RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW
Submitted To – Shveta Dhaliwal Submitted By – Chirag Garg
Roll No. – 18013 Group No. – 1
Batch of 2018-2023
EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, 1950
The experience of making this research project was really enriching and it upgraded my
knowledge about European Convention on Human Rights, 1950 a great deal. I really want to thank Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law for giving me this project.
I also stand indebted to Dr. Shveta Dhaliwal (Assistant Professor of Law) who guided me throughout the making of this research work.
This is to certify that Mr. Chirag Garg, student of Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law
Patiala, has completed his research work on European Convention on Human Rights, 1950 on his own by referring the sources mentioned therein for Political Science Major (First Semester) during the academic session 2018-19. Dr. Shveta Dhaliwal certifies that this is original work carried by the student under my supervision.
Date: Sign. of the supervisor:
TOC o “1-3” h z u 1.INTRODUCTION PAGEREF _Toc529900812 h 6Features of Human Rights:- PAGEREF _Toc529900813 h 71)Universal and inalienable PAGEREF _Toc529900814 h 72)Interdependent and indivisible PAGEREF _Toc529900815 h 73)Equal and non-discriminatory. PAGEREF _Toc529900816 h 84)Both Rights and Obligations PAGEREF _Toc529900817 h 82.WHY ARE HUMAN RIGHTS IMPORTANT PAGEREF _Toc529900818 h 81)Moral vision PAGEREF _Toc529900819 h 92)Political vision PAGEREF _Toc529900820 h 103)Protection. PAGEREF _Toc529900821 h 103.WHY WE NEED HUMAN RIGHTS PAGEREF _Toc529900822 h 101)Slavery, human trafficking and sexual exploitation PAGEREF _Toc529900823 h 112)Discrimination and unequal protection before the law PAGEREF _Toc529900824 h 113)Violations to the right to privacy PAGEREF _Toc529900825 h 114)Child soldiers and child labour PAGEREF _Toc529900826 h 114.EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, 1950 PAGEREF _Toc529900827 h 114.1) Introduction PAGEREF _Toc529900828 h 124.2) Origin of the Convention PAGEREF _Toc529900829 h 134.3) Contribution PAGEREF _Toc529900830 h 135.CONCLUSION PAGEREF _Toc529900831 h 15
INTRODUCTIONAccording to United Nations, ‘Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more. Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination.’
According to Equality and Human Rights Commission, ‘Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world, from birth until death. They apply regardless of where you are from, what you believe or how you choose to live your life. They can never be taken away, although they can sometimes be restricted – for example if a person breaks the law, or in the interests of national security. These basic rights are based on shared values like dignity, fairness, equality, respect and independence. These values are defined and protected by law.’
According to United Nations Human Rights, ‘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.’
Features of Human Rights:-Universal and inalienable – The principle of universality of human rights is the cornerstone of international human rights law. This principle, as first emphasized in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights in 1948, has been reiterated in numerous international human rights conventions, declarations, and resolutions. The 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights, for example, noted that it is the duty of States to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems.Some fundamental human rights norms enjoy universal protection by customary international law across all boundaries and civilizations. Human rights are inalienable. They should not be taken away, except in specific situations and according to due process. For example, the right to liberty may be restricted if a person is found guilty of a crime by a court of law.
Interdependent and indivisible – All human rights are indivisible, whether they are civil and political rights, such as the right to life, equality before the law and freedom of expression; economic, social and cultural rights, such as the rights to work, social security and education, or collective rights, such as the rights to development and self-determination, are indivisible, interrelated and interdependent. The improvement of one right facilitates advancement of the others. Likewise, the deprivation of one right adversely affects the others.
