Human rights are the fundamental norms that each of us enjoys as a result of being human, for example: the right to life, freedom of speech, association, and the right to education. The source of all rights and freedoms is the dignity of every human being.
Human rights are universal (they are the same for every human being regardless of professed values, views or religion); inherent (they exist regardless of the will of authorities or legal regulations, the state only creates the system of their protection); inalienable (no authority can take them away from us, they cannot be renounced); inviolable (they exist independently of any authority and cannot be freely regulated by it); natural (we possess them because of our personal dignity, humanity, and not because of any decision or bestowal by someone else); indivisible (they all constitute an integral and interdependent whole).
The subject of human rights is usually an individual, not a group (individual rights), they give the possibility to enjoy all other rights (fundamental rights), therefore their observance should be guaranteed and protected by the state. Human rights are also divided into: RIGHTS (positive rights) – the authority has an obligation to take action in favour of the individual, and the individual has the right to demand his/her rights; FREEDOMS (negative rights) – the obligation of the authority to refrain from acting in certain areas of our lives.
Human rights may be restricted only in strictly defined situations, usually defined in international documents or in the constitutions of states (e.g.: due to the protection of certain values or threats such as war). However, there are rights that are absolute and cannot be restricted under any circumstances. These are freedom from torture and freedom from slavery.
Human Rights – the inalienable and inviolable rights enjoyed by every human being from the moment of birth until death.
The following are considered basic human rights: the right to life, the right to freedom from torture and slavery, the right to property and security, the right to privacy, freedom of religion and thought, the right to a fair trial and the right to association.
The creation of an international system for the protection of human rights only began after the Second World War when, on 10 December 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – an international catalogue of the fundamental and inalienable rights of the individual in the civil, political, economic, social and cultural fields.
Obligation to respect human rights
The primary obligation of Member States is that they “shall ensure to everyone within their jurisdiction the rights and freedoms set forth in Chapter I of this Convention” (for States bound by the Additional Protocols, the obligation also applies to the rights and freedoms contained in those Additional Protocols).
- The concept of “any person” is very broad and includes:
- Nationals of a State as well as non-nationals; rights are not guaranteed only to nationals;
Legal persons (e.g. companies, NGOs and associations) as well as natural persons (e.g. individuals or groups of persons).
The notion of “subject to jurisdiction” is most often identical to the notion of “territory of a State”, but in its case law the Court has extended the scope of application to include the exceptional cases of officials of States (e.g. diplomats or members of the armed forces) who, while in the territory of other States, exercise authority or control over other persons, or because of military action, a State has effective control outside its territory.