Human rights are a group of very important rights and require urgency which any person can make a valid claim from a government (Benjamin, 2009: 321). The governments are under an obligation to show respects for all the rights of the individuals within the area which the government administers. No single government can claim to own legitimate authority unless it is able to provide and safe guard all the rights of human beings within its territory. Thus, the test of legitimacy of a government is by the evaluation of its ability to safeguard the human rights (Benjamin, 2009: 321).
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According to John Rawls, the functions and the capacities of the various governments in the world have changed greatly after the universal Declaration of Human Rights. This has been so because the international organizations comprising of both governmental and nongovernmental organizations have increased in number and also become more powerful with time (Pinnock, 2002: 201). There has also been acceleration in the globalization of the world leading to access to more information of people about human rights issues. It has also led to the generation of very many public and scholarly discussions which has advanced the human rights issues. After the Second World War, the international human rights institutions underwent reforms so as to be able to conform to the changing political environment and thus be able to take account of the political realities which were emerging after that. These changes included changing from a national level of operation to an international or global and changing from governments to governance (Pinnock, 2002: 201). More than any other time, domestic government officials are dealing with activities which are not limited to the boundaries of their governments but spanning the whole world. This is because of the increase in the capacities of such organizations to do so and also because of the increase in the importance of operating on the international scene (Pinnock, 2002: 201).
As the three advocate (Rawls, Hegel and Marx), the responsibility of upholding the rights of humans does not lie entirely on the state alone. It is the responsibility of a network of several governments which are intertwined for the purpose of maintaining a high standard of human rights. It consists of various officials from several government departments meeting with others from different governments. It also includes international organizations, corporations, nongovernmental organizations and other actors who are interested in human rights protection. Such members of the intergovernmental networks are as a result of treaties which have been created by many countries over a long period of time (Benjamin, 2009: 321).
Ralws Views on human Rights
He established the law of peoples which brings about the moral conception in international law which is just. He proposes some number of principles which must be included in the charter of foundation of the people's society. He also proposes a number of human rights which are basic. This provides a reference which would be used in the interpretation of the basic principles he proposes of human rights (Rawls, 1999: 16).
According to Rawls, human rights are very urgent and that all the governments must strive to ensure that each individual gets his or her rights. The human rights must be rooted in the justice principles which are applicable to legal systems and governments (Rawls, 1999: 23). The purpose of these principles is to provide constraints on the government and thus make them trim the use of the political power in implementing both domestic and foreign policies.
He starts with an idea that all the just societies have a legitimate government in place. He argues that there is no society which observes the principles of justice and has no government. The government is considered as a system of legal principles and laws which people are obligated to obey but not forced to. This means that all the governments are obliged to maintain the human rights within their territories and that all the individuals within that territory are entitled to claim them from the government. All governments are obligated to secure and respect all the human rights and the international community has the right to enforce them globally. It thus not the duty of the government alone in securing the human rights but the international community also plays a role. Thus, the international community can step in in the securing and protection of human rights by the use of the appropriate measures and procedures as stipulated in the various treaties (Rawls, 1999: 45).
Rawls also argues that all the legitimately governed states must have some level of cooperation. This cooperation will be in the achieving of the fundamental principles of justice. The most important role of their cooperation is the avoidance of the excessive use of the force of the governments. Thus, the main objective of cooperation is for the establishment a society which is just and fair, and establish a global legal system which is both stable and just. These principles are supposed to be included in all foundation charters of any legal order. This cooperation ensures that there is no member state which exploits its citizens and interferes with the human rights of the people in that country. The governments of different states can restrain each other (Rawls, 1999: 6).
According to Rawls, the justice conception must be able to establish a basis which is shared for the justifications of the public. This means that the convincing of other members of the society is by the public reasoning. This means all the political and other decisions which are made rely entirely on the public reasoning, will the decision be accepted by the public? Thus, decisions which are to be made by any governments must be reasonable and acceptable by all the people in the society and not just a decision benefiting the government's officials only. This means all the citizens of a particular country must cooperate with one another in terms which are acceptable to all parties. Thus, if the citizens are not able to agree on the justice of the institutions, rules, policies and principles, they be able to give each other a clear justifications on the judgment of their political views. Thus, a justification of the public should give an argument which is valid so that all the parties which are involved in the conflict or in the disagreement will be able to accept them or even endorse them (Rawls, 1999: 67).
Marx's View on Justice
Marx provides criticism on the justice in the society. He criticizes the rights which are both civil and political. Marx provides a clear distinction between the rights of man, human rights and rights of citizens (Marx, & Lellan, 2008: 78). The major category is the human rights and in it are the rights of the citizens and the rights of man. Marx defines the rights of citizens as rights which are political. An example of the citizen rights is the right to vote. It is a right which is reserved for people who are members of that state and not other people.
