while international law expands. Indeed, the expansion of human rights at the state level leads to an inevitable increase in the responsibility of the government for their observance and protection not only to their citizens but also to the international community. In this sense, it becomes more vulnerable and controllable, since the applied human rights system may be imposed and even alien to its interests. The winners are those states whose paradigm is the most common and therefore dominant, as by exporting it to other countries, they create a lever of pressure on the latter. Thus, human rights, as part of modernization, are becoming a global trend, an integral part of globalization.
Considering the above, it is evident that the global world as a whole is only just regulated, but not at all controlled, either explicitly or latently. The lack of governance mechanisms leads to the creation of an enabling environment for protesting one or another position on human rights since there is no single decision-making center authorized to assert universal principles. This creates various speculations about the essence of human rights and their sources, which provokes the blurring of the boundaries of the notion of “violation of human rights,” which is currently a pressing issue in international relations. If the universal nature of human rights is called into question, their implementation is not universal and requires an individual approach. Notably, the organization that should monitor the observance of human rights throughout the world is the United Nations [UN].
Currently, 193 sovereign states are members of the UN, which makes it the primary international organization. The enforcement of natural human rights should be strict and adamant. The voluntary and compromising compliance with the human rights of each nation has not led the global community to unity. Therefore, the UN should be a type of worldwide government with enforceable rules that all nations must follow. Consequently, the UN should strictly punish not only any violation of human rights by the state itself but also the government’s ignoring of known facts of their violation on the territory of the country by individuals or groups. For instance, nationalist groups in Europe occasionally attack neighborhoods of immigrants; and although governments do not directly relate to these actions, their responsibilities include an adequate response and appropriate action.
Nevertheless, it is essential to note that the inaction of governments should not be sufficient reason to intervene in a foreign country. Intervention must remain the exclusive right of the UN. No other organization or state, including the United States, should have the right to invade the territory of a sovereign state even if it systematically violates natural human rights. On the other hand, the UN ought to intervene in the affairs of a foreign country and even fight a war if the government actions repeatedly roughly violate human rights.
- “Brunei Stoning: Which Places Have the Death Penalty for Gay Sex?” BBC, 3 Apr 2019, www.bbc.com/news/world-45434583. Accessed 19 Jul. 2019.
- Flowers, Nancy. Human Rights Here and Now: Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Amnesty International, 1 Jan. 1999.
- Hamlin, Rebecca. “Civil Rights.” Encyclopædia Britannica, 8 Sept. 2017, www.britannica.com/topic/civil-rights#ref1181550. Accessed 19 Jul. 2019.