Inalienable moral entitlements. . .
Attach to all persons equally. . .
Specify the minimum conditions for human
dignity and a tolerable life. . .
Government and rights
Independence. . .is quite
clear that rights are not
secure without an actual
government to enforce
Jeremy A. Rabkin
WHAT HUMAN RIGHTS DO
Define government power
What government cannot do
What government must do
Challenge exercise of power
Contribute to government’s legitimacy and
Human rights/civil rights
Human rights: human attributes
Civil rights: government-recognized
How are human rights and civil rights linked?
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Catalogue of rights
Normative and prescriptive
Not legally binding
Not necessarily consistent with
views/practices of nations
Working in small groups, identify what you think
are the eight most important rights in the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and
why. If you cannot agree on eight, list the
candidates for inclusion and why you could not
agree on them.
World is “human family”
Rights are foundation of freedom, justice,
Everyone has duty to teach, educate,
promote human rights
Evaluating status of human rights
Reflecting first on your own, and using the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights as your guide,
evaluate the state of human rights in
Your town or city
The United States
An area/nation of the world
Join in small groups. Compare your lists and discuss
points of agreement/disagreement and why.
NGO’s and human rights
Dramatic growth since UN created
UN Declaration, Article 71, encourages
TANGO (technical assistance)
WANGO: World Association of NGO’s!
Human rights NGO’s
Duke University web site:
Where. . . do universal human rights
begin? In small places, close to home -
so close and so small that they cannot
be seen on any maps of the world. . .
Such are the places where every man,
woman and child seeks equal justice,
equal opportunity, equal dignity
without discrimination. Unless these
rights have meaning there, they have
little meaning anywhere.