Human Rights Essay

3492 words - 14 pages

One indicator of Human Development is freedom of choice or range of choices among the individuals

1.0 Introduction
Freedom of choice1 is right to exercise one's freedoms in any manner one may choose except where such act may obstruct or prevent others from exercising their freedoms, put oneself or others in danger, or exceeds a statutory limit. According to online Black’s law dictionary2, Unfettered right to do what one wants when one wants as one wants, except where it infringes or prevents another from doing what that one wants, and do so on. Also excluded is doing something that would harm one’s self or another.

Human development is a concept within the scope of the study ...view middle of the document...

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2.0 Human Development and Freedom of Choice
2.1 Human Development and Human Rights
According to Universal Declaration of Human Rights5 (Article 23 - 1) it says “Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.” As Amartya Sen has written: “Development can be seen… as a process of expanding the real freedoms that people enjoy (Sen, 1999: p.3). As it has been put forward by Human Development Report of 2000, “A broad vision of human rights must be entrenched to achieve sustainable human development. When adhered to in practice as well as in principle, the two concepts make up a self-reinforcing virtuous circle.” Thus, from this perspective it is widely accepted that freedom of choice is a result of observing human rights as declared by UNDHR in 1948.

Human rights are legal rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; various human rights Covenants, Conventions, Treaties and Declarations; Regional Charters; National Constitutions and laws. But human rights are rights not solely because they are recognized in legal instruments. Human rights inhere in the very nature of the human person. They define and affirm our humanity. They exist to ensure that human life remains sacred. They exist to guarantee that humanity and injustice are prevented or redressed (Dias, Wignaraja, and Balassanian, 2006). Dias et al, continues to express that Human rights, and in particular the human right to development, provide the values, principles and standards essential to safeguard that most precious of all rights — the right to be human, (of which the right to be woman is an integral component). Hence, human rights define and defend the future of the human race, being an essential component to achieving sustainable human development. Any effort toward this goal—including present development focus on efficiency and effectiveness—would benefit from the legitimacy and urgency that the human rights-based approach carries.

Fundamental to enlarging these choices is building human capabilities; the range of things that people can do or be in life. Capabilities are "the substantive freedoms [a person] enjoys to lead the kind of life [they have] reason to value (HDCA)." Human development disperses the concentration of the distribution of goods and services that underprivileged people need and center its ideas on human decisions (Srinivasan, 1994). By investing in people, we enable growth and empower people to pursue many different life paths, thus developing human capabilities (The Human Development Foundation, 2009). The most basic capabilities for human development are: to lead long and healthy lives, to be knowledgeable (e.g., to be educated), to have access to the resources and social services needed for a decent standard of living, and to be able to participate in the life of the community. Without these, many choices are...

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