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Classification of Human Rights

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HomeBrud.gifHuman RightsBrud.gifClassification of Human Rights

Karel Vasak, a Czech Jurist classified Human Rights into three categories in 1979 as:

  • 1. Human Rights of First Generation: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
  • 2. Human Rights of Second Generation: International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • 3. Human Rights of Third Generation: Collective Rights

These are also called Three Generations of Human Rights.

First Generation of Human Rights (Blue Rights)

  • Also called Blue Rights
  • Liberation & Participation in Political Life
  • Fundamentally Civil & Political nature
  • When Ist Generation is limited, this directly limits IInd Generation.
  • Rights include: Freedom of Speech, Right to a fair trial, Freedom of religion and Voting rights.

Second Generation of Human Rights

  • Red Rights
  • Economic, Social and Cultural in nature
  • Right to Employment, Housing and Health Care, Social Security & Unemployment benefits
  • US President Roosevelt - Second Bill of Rights
  • In South Africa, it is not Right to housing per se but Right to adequate housing

Third Generation of Human Rights

  • Largely unofficial rights
  • Difficult to implement
  • Group and collective rights
  • Right to self-determination
  • Right to economic and social development
  • Right to a healthy environment
  • Right to natural resources
  • Right to communicate and communication rights
  • Right to participation in cultural heritage
  • Rights to intergenerational equity and sustainability

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