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NIOS Class 12 Political Science Chapter 25 Human Rights
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TEXT BOOK QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
INTEXT QUESTIONS 25.1
Q.1. Tick (✔) the correct answer:
(a) Human Rights are inherent in human existence.
(True / False)
(b) Classical Rights include civil and political rights.(True/False)
(c) The promotion and protection of human rights is limited to national boundaries. (True / False)
Q.2. Fill in the blanks:
(a) Globalisation of human rights has helped the cause of……… (consciousness, ordemnalism).
(b) Human rights are necessarily ………… (static, dynamic, closed)
Ans. dynamic fundamental.
(c) Human Rights encompass the …………. principles of humanity (oldest, mediaeval, fundamental)
INTEXT QUESTIONS 25.2
Q.1. Tick (✔) the correct answer:
(a) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1949. (True/False)
(b) Atrocities of Second World War mark the start of current era of human rights. (True/False)
(c) Human Rights like Fundamental Rights are enforceable. (True/False)
Q.2. Fill in the blanks:
(a) Human Rights have now become …………. (Local, Universal, National)
(b) The world leaders gathered …………. in for the World Conference on Human Rights. (Vienna, Geneva,New York)
(c) The rights of the 18th and 19th centuries can be termed as ………… rights. (individual, social, classic)
Q.1. How can we classify human rights?
Ans. Classification of Human Rights: Universal Declaration of Human Rights include certain human rights which are quite sential for the development of every individual. Some of them are given below:
1. Social Human Rights: Education, quality, Security of Life.
2. Civil and Political Human Rights: right to vote, right to contest elections, right hold any public office, right to petition.
3. Economic Human Rights: Right to work, right to have a residential house, etc.
4. Religious Human Rights: Freedom to profess and preach any religion.
5. Fundamental and Basic Human Rights: These rights are considered more important and they must be given more importance in national and international policy. They include all the rights pertaining to individual dignity as well as to their material needs.
6. Solidarity Rights: For example the right to peace, the right to development, the right to food and to a clean environment.
Q.2. What are the six basic features of human rights?
Ans. The Basic Features of Human Rights From the above discussion we can conclude that there are certain common features of all the categories of human rights. We can identify at least six features which basic to the concept of human rights.
1. People have rights simply because they are human: All people have the right to lead a dignified and human life, and work towards achieving this for all people. These rights cannot be denied on the basis of the caste, colour, religion and gender.
2. Human Rights are universal: They take no account of nation, race, sex or colour. People of all nations, colour, race, religion have same rights everywhere. The developed and developing countries in all continents of the world must guarantee same rights to all their citizens.
3. Human Rights treat all people as equal: This follows the idea that “all human beings are born free and equal in rights and dignity” and therefore, deserve the same opportunities and treatment, whilst simultaneously respecting their different cultures and traditions, political persuasion, sexuality, social origin, status, etc. Governments must therefore work to create the same opportunities for all the people in the country and this may involve extra work to make those opportunities the same for certain sections in Society, e.g. women, children and the disabled.
4. These rights primarily belong to individuals: This means that they are concerned with the relationship between an individual and the state. Consequently, it is for the government to create a society where each individual can enjoy and freely exercise his or her rights to the full.
5. Human Rights encompass the fundamental principles of humanity: These rights are considered to be basic for the development of human personality and for the sake of human dignity. Examples of such rights are the right to life, freedom from slavery and freedom from torture.
Conclusion: The promotion and protection of human rights is not limited to national boundaries but rather stipulates certain ideals that apply the world over. Human rights hold nations accountable for meeting the conditions which satisfy the requisite promotion, protection and respect for these rights.
Q.3. Discuss the significance of human rights in the Constitution of India.
Ans. The Significance of Human Rights in the Constitution of India:
1. Certain Fundamental Rights have been guaranteed: The Constitution of India duly recognizes the importance of human rights and guarantees certain Fundamental Rights in Part III which include the right of equality, right to freedom, right against exploitation, right to freedom of religion, cultural and Right to education and the right to constitutional remedies. Article 32 gives the right to constitutional remedy in the form of original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India for the enforcement of these Fundamental Rights. This is the protection of individuals against invasion of their human rights.
