Human Rights Take Priority Over States’ Rights Essay

Human Rights Take Priority Over States’ Rights Essay

Length: 3604 words (10.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Eight hundred thousand Tutsis were killed in just one hundred days, and the world watched some of the most graphic footage seen since the Holocaust. People could not pull away from their television sets, unable to believe it was happening. “Never again,” they had pledged, and yet, here it was in 1994. As the Hutus enacted a massive genocide, attempting to eliminate the Tutsi minority from Rwanda, the world did nothing. The United Nations stalled while the United States refused to have another failure as in Somalia where three American peacekeeping soldiers were dragged through the streets. Belgium was already pulling its peacekeeping troops from the state. The Tutsis’ human rights were clearly being violated. Why did no state intervene and force the Hutus to stop this ethnic cleansing? There was no intervention because states have rights too: political sovereignty and territorial integrity. This battle between states’ rights and individual rights is at the heart of the debate on humanitarian intervention.

Humanitarian intervention is not the same thing as humanitarian assistance or aid; it is not peacekeeping, but peace enforcing. It is an uninvited military operation by one state in another state, in which the intervening state cites mass suffering of the host state’s nationals as its motivation. This sort of intervention is debated amongst scholars and professionals in the international relations community. The debate has three sides: realist, legalist, and moralist. Realists believe that intervention should only occur if it is in a state’s national interest because if not, the host state’s rights are violated. Legalists argue that humanitarian intervention is only acceptable when it is legal according to international law. M...

... middle of paper ...


Smith, M. J. (1998). Humanitarian intervention: An overview of the ethical issues.

Ethics & International Affairs, 12. Accessed on March 28, 2002. Retrieved from

the World Wide Web:

Stremlau, J. (1998, May). People in peril: Human rights, humanitarian action,

and preventing deadly conflict. New York: Carnegie Corp. of New York.

United Nations (1945). Charter of the United Nations. United Nations. Accessed

March 8, 2002. Retrieved from the World Wide Web:

Walzer, M. (1997). Just and unjust war. New York: Basic Books.

“Why and when to go in” (20014 Jan). The Economist. Accessed on

March 30, 2002. Retrieved from the World Wide Web: id=464727.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Rights Of Human Rights Essay

- As stated above, there are various actors in the international community. These actors include intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations who help shape the foundation and creation of human rights. IGOs and NGOs listen to the international community to monitor and protect their human rights. According to the textbook, nongovernmental organization have been especially vocal and effective in the international system when it comes to human rights. NGOs groups that have a great impact on human rights through specific groups like Amnesty International, and the Human Rights Watch....   [tags: Human rights, United Nations]

Better Essays
1074 words (3.1 pages)

Human Rights : A Fundamental Principle Essays

- Many Western countries take human rights as pretext in counter-terrorism acrions and treating terrorists without considerations of human rights not only affect the development of the global human rights cause, but also contributed to the new terrorism forces. Terrorism refers to behaviors that violate human rights. However, on enacting the counter-terrorism strategies, states need to regard protecting human rights as a fundamental principle. Thus, whether the human rights of terrorists should be protected is difficult to be solved....   [tags: Human rights, Rights, Law]

Better Essays
907 words (2.6 pages)

Essay about The Declaration Of Human Rights

- Since its adoption in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, herein Declaration) has acquired the status of ‘customary international law’. Despite its critical acclaim, however, critics propose that the Declaration ultimately is inept in dealing with complex modern human rights issues. This is because (1) The document does not equally account for the human rights concerns of all peoples; and (2) It lacks a comprehensive scheme as to suggest how its provisions should be adapted by member states....   [tags: Human rights]

Better Essays
1054 words (3 pages)

Essay about Are Human Rights Universal?