Equal and non-discriminatory – Non-discrimination is a cross-cutting principle in international human rights law. The principle is present in all the major human rights treaties and provides the central theme of some of international human rights conventions such as the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Both Rights and Obligations – Human rights entail both rights and obligations. States assume obligations and duties under international law to respect, to protect and to fulfil human rights. The obligation to respect means that States must refrain from interfering with or curtailing the enjoyment of human rights. The obligation to protect requires States to protect individuals and groups against human rights abuses. The obligation to fulfil means that States must take positive action to facilitate the enjoyment of basic human rights. At the individual level, while we are entitled our human rights, we should also respect the human rights of others.WHY ARE HUMAN RIGHTS IMPORTANTHuman rights are important as they appreciate the inherent dignity in human life. They protect values that are inherent to human life like liberty and human dignity. Human rights do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion and occupation. They treat everyone in the same way. These rights are important as they ensure that all humans are treated with a certain level of dignity. Our collective awareness is driven by human rights. This means that irrespective of any difference between people they are entitled to the same protections under human rights. Human rights are not only applicable to certain sections of society. It does not matter if you are rich or poor, a girl or a boy. They are equally applicable to men and woman, old people and children. Human rights are very important to protect the interests of weak and helpless groups in the society. The majority cannot disregard the minority. Human rights allow the minorities to voice their concerns. Human rights documents also give space for regional preferences. For example, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights also recognizes the importance of tradition and values of African civilization while protecting human rights. The Charter gives importance to community rights along with individual rights.
Human rights reflect the minimum standards necessary for people to live with dignity. Human rights give people the freedom to choose how they live, how they express themselves, and what kind of government they want to support, among many other things. Human rights also guarantee people the means necessary to satisfy their basic needs, such as food, housing, and education so they can take full advantage of all opportunities. Finally, by guaranteeing life, liberty, equality, and security, human rights protect people against abuse by those who are more powerful.
Some reasons why human rights are necessary:-
Moral vision – We need to set down human rights because they give us a moral vision of human nature and human dignity. They create a vision of what life would look like if everybody’s basic humanity was equally respected and protected. If our needs for survival and protection were met, then we could focus on developing our individual and collective potential through educational and cultural activities.The reality is that war, violence, intolerance and poverty around the world result in daily violations of human dignity. Human rights remind us of what is possible and what is due to people, even in the worst of situations.Political vision – Human rights also give us a political vision or an agenda for change. If we evaluate our own schools, communities or countries against the standards set out in the Declaration, we can develop an agenda for social and political change. New policies and procedures, new development projects and new laws can be constructed in order to try to improve the achievement of human rights for all.Protection – We need human rights for protection when our legal rights are violated by the state, and to encourage justice and fairness within our societies. Ironically, we may be most aware of our human rights when they are being threatened or denied. Human rights can be matters of life and death.For example, in many countries during times of unrest the police have been used to detain opponents of the government or to confiscate their property, even though such actions may be against the written laws.Because of these three widely-accepted reasons, human rights are occasionally protected by raising both national and international awareness of human rights violations. This can help draw attention to and resolve such situations, by creating moral pressure on governments.
WHY WE NEED HUMAN RIGHTSSlavery, human trafficking and sexual exploitation – Forced labour, imprisonment, prostitution and human trafficking are grave issues. Slavery may have already been abolished but it’s still going on today worldwide.According to the West Midland’s Police (UK): “Human trafficking is the most profitable crime in the world, second only to drugs. It is also a growing crime in the UK with victims exploited in four main ways – forced labour, sexual exploitation, domestic servitude and benefit fraud.”
Discrimination and unequal protection before the law – Restrictions of any humans rights based upon race, ethnicity, religion, etc. include. The rights of the Rohingya in Myanmar and their lack of citizenship as just one example. Violations to the right to privacy – There’s been a lot of concern concerning government “snooping”and anti-terrorist measures. Recently, an EU court declared that The National Security Agency is “violating the privacy rights of millions of Europeans”.
