United Nations
Information Centre | Nepal
Human Rights in the Constitution- Nepal Participatory Constitution Building Booklet Series No. 3
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Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever their nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. All human beings are equally entitled to human rights without discrimination. Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “All human beings are born free and equal indignity and rights.” These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible. Universal human rights are often expressed and guaranteed by international law, in the forms of treaties, customary international law, general principles and other sources of international law. International human rights law lays down obligations of Governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups.1 Many countries include a section on human rights or fundamental and freedoms in their Constitutions.
Human rights are inalienable. Human rights are not a gift from the state, and the Government can neither violate them nor take them away arbitrarily. They should not be infringed upon, except in specific exceptional situations and according to due process, and within strict parameters of necessity and proportionality. For example, the right to liberty may be restricted if a person is found guilty of a crime by a court of law. Human rights include civil (individual freedom), political (the right to hold meetings, establish organizations, hold and participate in elections), economic (right to food and residency), social (education, health) and cultural (language, culture, traditional practices) rights along with rights relating to development (access to natural resources, equal distribution and use of the benefits of development and scientific inventions), environment (clean atmosphere and environment) and peace (free from violence and conflict). The designation as ‘fundamental rights’ often signifies that a Constitution affords certain rights only to citizens of the country. However, this does not mean that internationally recognized and binding Human Rights are limited thereby. Some Human Rights are formulated as individual rights against the state. They have to be accompanied by effective remedial provisions to deal with the violations of such rights. This claim includes rights such as the right to life and physical integrity, equality before law, and individual freedom of speech and expression. In normal circumstances, if the state does not interfere these rights could be fully enjoyed.
The state cannot have arbitrary interference on individual matters. It also has a responsibility to protect people under its jurisdiction from Human Rights violations by non-state actors. Other rights imply that the state it also means that the state has the responsibility to work for the all round development of its citizens. Such responsibilities include right to social security and the right to education, health and employment. Only by ensuring these rights in a pro-active, organized and consistent manner individuals would be able to exercise their rights against the state independently. In addition to listing substantive human rights and freedoms, constitutions also often include procedural and institutional provisions which help to give effect to the substantive rights provisions. Thus, constitutions may foresee systems for judicial remedy, lay down state responsibility for Human Rights protection and promotion, and establish independent national human rights institutions. Other provisions may relate to the incorporation of international human rights treaties in the national legislation and their applicability and direct effect for individuals.
#HumanRights #UDHR
Publisher:
CCD/UNDP ,   (2009 )
Type / Script:
Publication in English
Keywords:
HUMAN RIGHTS, INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS, CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS, CULTURAL RIGHTS, HUMAN RIGHTS IN ARMED CONFLICTS, RIGHT OF ASYLUM, RIGHT TO PEACE, WOMEN'S RIGHTS, WORKERS' RIGHTS, CAPACITY BUILDING, DEVELOPMENT, DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, GENERAL AND NATIONAL LAW
Thematic Group:
 UNDP : Social and Institutional Developoment
Thesaurus:
14.02.02  -  Human Rights
Reference Link:
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