The human rights provide the people with the rights to live with dignity, respect and equal rights. The human rights are universally adopted and considered as an important component (Alfreðsson & Eide, 1999). The literature review is conducted in order to obtain the information related to the need to balance rights and obligations. The scope of this literature review is focused on understanding the need and role of government and individuals in maintaining balance between rights and obligations.
Keywords: human rights, obligations, responsibility, human rights protection.
The introduction to Universal Declaration of human rights state publicly that the basis of justice, freedom and peace is considered as the recognition of the equal rights, and inherent dignity for people. 62 years ago, world leaders came together for uniting the humanity below the charter of rights. In 1948, Universal Declaration of Human rights was proclaimed and adopted by General Assembly. The declaration results in obligations and duties of people to their community. The responsibilities come along with the rights. It is essential to make sure to maintain the balance. Defending the human rights for free world is not an issue; it is the responsibility of people. The human rights are there in every culture globally and there are laws and codes that are associated with the human right. It is not about protecting the culture but, the human rights help the people to get the protection from the confinements and the limitations of the culture. It is basically the rights of an individual. It is the responsibility of the people to get engaged in the social environment, social issues, political processes, and in global community (Shanmugan, 2010).
The relationship can be established through enhancing the understanding with others. The main aspect of understanding is establishing the balance between the rights and the responsibilities. The human rights are the rights of the people living in the community and are ensured by the government of a particular country (Creative Commons, 2018). On the other hand, there are several responsibilities of the people towards the human rights. The obligations of human are important for different reasons. It helps in maintaining the balance of notions of responsibility and freedom. The rights are associated with the freedom and the obligations are associated with the responsibility. The responsibility and freedom are interdependent. The responsibility is the moral quality that helps in voluntary check for the freedom. The freedom cannot be exercised without the limits. Hence, when more freedom is provided to the people, then it is also important to bear greater responsibility towards each other (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2010). On the other hand, when the people are able to develop the sense of responsibility, the internal freedom within them also increases. Freedom provides with the abilities to take actions of choice but with a responsibility. The lack of proper balance can result in danger, as the unrestricted freedom affects the social responsibility. The duties and rights are linked with each other. The human rights are helpful when the people respect the rights they have. It is not necessary to have the complex system to guide the people but, the understanding related to the need, to maintain balance of rights and obligations is important. For instance, the right to life is there for people then the obligation to respect life follows (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2010).
The government of Australia has the responsibility to make sure that the human rights are protected, fulfilled and respected as per the international law (Mechlem, 2009). It is important for the government to take actions to ensure that the people are able to enjoy the human rights. Avoiding the actions that can result in the breach of the human rights is essential for the government. The Australian government follow these obligations since many years. Australia has a good record of supporting and adopting the international human rights law. Australia also played an important role in international human right treaties and the Universal Declaration. The obligations of Australia are under the international law and are subject to scrutiny (The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, 2018).
It is believed by the government that raising public awareness and the education can help in minimizing the discrimination and can also help in promoting tolerance. National Human Rights Institution of Australia promotes the awareness of human rights and the respect for the human rights in community. The government of Australia supports such institutions in an effective manner. The financial support is provided by the government to such institutions. The government is committed to multicultural country. Linguistic and the cultural diversity are celebrated in Australia (Commonwealth of Australia , 2010). The government appointed a Minister for Multicultural affairs and citizenship, which shows the importance of multiculturalism in the decision- making of the Government. It is considered by the government, the education related to the human rights can help in establishing multiculturalism in Australia. The five priorities of government for the human rights are human rights awareness and education, promoting free democracy, supporting family, assisting the disadvantaged groups so that they can become independent, and promoting the human rights globally (OHCHR, 2018).
It is the responsibility of the government to make sure that the people of the country are able to enjoy social, economic and the cultural rights. The government have to focus on ensuring that people have the access to appropriate education, health care, clean environment, social support and can use their talents so that the self improvement can be enjoyed; people can participate in the cultural and the social life and people can share economic wealth of a nation (Donnelly, 2013). The federal government has the responsibility of defining heads of power such as international affairs nod finances, national defence taxation. The state government are accountable for residual areas such as education, health, policing and such others. State and federal both the governments are responsible for protecting the human rights. Comprehensive body of statutory and common laws and the democratic traditions is the basis of human rights protection (Ozdowski, 2003).
The government needs to protect the human rights so that all people can enjoy the equal respect in the community. The support of government through offering the education and awareness related to human rights is important. Donnelly (2013) discussed about the human rights and its practice and demonstrated that the human rights are for the good of humans and the government should focus on protecting it (Donnelly, 2013). Similarly, the actions of government help in spreading the awareness among the people related to human rights (OHCHR, 2018). Ozdowski (2003) demonstrated that the state and federal government should fulfil their responsibilities related to human rights and its protection. According to Australian Human Rights Commission (2010), it is important for the people to understand and maintain the balance among the rights and the obligations. People and government both are responsible for maintaining the balance between rights and obligations.
It can be concluded that the human rights provide the ability to the people of community to live with respect and freedom in the society. The people enjoy the human rights, which provide the support to them to grow. It is important for people to understand that there is a need to maintain the balance between the obligations and rights. Apart from enjoying the rights, the obligations needs- to be fulfilled as well. The people should respect the human rights. The government is responsible for protecting the human rights and should respect the human rights. In Australia, the government supports the different institutions and follow the laws, in order to maintain the balance between obligations and rights.
Alfreðsson, G. S., & Eide, A. (1999). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A Common Standard of Achievement. London: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
Australian Human Rights Commission. (2010). Understanding human rights. Retrieved from Humanrights.gov.au: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/content/education/understanding_human_rights/rightsED_understanding_human_rights.pdf
Commonwealth of Australia . (2010). Australia’s human rights framework. Retrieved from Ag.gov.au: https://www.ag.gov.au/Consultations/Documents/Publicsubmissionsonthedraftbaselinestudy/AustraliasHumanRightsFramework.pdf
Creative Commons. (2018). Balancing Rights and Responsibilities. Retrieved from Creativeconflictresolution.org: https://www.creativeconflictresolution.org/jc/maps-1/balancing-r-n-r.html
Donnelly, J. (2013). Universal human rights in theory and practice. London: Cornell University Press.
Mechlem, K. (2009). Treaty Bodies and the Interpretation of Human Rights. Retrieved from Heinonline.org: https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/vantl42&div=24&id=&page=
OHCHR. (2018). Australia’s national framework for human rights national action plan. Retrieved from Ohchr.org: https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/NHRA/Australia-NHRAP2004.pdf
Ozdowski, D. S. (2003). The Relevance of Human Rights in Contemporary Australia”: Dr Sev Ozdowski OAM (2003). Retrieved from Humanright.gov.au: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/speeches/relevance-human-rights-contemporary-australia-dr-sev-ozdowski-oam-2003
Shanmugan, P. (2010). Rights must be balanced with responsibilities. Retrieved from Smh.com.au: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/rights-must-be-balanced-with-responsibilities-20101209-18qq6.html
The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. (2018). Australia's human rights framework. Retrieved from Humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au: https://www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au/human-rights/the-charter/australian-human-rights-framework