The other category of human rights is the rights of man which include the following. First, there is the right of expression, believe and thought. All the people have a right to express and think and also to carry on the believe they think is right. Another right of man is the right for equal treatment by the law (Marx, & Lellan, 2008: 23). Therefore, in any state, all the people present there must be treated equally by the law. There should be no discrimination of certain people by the law. It should not matter the social or the political status of an individual but the law should apply equally on all the people. Marx also proposes the right to property. Every person in the society has the right to own property anywhere. There is no way an individual will be forced to cede his or her property without following the due course of the law. All the people have a right to security. This is an obligation of both the domestic government and the international society. Lastly, the right to liberty. All the citizens are supposed to be given the right to liberty. It should not matter which country or state of origin but all people should have a right to liberty (Marx, & Lellan, 2008: 105).
Marx also introduces the concept of restriction of the right of a person so that they do not interfere with another person's rights. According tom Marx, an individual should not be allowed to enjoy his rights while interfering with the rights of another person (Marx, & Lellan, 2008: 87). For example, a person is allowed the right to worship. He or she has the freedom of worship. However, his worship should go to an extend that it is interfering with the right of worship of another person. For example, a Muslim praying should not do it so loudly that the Christians are hearing as this will result in interference with the religious rights of an individual. Another example is where an individual has the right to speech. If the person is talking things which are abusive to other people, then he or she is not supposed to be allowed to practice that right because practicing the right is interfering with another person's right. The law should thus define the limits within which an individual can enjoy his or her rights (Marx, & Lellan, 2008: 41).
In his arguments, he proposes the abolishment of the restrictions on the transfer of property. This means that an individual has the exclusive rights of ownership of his or her property and there is no one who should restrict that person on the transfer of his or her property (George, Hegel, &Wood, 1991: 5). This means that a person can freely \transfer his or her property to the person he wants and thus no law or regulation should prevent such transfer. He believed that the institution of property was supposed to be upheld. For example, in a family property, the owner of the property should have the full permissions to transfer his or her property to whoever he wants. There should be no law which should interfere with such transfer. For example, the father has the right to decide what to do with his property and must not be compelled by the law to give it to anyone by force. If it is giving a person he should do it on a voluntary basis (George, Hegel, &Wood, 1991: 89).
Hegel believes in a society which is liberal and allows the people of the society to enjoy their rights. He also believed that each person in the society should enjoy his rights while at the same time respecting the rights of other people. He defines the abstract right which is the freedom a person should enjoy of his personal property as a product of what a person has done. Personal property comes as a result of struggle of any individual. This means that the person should be subjected to any form of law on how to use his or her property because he or she struggled for it. On the other hand, any form of property which is not private but owned commonly cannot not have one person exercising exclusive rights over it (George, Hegel, &Wood, 1991: 56).
According to Hegel, the start of freedom is at the property of an individual. Therefore, the respect of one's property is the first step towards respecting his or her rights. Although all the people in the society are equal, this equality does not extend to the property of the people. The private property is a separate entity and no one is allowed to interfere with it. Therefore, Hegel advocates for the capitalist way of life in which what a person struggles to get becomes his and no one can claim its ownership. He argues that it is not justice for a person to struggle to get something only for it to be used by the whole community for their benefits without the consent of the owner (George, Hegel, &Wood, 1991: 14).
Hegel also proposes that people have the right to change the law as long as it does not conform to the principles of human rights. They are supposed to do what they deem is right and there should be no restriction of such. He states that in case where the law contradicts with the principles of human rights, the human rights principles should carry the day (George, Hegel, &Wood, 1991: 34). Therefore, in a situation where the people feel that the law is being against their rights, the members of the society can do centrally to what the law says. In his argument, it is the human beings who should make the law fit them and not the opposite where the law should make human beings fit in it. The constitutions and legal systems should thus be modified to fit the rights of human beings. The people should decide by themselves what they want the law to say about a particular thing and not being dictated to do something by the law. He thus brought the concept of people's decision in the process of making laws. The people should participate actively in the making and amendment of the laws to avoid a situation where the law is made by a few people and imposed on all the people (George, Hegel, &Wood, 1991: 87).
The three (Rawls, Hegel and Marx) have brought the aspect of the respect of human dignity. They believe that human rights are the most important things which any government should respect and protect. A legitimate government is the one which is there by the will of the people and is carrying out the functions of protecting the rights of all the people. It should also cooperate with other governments in the international scene to ensure that all the human right are upheld.