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Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more. Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination.

What is International Human Rights Law?

International human rights law is the law that states the obligation of states to act or refrain in any way from promoting and protecting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups.

Under the great achievements of the United Nations under the United Nations, the creation of a broader human rights law can be identified as a victory for the universal human race itself.

The United Nations has defined a wide range of internationally recognized rights, including civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. That comprehensive system has been defended through a variety of mechanisms, most notably the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone in the history of human rights. Since its adoption by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, the United Nations has systematically expanded human rights law to protect human rights, including specific standards for women, children, peaple with disabilities , minorities, and other vulnerable groups. It was drafted by representatives of various legal and cultural backgrounds from every country and region of the world and was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on December 10, 1948, Resolution 214a3 for the benefit of all people. It is the first document in which universal human rights must be universally protected. It has been translated into more than 500 languages ​​since its adoption in 1948. It is also the most translated document in the world.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the Protection of International Human Rights has since expanded international human rights law into a series of human rights treaties and other tools.

· Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948),

· International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965),

· Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979),

· Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)

· Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006), among others.

The Human Rights Council, established by the General Assembly on 15 March 2006, replaced the United Nations Human Rights Commission as the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Human Rights. The Council consists of forty-seven delegates and is responsible for responding to and advising on human rights abuses, as well as promoting and protecting human rights worldwide.

Human rights in India is an issue complicated by the country's large size and population, widespread poverty, lack of proper education, as well as its diverse culture, despite its status as the world's largest sovereign, secular, democratic republic. The Constitution of India provides for Fundamental rights, which include freedom of religion. Clauses also provide for freedom of speech, as well as separation of executive and judiciary and freedom of movement within the country and abroad. The country also has an independent judiciary as well as bodies to look into issues of human rights.

In the case of Keshvanand Bharti v. State of Kerela, the apex court observed: “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights may not be a legally binding instrument but it shows how India understood the nature of human rights at the time the Constitution was adopted.”

Protecting human rights is essential for the national development of a country and the development of its people. The Constitution of India guarantees human rights to all citizens of the country To this end, the framers of the Constitution have made great efforts to ensure the maximum possible provision. The range of human rights has also expanded in an era of development. Even Members of Parliament play a vital role in protecting human rights in the legal system by passing the necessary rules and regulations and amending the provisions. Looking at the history of human rights in India, it started a long time ago. This can be easily identified from the principles of Buddhism and Jainism. That is, human rights provisions are contained in Hindu religious texts as well as in other religions. It is as if the massive human rights abuses of the early British era led to the birth of modern human rights jurisprudence in India.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is almost entirely enshrined in the Constitution of India in relation to fundamental rights and the principles of public policy. As a result, India signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on January 1, 1942, which included Part III of the Constitution on Fundamental Rights. As a result, Part III of the Constitution contains fundamental rights.

Article 13 (2) prohibits the imposition of any law in violation of fundamental rights. It states that if a part of the law violates fundamental rights, that part will also be declared invalid.

If the relevant invalid part cannot be separated from the main part, then the whole action can be declared invalid.

Just as the UDHR recognizes equality before the law in Article 7, Article 14 of the Constitution of India recognizes it UDHR in connection with the violation of fundamental rights. It can be identified that Article 18 has been accepted and it has accepted Article 32 of the Constitution of India. Right to life and personal liberty UDHR Article 19 and identified in Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Freedom of speech is guaranteed by Article 19 of the UDHR, which is enshrined in Article 19, Article 19A of the Constitution of India. Attributed to the Constitution. Freedom of speech is guaranteed by the UDHR in Article 19 and Article 19 in the Constitution of India.

The UDHR deals with the protection of minorities in Article 2 and attributes it to Article 29 1 of the Constitution of India. The right to education in the UDHR is guaranteed under Article 26 1 and appears to be guaranteed in Article 21A of the Constitution of India.

Thus it can be seen that the Constitution of India has accepted the provisions of the UDHR as it stands.

India has also become a party to the ICESCR Multilateral Agreement. This is an agreement that focuses primarily on social and cultural rights such as food health education education and accommodation and was ratified by India on April 10, 1979. Part IV of the Constitution of India contains many provisions. Equal pay for equal work is recognized under the ICESCR and is discussed in Article 39 of the Constitution of India.. The right to work is recognized by ICESCR under Article 6 of and is guaranteed by Article 41 of the Constitution of India. ICESCR addresses Articles 7b and 10 of the Humanitarian Conditions of Employment and Maternity Leave, which are recognized by Article 42 of the Constitution of India.

The provision of compulsory education for children is recognized by ICESCR 13 (2) a and Article 45 of the Constitution of India. Further, the protection of the interests of minorities is recognized in Article 27 of the ICESCR and is also recognized in Article 29 (1) of the Constitution of India.

