Human rights are activities, conditions, and privileges that all human beings deserve to enjoy, by their humanity. They include civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights. These rights are inherent, inalienable, interdependent, and indivisible.
Human rights are a fundamental aspect of law and justice, emphasising the protection of individuals’ rights and dignity. They are based on the concept of inherent worth and equality, ensuring that all individuals are treated equally and have access to equal opportunities.
Human rights are incorporated into law at both the national and international levels. These laws aim to protect and promote human rights, ensuring that individuals’ rights are respected, protected, and fulfilled. Just like a choreographer translates music into movement, law translates human rights into concrete steps. National and international laws act as the rulebook, defining what each right means and how it should be protected. Think of them as detailed dance instructions, ensuring everyone moves in harmony and avoids harmful stumbles.
At the international level, human rights are codified in various treaties, conventions, and declarations that outline the rights and obligations of states in ensuring the protection of human rights. Treaties and conventions provide a common ground for fostering this cooperation.
Instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) form the cornerstone of the international human rights framework. These instruments provide a universal standard for human rights and guide states in their obligations to respect, protect, and fulfil the rights of individuals.
Human rights are not only relevant at the international level but also at the domestic level, where they have a direct impact on the lives and well-being of individuals and groups. States have the primary responsibility to respect, protect, and fulfil human rights for everyone within their jurisdiction, and to ensure that their domestic laws and practices are consistent with their international obligations.
Dualism is a method of incorporation that assumes that international law and national law form two separate and distinct legal systems, and that international law does not become part of national law unless it is transformed or transposed by the State through a specific act of incorporation.
Under dualism, international law and national law have equal status and validity, and any conflict or inconsistency between them must be resolved by applying the principle of lex posterior (the later law prevails over the earlier law) or lex specialis (the more specific law prevails over the more general law).
Dualist States need to adopt special measures or procedures to incorporate international law into their domestic law, such as passing legislation, issuing decrees, or making declarations. Examples of dualist States are the United Kingdom, Canada, and India.
Despite these safeguards, the road to a world of fully realised human rights is bumpy. Conflicts, poverty, and political instability can create cracks in the system. Discrimination against marginalised groups, lack of access to justice, and violations of basic rights continue to occur. These are constant reminders that the fight for human rights is ongoing, requiring vigilance and collective action.
Conclusion – As we all know, the integration of Digital Seva, Digital Seva Kendra, and CSC Digital Seva has revolutionised the accessibility of human rights. These platforms have bridged the digital divide, ensuring that rights are not just on paper but are practically accessible and enforceable, thus fostering an inclusive digital society.