2. Provisions of Directive Principles of State Policy: Part-IV of the Indian Constitution contains Directive Principles of State Policy which are the principles fundamental in governance, to be observed by the State in the formulation of its policies. These include the duty of the State to secure a social order for the promotion of the welfare of the people, social justice, right to work, to education and social security, provision for just and humane conditions of work, promotion of interests of the weaker sections, duty to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health, protection and improvement of environment, ecology and wild life etc.
3. Fundamental Duties: In addition, the Fundamental Duties of every citizen covering a wide range to strengthen the guarantee of Fundamental Rights are in Article 51A (Part IVA of the Constitution). In addition to Article 32 empowering the Supreme Court to enforce the Fundamental Rights, the High Court is empowered by Article 226 for the same purpose to exercise its powers. The primary duty of the higher judiciary to protect and enforce human rights as the Constitutional mandate. Rule of law is a basic feature of our Constitution, as is judicial review.
4. The Role of the Supreme Court of India: The role of the Supreme Court of India is commendable in expanding the human rights and it has found Article 21 of the Constitution as most fruitful article. In several cases the Indian Supreme Court had held that compensation is to be given for violation of rights under the article, such as, right to human dignity, right to healthy environment, right to social security, right to protection of childhood, etc.
5. Universal Declaration of Human Rights: The impact of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the drafting of (Parts III and IV) of the Indian Constitution is felt throughout. India has acceded to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as to both the Covenants with certain reservations.
Q.4. Write short notes on:
(a) Universalization of Human Rights.
(b) Role of the National Human Rights Commission in India.
(c) Role of Non-governmental organisations in the promotion and protection of human rights.
Ans. (a) Universalization of Human Rights: Universalization of Human Rights has a long history. Incorporation of Bill of Rights in some early national characters and constitutions in Europe indicates that the concept is not of recent origin. The following important dates for Human Rights are the good proof of it:
(i) 1215 Magna Carta Libertatum supported the idea of certain fundamental freedoms in Europe. The Union of Utrecht in 1579 (Netherlands) and the British Bill of Rights in 1659.
(ii) 1776 American Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights.
(iii) 1787 Constitution of the United States.
(iv) 1789 French Declaration of the Rights of man.
(v) 1946 UN Commission on Human Rights.
(vi) 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
(vii) 1949 Geneva Conventions.
(viii) 1950 European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
(ix) 1961 European Social Charter.
(x) 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESC); the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the (First) Optional Protocol to the Covenant on Civil Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT).
(xi) 1993 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights.
These charters specified certain freedoms that one could claim if one held a particular status and were not all-encompassing, but rather conferred upon an individual. Over the next few centuries, the idea of liberty gradually separated from status and was viewed as a right pertaining to all human beings.
This was also the time when the British colonies in North America strove for independence and drew up their own Declaration of Independence in 1776, based on the idea of universal equality, and the existence of certain inalienable rights. These documents were eventually incorporated into the American Bill of Rights which is a part of the U.S. Constitution. The international growth of the concept can be demonstrated by the French Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789.
The rights of the 18th and 19th centuries can be termed as ‘classic’ rights, relating to the freedom of the individual and were incorporated in many national constitutions. Today governments provide new category of rights in the fields of employment, education, health and welfare. These are termed as social rights.
The social rights which were first embodied in international regulations. For example the International Labour Organisation (ILO) was founded in 1919 and was the originator of various labour regulations.
The tremendous atrocities of the Second World War can be said to mark the start of the current ‘era of human rights’, for they ended the view that it was up to the individual state to determine how to treat its citizens.
In 1946, the UN Commission on Human Rights was established and less than two years later it had drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in 1948.
In 1966 the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Together with the First and Second Optional Protocols to the International covenant on Civil and Political Rights, these five documents comprise the International Bill of Human Rights.
Thus internationally recognized human rights have become a new international ‘standard of civilization’.