- The doctrine of human rights were created to protect every single human regardless of race, gender, sex, nationality, sexual orientation and other differences. It is based on human dignity and the belief that no one has the right to take this away from another human being. The doctrine states that every ‘man’ has inalienable rights of equality, but is this true. Are human rights universal. Whether human rights are universal has been debated for decades. There have been individuals and even countries that oppose the idea that human rights are for everybody....   [tags: Human Rights Essays]

Better Essays
1599 words (4.6 pages)

Human Rights Violations Essay

- In the aftermath of the atrocities what occurred during the Second World War, the international community came upon the realization that those who had participated in such heinous human rights violations needed to be held accountable. While the Nuremberg and later Tokyo trials certainly signalled a new outlook in the notions of prosecuting and ensuring justice was brought to the victims, the Justice Cascade, as it is known currently, truly did not take hold in a widespread way until the 1980s and has only proceeded to grow in scope over the last three decades....   [tags: Human rights, Law, International human rights law]

Better Essays
1454 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on Sources Of Law And European Convention On Human Rights

- In England and Wales, there are 4 different sources of law, namely: Statute law, common law, European Union law and European Convention on Human Rights. These sources are either internal sources of law, for example: Statute law and Common law, or external sources of law such as European Union law and European Convention on Human Right (Adams 2014, pp28-33). First, it is important to understand that the legal system in England and Wales, also called English Law, is a Common law system. It has to be differentiated from the Roman law system applied for example in most European countries....   [tags: United Kingdom, European Union, Law, Human rights]

Better Essays
1255 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Animal Rights, Human Wrongs, By Tom Regan

- In Tom Regan’s article “Animal Rights, Human Wrongs,” he explores three different philosophical “accounts” and talks about their view and stances on animal rights and the treatment of animals. The first account that Regan looks at is the Kantian account, which is that humans have obligations to treat animals right only because if humans treated animals poorly it would lead to humans treating one another poorly. Regan says this account to be amiss because it makes us assume that animal interests do not matter and that we are not concerned with the poor treatment of the animal, yet instead we are concerned with the effect the action will have on humans in the future....   [tags: Animal rights, Human, Morality, Animal welfare]

Better Essays
1052 words (3 pages)

China’s One Child Policy Violates Human Rights Essay

- Although there are many facets of human rights being abused and violated every day, the Chinese would mention their fight for reproductive rights as one of the first and foremost in their mind. In 1979, the Chinese government passed the One-Child Policy in an attempt to control the growth of their population. While this may have been a grand idea in theory, in reality this policy violates the human right to form a family. By limiting the amount of children a Chinese couple is allowed to produce, this policy is effectively forcing abortion, sterilization and is taking away the Chinese family’s right to make their own choices....   [tags: Human Rights Violations in China]

Better Essays
2145 words (6.1 pages)

The International Community and Human Rights Essay

- The most crucial issue facing the international community is human rights. Human rights are an issue that cannot be ignored anymore. There is rhetoric about the lack of definition and agreement being the hold up on the protection of human rights. While these things may be hindrances they are not the root issue, if people cared enough about others all across the world governments would respond to the pressure. Human rights fail to be enforced because of state self-interest. This must change. There are three key areas that undermine human rights: state weakness, state sovereignty, and lack of international authority....   [tags: state sovereignty, abuse, weakness]

Better Essays
908 words (2.6 pages)

Civil And Political Rights Of The United States Essay

- In most cases of injustice, individuals that do not directly experience unjust acts can generally overlook or ignore the fact that the acts at all. However, listening to our peers and treating the downtrodden with the same respect we give ourselves can change ignorance into progressive change. Some of the grave injustices of the late twenty first century can be seen when free individuals listen to their currently or previously incarcerated peers. The majority of policies and practices effecting incarcerated people, such as shackling, poor medical attention, and extreme sentencing, successfully serve to restrict bodily rights, despite the existence of a few policies that are strive to expand...   [tags: Prison, Medicine, Human rights, Individual rights]

Better Essays
1334 words (3.8 pages)