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Human rights & IRs

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Human rights & IRs

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Human rights & IRs

  1. 1. JOU103 (Revised on April 17, 2008) Topic 6: Human Rights and International Relations
  2. 2. State sovereignty Peace of Westphalia 威斯特法倫和約 (1648) 1. Territoriality 2. The exclusion of external actors from domestic authority structures/right of states to noninterference in their internal affairs JOU103|T6|Dr. Wong2
  3. 3. 2 Views on the role of HR in IR [1] 1. Communitarian/statist perspective:  A tendency to accord significant moral status to political communities (i.e., government)  Respect for state sovereignty: states’ independence and territorial integrity  Communitarian ethics derive from the belief that justice, welfare, rights and responsibilities emerge from the historical, cultural, and religious experiences that the members of a political community share  Such shared experiences is the moral basis upon which states refrain from interference in the domestic affairs of other states  Interference is justified when a political community faces a serious threat–one emanating from its own government, or one that its government is unable or unwilling to counter JOU103|T6|Dr. Wong3
  4. 4. 2 Views on the role of HR in IR [2] 2. Cosmopolitan/universal perspective  States do not acquire moral standard  States’ rights to autonomy and non-interference derive from their willingness and capacity to respect and defend the security and welfare of their citizens  Individuals are members of the community of humankind having an inherent moral standing, not states  Morality of states is contingent on their relationships with their citizens  Less inclined to respect sovereignty as a bar to interference in the domestic affairs of states when the conditions of their citizens seem to warrant it JOU103|T6|Dr. Wong4
  5. 5. Human rights > Sovereignty? [i] Rights to possessed by individuals because they are human, not because they are citizens of one or another state – represents an expansion of the domain of international law and a real erosion of state sovereignty Universal human rights: included in international declarations and treaties, deny states the prerogative [ 特權 ] to withhold [ 扣押 ] those rights from their own citizens Individuals are considered to be legal entitles separate from their state of national origin JOU103|T6|Dr. Wong5
  6. 6. Human rights > Sovereignty? [ii] Become the basis for intrusion by IGOs and NGOs into the domestic affairs of states – striking at the relation of the state to its citizens E.g., Amnesty International 國際特赦組織 or Human Right Watch 人權觀察 monitor and criticize human right violations for deterring or restraining violators JOU103|T6|Dr. Wong6
  7. 7. International conventions 1. 1948: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UN) 聯合國人權宣言 2. 1966: Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 公民及 政治權利公約 3. 1976: Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights 經濟、社會及文化權利公約 JOU103|T6|Dr. Wong7
  8. 8. Right [i,1 &2] 1. Life 2. Liberty and security of person 3. Protection against slavery 4. Protection against torture and inhumane punishment 5. Recognition as a person before the law 6. Equal protection under the law 7. Access to legal remedies for rights violations 8. Protection against arbitrary arrest or detention 9. Hearing before an independent and impartial judiciary 10. Presumption of innocence JOU103|T6|Dr. Wong8
  9. 9. Right [ii,1 & 2] 11. Protection against ex post facto laws 12. Protection of privacy, family, and home 13. Freedom of movement and residence 14. Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion 15. Freedom of opinion, expression, and the press 16. Freedom of assembly and association 17. Political participation JOU103|T6|Dr. Wong9
  10. 10. Right [iii, 1 only] 1. Own property 2. Seek asylum from persecution 3. nationality JOU103|T6|Dr. Wong10
  11. 11. Right [iv, 2 only] 1. Protection against debtor’s imprisonment 2. Protection against arbitrary expulsion as an alien 3. Protection against advocacy of racial or religious hatred JOU103|T6|Dr. Wong11
  12. 12. Right [v, 1,2&3] 1. Free trade unions 2. Marry and found a family 3. Special protections for children [2&3] 1. Self-determination JOU103|T6|Dr. Wong12
  13. 13. Right [vi, 1&3] 1. Social security 2. Work, under favorable conditions 3. Rest and leisure 4. Food, clothing and housing 5. Health care and social services 6. Education 7. Participation in cultural life JOU103|T6|Dr. Wong13
  14. 14. Negative & positive rights Negative rights: freedoms from the arbitrary exercise of government power, unequal application of the law, and limits on political participation Positive rights: entitlements to certain economic amenities and social welfare JOU103|T6|Dr. Wong14
  15. 15. Limits Ignores the women’s rights: Despite the popularity of international campaigns against rape, prostitution and sexual harassment, organizations and non-Western cultural traditions, norms or rituals seem to accept or encourage the mistreatment of women E.g., female genital cutting, widow burning (sati), female infanticide (kill girl babies), forced veiling (wear over female heads) JOU103|T6|Dr. Wong15
  16. 16. Humanitarian intervention [i] Key question: How to enforce the above conventions? Armed humanitarian intervention: use of military force to interfere in the domestic affairs of an independent state without the consent of that state’s government, aiming to relieve human suffering and stop ethnic cleansing ( 種族清洗 ) 2 views on the act of intervention: 1. Realists: use of military force aims to maintain regional stability and defend the national interests 2. Liberals: as the remaining means to rescue the people from being abused physically and even massacred JOU103|T6|Dr. Wong16
  17. 17. Humanitarian intervention [ii] E.g., 1979: Vietnam invaded Cambodia (Kampuchea) that overthrew Pol Pot and terminated the mass killing resulting from a forced collectivization campaign http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=BZ6dB0lw8Fg 1990-91: After the Gulf War, the UN Security Council set up safe havens in northern Iraq for Kurds who had fled Iraqi repression To stop ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, the NATO members bombed Yugoslavia (Serbs were misled by Milošević to kill Albanians and raped the women) http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=9a0zrB_8YY8 JOU103|T6|Dr. Wong17
  18. 18. JOU103|T6|Dr. Wong18
  19. 19. Pol Pot JOU103|T6|Dr. Wong19
  20. 20. Humanitarian intervention [iii] Reflections: 1. HI was used to save human or an excuse to intervene the sovereignty of a state? 2. Do you think HI has been used thoroughly, or selectively, to save humans from being abused or killed? 3. Do you think which of these is most important in stopping the tragedy: sovereignty or human? JOU103|T6|Dr. Wong20
  21. 21. References Genocide Watch: http://www.genocidewatch.org/ Amnesty International: http://www.amnesty.org Amnesty Int’l HK: http://www.amnesty.org.hk/html/ Human Rights Watch: www.hrw.org JOU103|T6|Dr. Wong21

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