Human Rights A Brief Introduction
What are Human Rights • They are a set of principles agreed by the members of the UN at its inception after WWs • They apply to all of us regardless of our • Race • Colour • Descent • National or ethnic origin • Gender • Sexual orientation • Religion • language These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible. Universal human rights are often Expressed and guaranteed by law, in the forms of treaties, Customary international law, general principles and other Sources of international law. International human rights Law lays down obligations of Governments to act in certain Ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promote And protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of Individuals or groups.
United Nations Human Rights Instruments The following treaties and conventions have been extended to St Helena
International Convention on all forms of Racial Discrimination (ICRD) • Racial discrimination means: • Any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on • Race • Colour • Descent • National or ethnic origin • This is prohibited by this Convention
International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights (ICCPR) Allows for • Self determination • Fee disposal of personal wealth & assets • Remedy if rights are abused/threatened • Right to life • Freedom & security of the person • Enjoyment of one’s own language & culture • Freedom of movement • Everyone is equal before a court & innocent until proved guilty
Recognition as a person • Private & family life • Freedom of thought, conscience & religion or belief • Freedom to hold opinions without interference • Peaceful assembly & association • A child’s right to a name and a nationality • One person-one vote
International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights (ICCPR) Protects Against • Discrimination (race, sex, colour, religion, social origin, property, birth, property or other status) • Cruel, inhuman treatment or torture • Slavery/servitude • Imprisonment for failure to fulfil a contract • Guilt by omission
International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights Allows for: • Self determination • Fee disposal of personal wealth & assets • Right to work and work in fair & favourable conditions • Freedom to join a trade union • Right to social security & benefits • An adequate standard of living • High standards of physical & mental health • Right to education
International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights Allows for: • To take part in cultural life • The development of science & culture • Access to theses rights not being discriminatory in any way • Equal enjoyment of these rights by men & women
Convention against Torture & Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment • This protects people from pain/suffering either physical or mental intentionally inflicted to gain knowledge or information or for punishment. • People cannot be extradited to a country where they will be subjected to torture
Convention on the Rights of the Child • Protects people under 18 regardless of their or their parents race, gender, religion, disability etc • It covers all actions concerning children whether • Public or private social welfare bodies • Courts of law • Administrative & legislative bodies • The BEST INTERSESTS OF THE CHILD are a primary consideration.
Convention on the Rights of the Child Recognises people under 18 have a right to: • Life • A name, nationality • To be brought up by their parents (where possible) • Protection from trafficking • To express their views and be listened to in accordance with their age & maturity. • Freedom of expression • Freedom of conscience, thought & religion
Convention on the Rights of the Child Recognises people under 18 have a right to: • Freedom of association • Privacy & family life • Freedom of access to mass media • Both parents having common responsibility for them • Freedom from physical & mental violence, injury, abuse/sexual abuse, neglect & exploitation.
Convention on the Rights of the Child Recognises people under 18 have a right to: • Be looked after (by state, adopted etc) • Mentally or physically disabled children have a right to a full and descent life • A high standard of healthcare • Social security/benefits • A standard of living that is adequate for their physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.
Convention on the Rights of the Child Recognises people under 18 have a right to: • Education • Community of their own cultural group • Leisure, play and recreation • Protection from economic exploitation • Protection from illicit drugs • Protection from sexual abuse/exploitation • Protection from being sold, trafficked, torture • Be heard in a court of law • Presumed innocent until proved guilty
European Human Rights Instruments This convention has been extended to St Helena
European Convention on the protection of Human Rights & Fundamental Freedoms Covers • Obligation of states to protect human rights • Right to life • Freedom from torture • Freedom from slavery & forced labour • Liberty & security • Right to a fair trial • No punishment without law
Respect for private & family life • Freedom of thought, conscience & religion • Freedom of expression • Freedom of assembly & association • Right to marry • Right to effective remedy • Prohibition of discrimination • Prohibition on the abuse of rights • Protection of property • Right to education
What do I do if I think my rights are being abused? • Discuss it with the person or organization causing the problem • Contact any of the following for advice • Public Solicitor/Lay Advocate • Ladder Hill • Tel 23008, • Email firstname.lastname@example.org • Human Rights Office • The Basement No 3 Main Street • Tel 22133 • Email email@example.com