Working Group on Human Rights
The existence of the “Human Rights” group demonstrates the recognition by RSCL of the importance of debate on the topic.
Human rights emerged in the eighteenth century when, after the French Revolution, the existence of man as a free being was admitted as a being able to set the course of his own existence. Today, the reality of the African, American, Arab and European systems for the defence of human rights, with their peculiarities, differences and varying degrees of development, demonstrates the success of the idea.
Likewise, the controversies between Relativists and Universalists expose the relevance of the theme and the political importance that remains more than 200 years after the first debate. Thus, in contemporary times, the three generations (or dimensions), namely freedom rights, social rights and peoples (or transindividual) rights ensure the possibility of reflecting on the major subjects relevant to human life by thinking about those rights.
However, the most important issue is the struggle to make them effective. In political, academic, trade union, student and everyday life, one also needs to ensure that human rights are not a utopia, but a reality.
This brief presentation shows the importance of the subject and reaffirms the relevance of the working group. More than that, it makes explicit the need to consider human rights in order to secure and implement them. The fact that a great part of the twenty-first century population lives in States that respect human rights does not mean that we may forget that , in many other States, human rights are still an utopia. Moreover, one must not forget that new claims, referring to newly arising situations, are added to the needs of human beings. Discussing them and thinking of them is a way, albeit incipient, to seek solutions to begin to recover the rights of all human beings, and this is also a task for the homo academicus.