C. Raj Kumar on the Origin of Human Rights

Kumar: Well, in many ways, I mean, we can easily draw the whole concept of human rights from our understanding of innate rights of people. I mean, we are… rights are not essentially given by state. We have rights, rights are endowed. As natural human beings, we have rights. So what basically the laws and rules and regulations, including the international laws and rules and regulations, does is to give a framework and structure for these rights. So what, in some ways, the concept of natural rights is so innate in human beings that what law does is basically to provide a framework for the enforcement and implementation of these rights. And to understand the contemporary notion of human rights, one could trace to the universal declaration of human rights passed by the United Nations and then toward, after the universal declaration of human rights, there are a number of milestones which the journey of the international community, to attain a certain level of minimum protection of human rights of people, led to the passing of what is known as the International Convention On Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and … Economic and Social and Cultural Rights, and all the way up to “the [Torture] Convention” and, more recently, the one relating to disability. And this journey of the international community to protect rights of people is an evolving and continuing one, as there are violations that occur all around the world on a day-to-day basis, and there is more work to do relating to protecting and promoting human rights.

According to C. Raj Kumar, all human beings have natural rights.

Live on Monday: Does the US need one billion people?

What would happen if you tripled the US population? Matthew Yglesias and moderator Charles Duhigg explore the idea on Big Think Live.

Big Think LIVE

Is immigration key to bolstering the American economy? Could having one billion Americans secure the US's position as the global superpower?

Keep reading Show less

Mars pole may be hiding salty lakes and life, find researchers

Researchers detect a large lake and several ponds deep under the ice of the Martian South Pole.

Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • Italian scientists release findings of a large underground lake and three ponds below the South Pole of Mars.
  • The lake might contain water, with salt preventing them from freezing.
  • The presence of water may indicate the existence of microbial and other life forms on the planet.
Keep reading Show less

In praise of nudity: The nudist beaches of Central and Eastern Europe

"Nothing but naked people: fat ones, thin ones, old, young…"

Photo by Jessica D. Vega on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
They lie on towels, blankets and mattresses, without wind screens, but under umbrellas.
Keep reading Show less

Mystery anomaly weakens Earth's magnetic field, report scientists

A strange weakness in the Earth's protective magnetic field is growing and possibly splitting, shows data.

ESA
Surprising Science
  • "The South Atlantic Anomaly" in the Earth's magnetic field is growing and possibly splitting, shows data.
  • The information was gathered by the ESA's Swarm Constellation mission satellites.
  • The changes may indicate the coming reversal of the North and South Poles.
Keep reading Show less

Crows are self-aware just like us, says new study

Crows have their own version of the human cerebral cortex.

Credit: Amarnath Tade/ Unsplash
Mind & Brain
  • Crows and the rest of the corvid family keep turning out to be smarter and smarter.
  • New research observes them thinking about what they've just seen and associating it with an appropriate response.
  • A corvid's pallium is packed with more neurons than a great ape's.
  • Keep reading Show less
    Quantcast