History Of Human Rights


For centuries past, women all over the world have not only, been denied full justice, social, economic and political but as ?weaker section? they have been used, abused, exploited and, then discarded to lead immoral, street vagrant and destitute life till their death. Although they constitute about half the total population and have contributed and sacrificed not less than men in the national freedom struggles at any point of time but they have been deprived of their due shares in various areas of activities and have been subjected to inhuman and humiliating wrongs frombirth to death for no sin.


The general though unfortunate impression has ever since, been that women are sub-human societies, an object of contempt and ridicule, a commodity for barter, an expendable asset and a plaything for mere sexual enjoyment. The ancient Judo-Christian Society regarded women as ?a scorpion ever ready to sting?, and pagan Arab saw in her the devil's whip. The Indian regarded women social evil to be burnt at pyre of her husband. Nowadays, however, women have broken their ill-social shackles and are ready to face the contemporary challenges without any help and hesitation and, consequently, March 8, is formally observed and celebrated in several countries, including India, as a mark of integrated achievements towards the equality of rights, status and dignity of women and their equal participation in economic, social and cultural development in contemporary world scenario.


Women constitute about one-half of the global population, but they are placed at various disadvantageous positions due to gender difference and bias. They have been the victims of violence and exploitation by the male dominated society all over the world. Ours is a tradition-bound society where women have been socially, economically, physically, psychologically and sexually exploited from time immemorial, sometimes in the name of religion, sometimes on the pretext of writings, in the scriptures and sometimes by the social sanctions. The concept of equality between male and female was almost unknown to us before the enactment of the Constitution of India. Of course, the Preamble of the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the landm seeks to secure to its citizens including women folk, justice ? social, economic and political, liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship, equality of status and opportunity, and promote fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual.

History is a mute witness to the most inhuman suffering that man has inflicted on man.

A man's right to his liberty is the most sacred right for him and therefore, it should not be restrained without the sanction of law. A fruitful and meaningful life presupposes full of dignity, honour, health and welfare, in the modern philosophy. The treatment of human being which offends human dignity, imposes avoidable torture and reduces the man to the level of beast would certainly be arbitrary and is impossible as a code of human conduct in all religion.

Justice P.N. Bhagvati, Supreme Court of India in the ?Seminar of Human Rights? organised by I.L.A. Allahabad submitted in his inaugural address that protection of rights of man was deeply inserted in the Babylonian Laws, Assyrian Laws, hittiti Laws and Dharm of Vedic Time in India. Description of protection right was widely and wisely discussed by Plato, Greek and Roman Philosophers. Their discussion were based on religious foundation. Right to Vote, Right to Trade, Right of access to justice to their citizen etc., were given by City of State of Greece.


King John of England granted Magna Carta to the English baron on June 15, 1215 that their privileges will not be encroached and hammered. The Importance of Magna Carta's resulted into confirmation by Parliament in the year 1216-17 during the period of John's Son, Henry III, the confirmation was done in the year 1297 and was modified by Edward I. Parliamentary supperiority was formed in 1689 by the petition of Rights and Bill of Rights over the Crown and rule of law in England were controlled by documentary authority. Declarations and constitutional branches of many States are supported by the expression ?fundamental right?. The declaration of Independence of Thirteen United States of America in 1776. The Virginia Bill of Rights, 1776, the Constitutions of the United States of 1787 with amendments in 1789, 1865, 1865, 1869 and 1919 of Man of 1789 enlighten other country and accelerated to add provisions in their laws for the Protection of Human Rights.

It was the golden rays of sun enlightening the world of Nineteenth Century to human being to know about Human Right they possess. Worth of human personality began to be realized.

The resultant of Human Rights Movement was experienced by human being after the World War II. During the war whole humanitism was shocked due to heneious crimes committed against the humanity and human rights was perished. The History witnessed silently tyranny and complete lawlessness of Nazi leaders of Germany. Human values and dignities and morality were barbarously negated. Rights to the people became the need of hour to be established for internatioal peace and security.


President Franklin d. Ruosevelt on January 6, 1941 reflected in the Proclamation of Four Freedom and mentioned as :

(1) Freedom of Speech,
(2) Freedom of religion,
(3) Freedom from want,
(4) Freedom from Fear.

Declaration of President carries weight he said - ?Freedom means the Supremacy of human rights everywhere our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights or keep them.?

The growth and evolution of Human Rights and Internatioal Law had achieved a remarkable progress since the year 1945. Several charters, treaties, etc., came into existence for effective enforcement of Human Rights like.


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