Child soldiers and child labour – Children should be in school, enjoying their younger years. According to the UDHR, they are entitled in minimum terms to free (compulsory) elementary education. Children do not belong in war. Children are being used as spies and suicide bombers in Afghanistan. In addition, although the number has decreased, there are 168 million children worldwide working in child labour.EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, 19504.1) IntroductionEuropean Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), in full Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, convention adopted by the Council of Europe in 1950 to guard fundamental freedoms and human rights in Europe. Together with its 11 additional protocols, the convention—which entered into force on September 3, 1953—represents the most advanced and successful international experiment in the field to date.
On November 4, 1950, the Council of Europe agreed to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the substantive provisions of which were based on a draft of what is now the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Over the years, the enforcement mechanisms created by the convention have developed a considerable body of case law on questions regulated by the convention, which the state parties typically have honoured and respected. In some European states, the provisions of the convention are deemed to be part of domestic constitutional or statutory law. Where that is not the case, the state parties have taken other measures to make their domestic laws conform with their obligations under the convention.
A significant streamlining of the European human rights regime took place on November 1, 1998, when Protocol No. 11 to the convention entered into force. Pursuant to the protocol, two of the enforcement mechanisms created by the convention—the European Commission of Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights—were merged into a reconstituted court, which is now empowered to hear individual (rather than only interstate) petitions or complaints without the prior approval of the local government. The decisions of the court are final and binding on the state parties to the convention.
Council of Europe – Formed in 1949, the Council of Europe is completely separate from the European Union and much larger, with 47 members compared to the EU’s 28. The UK became a Council member 24 years before it joined the EU. The UK’s membership of the Council would be unaffected if it left the EU.
4.2) Origin of the ConventionThe Council of Europe was founded after the Second World War to protect human rights and the rule of law, and to promote democracy. The Member States’ first task was to draw up a treaty to secure basic rights for anyone within their borders, including their own citizens and people of other nationalities.
Originally proposed by Winston Churchill and drafted mainly by British lawyers, the Convention was based on the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was signed in Rome in 1950 and came into force in 1953.
4.3) ContributionThe European Convention on Human Rights has played an important role in the development and awareness of Human Rights in Europe. The development of a regional system of human rights protection operating across Europe can be seen as a direct response to twin concerns. First, in the aftermath of the Second World War, the convention, drawing on the inspiration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights can be seen as part of a wider response of the Allied Powers in delivering a human rights agenda through which it was believed that the most serious human rights violations which had occurred during the Second World War could be avoided in the future. Second, the Convention was a response to the growth of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe and designed to protect the member states of the Council of Europe from communist subversion. This, in part, explains the constant references to values and principles that are “necessary in a democratic society” throughout the Convention, despite the fact that such principles are not in any way defined within the convention itself.
Convention has attained a leading place in the development of international human rights protection. On a small budget (€58 million in 2010), they argue it has contributed to the international law of human rights through: … the establishment of a formal system of legal protection available to individuals covering a range of civil and political rights, which has become a European standard. As arguably the most developed system of legal protection worldwide, it has also contributed to the development of a global definition and understanding of the substantive content of the rights it protects. It has been the model for the American Convention on Human Rights of 1969 and was a key text to which reference was made in the drafting of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
CONCLUSIONThe record of the ECHR as a tool for protecting the rights of people across Europe is overwhelmingly positive. Compared to other regional human rights treaties, it has the best record of compliance with court judgments, especially when its far greater scope and responsibilities are taken into account. It provides a means of legal redress and reform for millions of those whose governments have signed up to it. Under the Convention, Court is clear as to its role to protect rights through increased legal and political accountability. Where rights are found to have been breached, Strasbourg (headquarter of European Human Rights Court is situated here) requires the state to remedy the breach but rarely awards significant compensation to those affected. Almost all of the changes wrought by the European Court of Human Rights have been widely accepted by the Government, Parliament, and the public. And judgments of the Court of Human Rights are extremely well-respected internationally, whether in Commonwealth countries or further afield. For example, much human rights case law in Australia has taken into account jurisprudence of the ECHR, including many Strasbourg decisions.
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