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Evolution of Human Rights

Man is a rational animal. They possess certain basic and individual rights which are commonly known as human rights. Thus human rights are those rights which every individual is entitled by the virtue of being human. Human rights are inherent in all the individuals irrespective of their class, creed, religion, sex and nationality.

They are helpful for physical, moral, social and spiritual development of man. Human Rights create an environment in which people can develop their full potential. Human Rights are fundamental or basic rights. These are mentioned in Indian constitution. So that they are one not taken away by any act of legislation of the government.

From ancient times rights of human beings had been protected by various laws. Babylonian king Hammurabi has issued a set of laws for his people. This is also called Hammurabi's code. According to the code there is an establishment of fair wages and protection of the property. Charges to be proved at trails. In Vedic period Indians also devised a different set of standards in which obligations of one was provided t everyone.

Jurisprudence of Laotze and Confucious in china protected Human Rights. Human rights one also rooted in ancient thought and in philosophical concept of national laws and national rights. Plato was one of the earliest thinkers to advocate a universal standard of ethical conduct. The Roman jurist Ulpian said that according to law of nature all men are equal and are born free. The republic proposed the idea of universal truth that must be recognized.

Roman statesmen Cicero laid down the foundation of natural law and Human rights. According to cicero there should be universal human rights laws that would go beyond customary and civil laws. Stoics introduced the ethical concept of natural law. According to him natural law is higher order of law. Natural law should correspond to nature. It has to serve as law f civil society and government..

Later on St. Thomas Acquiras defined natural law as divine law. It was revealed to man. Man acquired these divine law by the help of god given right to reason. Thus origin of the concept of human rights are usually found in Greeco-Roman natural law doctrines of Stoicisam.

The Magna Carta and Petition Of Rights

Generally English Monarchs act arbitrarily without taking nobles into confidence in 1215 King John of England was forced by barons to sign the magna carta. The main aim of magna carta was to secure protection against arbitrary acts of the king. Magna carta made it clear that power of the king was not absolute. Widely regarded as one of the most important legal document in the development of modern democracy.

The next important milestone in the development of human right was petition of right, produced in 1628 by the English parliament and sent to Charles � 1 as a statement of civil liberties. When the parliament refused to finance kings unpopular foreign policy, king turn to extract force loan. Arbitrary arrest and imprisonment for opposing kings policies had produced in parliament a violent hostility towards Charles- 1.

The petition of rights was forced upon the earlier charter. This arrested four principles. First was no taxes may be levied without consent of parliament, No subject may be imprisoned without cause shown, no soldiers may be quartered upon the citizenry and martial law may not be used at the time of peace.

The Virginia Declaration

The Virginia declaration of rights is the work of George Mason. It declared that all are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights of which they cannot deprive themselves of their posterity.

This declaration can be considered as first modern constitutional protection of individual rights for citizens of North America. This document not only prescribed legal rights but also describes moral principles upon which a government should run.

The French Revolution

The French declaration of rights of man and citizen of 1789 stipulated that men are born free and remain free and equal in rights. The aim of every political organization is to protect natural and inalienable rights of man. Liberty, property, security and resistance to oppression, etc. are the major right.

The Vienna Declaration

In 1993 world conference on Human rights held in Vienna. The declaration of Vienna conference stated that all human rights derive from the dignity and it is inherent in the human person. Human person is central subject of human rights and fundamental freedom.

Evolution in India

Indian freedom movement was basically a struggle for rights to equality, free law and justice. These were derived to Indians during colonial rule. Indians struggled for a long time to which colonial masters respond was very slow. Though some rich Indians were given some political rights however majority of Indians were subject to restrictions. The freedom struggle spread the idea of equality, liberty and freedom as primary conditions of dignified human existence. This led to setting up of the constituent assembly. The constituent assembly formed the constitution of India.

Constitution of India provide certain rights which are called fundamental rights. These fundamental rights are basic Human rights of all citizens irrespective of their gender, caste, religion or creed. These vital elements of the constitution are developed between 1947 to 1949. There are six fundamental rights in India. They are Right to equality, Right to freedom, Right against exploitation, Right to freedom of religion, Cultural and Educational rights and Right to constitutional remedies. India faces human rights violation on a large scale.

They are mainly - arbitrary arrest and detention, custodial torture, child labor, violence against women and children, extrajudicial killing, sexual violence and abuse, LGBTQ community rights, SC-ST disabled people and other minorities issues, labor rights and right to work and manual scavenging.

According to justice, J.S.Verma "human dignity is the quintessence of human rights". All those rights which are essential for the protection and maintenance of dignity of individuals and create conditions in which every human being develop his personality to the full extent may be termed as human rights. According to D.D. Basu human rights are those minimum rights which every individual must have against the state or other public authority by virtue of his being a member of human family, irrespective of any other consideration.

The National Human Rights Commission was established in 1993 as an independent statutory body as per the provisions of the protection of Human Rights act of 1993 which was later amended in 2006.The National Human Rights commission act as a watchdog of human rights in the country. It looks over the rights related to life, dignity, liberty and equality of individuals. They are guaranteed by the constitution of India, embodied in the international covenants and are enforceable by the courts of the courts of India as well.

Human rights are an important part of how people interact with others in society. It is vital that people everywhere strive to understand what human rights are. When people better understand human rights it is easier for them to promote justice and the wellbeing of the society.

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