(b) Role of the National Human Rights Commission in India :
(i) The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 was enacted in India to provide for the constitution of a National Human Rights Commission, State Human Rights Commissions in States for better protection of human rights and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. ‘Human rights’ are defined in Section 2(1)(d) of the Act to mean the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants and enforceable by courts in India.
(ii) The functions of the commission are enumerated in Section 12 which includes a wide area to enable the Commission not only to enquire into the violations or negligence in prevention of violation of human rights but also to promote the human rights culture and perform any function necessary for the promotion of human rights.
Ever since its Constitution in 1993, the National Human Rights Commission has been discharging a complementary role to that of the Supreme Court of India by performing those tasks which by their very nature the NHRC can perform better, e.g. monitoring any situation or functioning of an institution. The complementarity between these institutions has considerably improved the mechanism for the protection of human rights in the country, which is primarily a state responsibility.
The interpretation of the fundamental rights, particularly, Article 14 (right to equality) and Article 21 (right to life) by the Supreme Court has considerably enlarged the meaning and scope of human rights in India.
The National Human Rights Commission also has interpreted its functions enumerated in Section 12 of the Act expansively to include therein monitoring of the functioning of the institutions of governance with a view to ensure better protection of human rights and to prevent their violation. The NHRC visualises its role as that of a catalyst to improve the quality of governance with the firm belief that good governance in accordance with the Constitution and the rule of law alone can be effective for better protection of human rights. The linkage between the two is direct and clear.
(c) Role of Non-governmental organisations in the promotion and protection of human rights:
(i) The impact of human rights has brought about a profound change on the notions of State sovereignty. Today no nation can say that the way it treats its citizens is purely a domestic concern.
(ii) Globalisation of human rights with the modern concept of a global village has resulted in the human rights situation anywhere in the world becoming a matter of international concern. Voluntary organisations, which are also called non-governmental organisations, all over the world have begun to support and promote human rights in all societies.
(iii) The actions of international nongovernmental organisations like the Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch, and organisations like the People’s Union for Civil Liberties with regard to massive human rights violations in the former Yugoslavia (Kosovo,Bosnia etc.), Rwanda, East Timor, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Gujarat in India, and the number of other places of conflict are obvious examples of this concern.
(iv) The activities of such organisations are coordinated at the international level through the Human Rights Commission established by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1946.
(v) As a result of these activities of the nongovernmental organisations it has now become familiar requirement for States to submit reports to a statutory organ (Human Rights Committee, Children’s Committee, Women’s Committee, Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination etc.) about their internal implementation of human rights obligations.
(vi) Half a century back it would have appeared unthinkable that sovereign states would periodically submit a report to an international body about their internal matters involving treatment of their citizens by the government, and then the State’s participation in a discussion of the report with members of an international body drawn from all over the world.
(vii) Such is the power of the idea of human rights today. Impact of non-governmental organisations with regard to protection and promotion of human rights is no longer debatable. The impact is clear and visible. Along with the genuine human rights agencies, official or non-governmental, the human rights movement in India is quite strong. One great stumbling block in preventing violation of human rights is poverty.
OBJECTIVE TYPE QUESTIONS
I. Choose the correct answers:
Q.1. Human Rights are:
(d) None of the above.
Ans. (c) Universal.
Q.2. Human Rights are necessarily.
(d) None of the above.
Ans. (b) dynamic.
Q.3. Human Rights encompass the ………… principles of humanity.
Ans. (c) fundamental.
Q.4. Human Rights now-a-days have become:
(d) None of the above.
Ans. (c) global.
Q.5. The world leaders gathered in ………… for the World Conference on Human Rights.
(c) New York.
Ans. (a) Vienna.
Q.6. The rights of the 18th and 19th centuries can be termed as ………….. rights.
(d) All public.
Ans. (c) classic.
II. Write True or False against each one of the following:
(a) Human Rights are inherent in human existence. (True/False)
(b) Classical Rights include civil and political rights. (True/False)
(c) The promotion and protection of human rights is limited to national boundaries. (True/False)
(d) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1949. (True/False)
(e) Atrocities of Second World War mark the start of current era of human. (True/False)
(f) Human Rights like fundamental rights are enforceable. (True/False)