India is also a signatory to the ICCPR Convention and its clauses and the Constitution of India appear to have ratified and ratified it. The right to life and liberty is enshrined in Articles 6 (1), 9 (1) of the ICCPR and is recognized by Article 21 of the Constitution of India. In some cases, protection against detention is enshrined in Articles 9 (2), (3), (4) of the ICCPR and Article 22 of the Constitution of India. The right to equality guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution of India is paramount.

Freedom of conscience is recognized by Article 18 of the ICCPR and is guaranteed in Articles 25 (1) and 25 (2) b of the Constitution of India. The freedom of speech and expression of the ICCPR is discussed under Articles 19 (1), (2) and Article 19A of the Constitution of India. The right to peaceful assembly is enshrined in Article 21 of the ICCPR, which is enshrined in Article 19 (1) (b) of the Constitution of India. Article 26 of the ICCPR states that the right to form a union is 22 (1), equality in public service 25 (b), protection of the interests of minorities (27) and equality before the law, respectively. It is recognized in the Constitution of India under Articles 19 (1) b, 19 (1) c, 16 (1), 29 (1) 30, 15.

Although some of the above have been stated, there are other express rights that are not the same but can be stated that various fundamental rights are recognized by various court declarations. For example, the rights so recognized are the right to a fair trial, the right to privacy, the right to legal aid, the right to go abroad. That is, the Indian judiciary appears to have broadly defined the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of India. Later, in the case of Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, J. Bhagwati observed; “The expression ’personal liberty’ in article 21 is of the widest amplitude and it covers a variety of rights, which go to constitute the personal liberty of man and some of them have been raised to the status of distinct fundamental rights and given additional protection under Article 19. No person can be deprived of his right to go abroad unless there is a law made by the State prescribing the procedure for so depriving him, and the deprivation is effected strictly in accordance with such procedure.”

Further, the Indian judiciary has so positively interpreted fundamental rights in relation to cases. for example,

· PUCL & Anr vs State of Maharstra & ors (Right ti live with human dignity)

· Mc Metha ( Taj Trapezium Matter) vs Union of India ( Right to Clean air)

· In re Noise pollution ( Right to freedom from noise pollution )

· Khatri and others vs State of Bihar & ors (right to free legal Aid)

Finally, an in-depth study of Part III and Part IV of the Constitution of India reveals that he was primarily a human rights defender and covered all the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is further recognized that the constructive interpretation and protection of human rights is very positive in relation to the judgments of the Indian legal system. That is, the promotion seeks to protect human rights by expanding the legal position in this regard.

Human rights in Sri Lanka and human rights in other countries. It can be seen that Sri Lanka is also a party to various conventions for the protection of human rights and that the Constitution seeks to protect those human rights.

For example, in the case of Lilavati v. Minister of Defense and External Affairs, Lilavati, an Indian woman, came to Sri Lanka and married a Sri Lankan. She later applied for Sri Lankan citizenship but it was rejected. According to the Citizenship Act at that time the Minister had the discretion to grant citizenship to a woman. There was no such restriction for a man. When Lilavati filed this case, the 1972 Constitution came into force. The court ruled that Sri Lanka has accepted the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which denies gender segregation. He further stated that as of today, the fundamental rights chapter of the 1972 and 1978 constitutions are based on the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, on which relief can be obtained.

In the Bulankulama case, Amarasinghe was seen referring to the monopoly, which states that the right to life is not explicitly stated in the Constitution but is not necessary. The judiciary is bound to act on behalf of what the country has accepted, regardless of whether there is a bill.

In the case of Visakha v. Rajasthan, it was stated that due to the omission of the Central Government of India, the possibility of obtaining CEWDAW protection could not be restricted. This situation has been highlighted by judges of Australia's Supreme Court, who say that in order to protect human rights, it is often necessary to shift from dualism to monotheism in defending rights by filling in the gaps when the law is silent.

After considering these facts, it is clear that the judges have stated that although all states do not have bills to protect their country's human rights, they should be addressed somehow.


It is thus clear that all states are committed to the protection of human rights by signing and ratifying various international conventions. That is, states have a mutual responsibility to fulfill their responsibilities in accordance with principles such as jus cogens and to secure the world's international human rights by protecting the country's human rights as a whole. States must also fulfill their duty to protect jus cogens, such as the slavery of women and children and the killing of unarmed civilians. Further, there is an urgent need to expand the UN judiciary as well as other legal frameworks in this international human rights legal framework.

Author: B.N.S. Basnayaka

(Faculty of Law, University of Colombo, Srilanka)

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