Foundations of human rights

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  • Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines 1 FOUNDATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS by: ANA ELZY E. OFRENEO, CHRP Director IV TITLE : MGA KARAPATAN NATIN SAAN GALING? SAAN PATUNGO Dir. Ana Elzy E. Ofreneo Foundations of Human Rights Schedule : Day _, Session _ four hours (Part I) Day 2, Session 6 two hours (Part II) Resources Needed: Materials: 10 pcs white cartolinas or tear sheets, 10 half-sheet manila paper, 10 boxes crayola, 10 red pentel pens, 10 blue pentel pens, masking tape, group prize (ribbons HR Advocate in the Making) Trainors References / Readings / Participants Handouts Philosophical Bases of Human Rights by Ana Elzy E. Ofreneo, in Educators Handbook. Bible, Chapter 3, Verses 1-19 Bible, 10 Commandments of God Human Rights in Islam by Ana Elzy E. Ofreneo The Three Generations of Rights summarized by Ana Elzy E. Ofreneo (based on the article of Karel Vasak) Struggles for Human Freedoms, in Human Development Report 2000, (New York, USA: United Nations Development Programme, 2000), pp. 27-55.
  • Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines 2 OBJECTIVES: By the end of the session, the participants shall be able to: 1. Discuss the different foundations of human rights; 2. Reflect on their daily ways of relating with their fellow human beings and their practices on human rights. INTRODUCTION (PRIMING) TO THE 3 LEARNING EPISODES ACTIVITY/ANALYSIS: HRIA Human Rights Inference Active Say: A very pleasant day to all participants! Welcome to our show Human Rights Inference-Active. We have five learning barkada who are competing for the title HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATE IN THE MAKING! What is our prize? The winners will receive this lovely ribbon declaring them HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATE IN THE MAKING! THE RULES: 1. Unscramble the letters to form a word that will form a category of the foundations or bases of human rights. 2. Write the correct word under the jumbled letters. 3. If finished, post the word on the board under the participants barkadahan name with the answers first facing the board, not letting the other teams see it. [Later, open the answers one by one, team by team]. Dir. Ana Elzy E. Ofreneo Foundations of Human Rights [The succeeding scrambled words are written on four bond papers. Each bond paper contains one category of the foundations of human rights. They are reproduced in 5 sets. Give one set of scrambled words for each barkadahan] ARTICHISOL BASES OF HUMAN RIGHTS PHIPHILOCALOS BASES OF HUMAN RIGHTS AGELL BASES OF HUMAN RIGHTS CALITHELOGO BASES OF HUMAN RIGHTS
  • Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines 3 4. Urge the barkadahan to work as a team. 5. The fastest to form the correct words in 20 seconds will be declared winners! (Time and correct answers matter.) 6. Immediately declare the winner as soon as you have verified the correctness of the answers of the first barkadahan to complete the task. Say: AND THE WINNER IS (give cut-out ribbons of HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATE IN THE MAKING! to the members of the winning team) Say: What you have just uncovered are the four main topics under this module on Foundations of Human Rights: Philosophical, Theological or Spiritual, Historical and Legal Bases of Human Rights. LEARNING EPISODE 1 A. Activity: THE KISS Say: 1. May I ask for two volunteers: a gentleman from todays Host Team and a lady from tomorrows Host Team. Please come forward. 2. Class, let us give our two volunteers a very easy order. We shall also give them the options to obey or disobey our order. Whichever they choose, they must explain to us why they chose that option. (Solicit suggestions from the participants). OK. Our order: YOU KISS EACH OTHER. 3. (Wait for responsive actions from the volunteers). B. Analysis Say / Ask: 1. The moment we gave our order to our two volunteers for them to kiss each other, both of them instantaneously got two options. What are these? 2. Let us ask our volunteers. What did you feel when we ask you to kiss each other? 3. What did you do? Dir. Ana Elzy E. Ofreneo Foundations of Human Rights
  • Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines 4 4. So, did you actually choose not to kiss each other? 5. Why did you disobey (or obey) us / our order? (Challenge / question every reason given by the volunteer) 6. Who told you that it is wrong (or right) to kiss each other? (For every answer, follow up with the question Why, or simply repeat every answer in a questioning tone). 7. OK. Thank you. Class, let us give our volunteers our warm applause for they have been such great sport in our activity. You may now please take your seats. C. Abstraction You see, the moment we gave our order for our two volunteers to kiss each other, both of them instantly got two options, i.e., to kiss or not to kiss. In deciding which option to choose, our volunteers instantaneously, and imperceptibly, began to weigh the merits of the options. Which is right or which is wrong? Is it bad or good? Is it correct or wrong? Notice the reasoning that they gave us (quote them e.g. S/He is not my spouse. Why should I kiss him/her?) Inside their minds, they deliberated upon themselves on the merits of the options, by drawing out /by culling out from the back of their minds their set of standards or norms -- norms which are traditionally accepted by everyone as morally, or culturally, or spiritually or naturally correct. You see, each one of you seem to approve what they chose; although, we are all making fun out of it. But their action is what the society approves as right, as consistent with the norms. Therefore, they reason out to us that to kiss a person who is not your spouse is not right. This capacity to reason out or rationalize distinguishes us from animals. Every action that we do is with responsibility because we weigh the consequences and/or the merits of every action. In our exercise, our volunteers exhibited instantaneous action. They disobeyed our order because they believe that it is wrong, it is not right, it is not proper, to kiss each other. However, there are instances when the options before us seem to be so grave, such that we do not only have to deliberate upon ourselves, but we seem compelled to consult, or brainstorm, with others on the pros and cons, precisely on the merits of options. Sometimes it takes us longer, maybe an hour, even a day, or maybe a week before we are able to establish the merits of options. Dir. Ana Elzy E. Ofreneo Foundations of Human Rights
  • Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines 5 That process of deliberating on the merits of choices, and consequently reasoning out for ones choice or action or decision is an exercise of our RATIONALITY reasoning and rationalizing every thing, every action. RATIONALITY is one of our two basic philosophical foundations of human rights. In anything we do, great or trivial, we are always confronted with options. In choosing between options, we always rationalize. In other words, we always exercise our RATIONALITY. NOW, when our volunteers actually chose not to kiss each other, and therefore, actually disobeyed our order, even instantaneously verbalized their chosen option, they actually acted on their FREE WILL. THEY EXERCISED THEIR FREEDOM. That moment when they actually chose one option is an exercise of freedom where they used their free will. FREEDOM is our second basic philosophical foundation of human rights. Therefore, RATIONALITY and FREEDOM are the two basic philosophical foundations of human rights. Ask: Is freedom absolute? Answer: No, freedom is not absolute. The rights of others put limitations on my own freedom. I only have my freedom for as long as I am not transgressing on the freedom of others. Freedom is not absolute because we have the responsibility to observe and respect the freedom of others. My freedom, my rights end once I am already encroaching on the freedom and rights of my fellow human beings. To illustrate, let us go back to our volunteers. Yes, our male volunteer has a freedom to kiss, but his freedom to kiss ends when it comes to the freedom of our female volunteer. Her civil right to honor, reputation and integrity is going to be affected by any action on the part of our male volunteer. Can you now see the interplay of RATIONALITY and FREEDOM, our two basic philosophical foundations of human rights? This happens also to be the basis for discussion of natural rights in natural law. In natural law, the natural characteristic of man is the social impulse to live peacefully and in harmony with others. Whatever conformed to the nature of man as a rational social being was right and just; whatever opposed it by disturbing the social harmony was wrong and unjust..(Grotius) Dir. Ana Elzy E. Ofreneo Foundations of Human Rights
  • Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines 6 Even though norms and traditions are not written as laws, we agree that they are good and good for everyone. They maintain peace and order, make us go along very well, and so therefore, let us live and let live, let us have our rights and respect others rights. As the saying goes, Do not do unto others what you do not want others do unto you. But, of course we have a higher level of discussion of philosophy. Remember what our male volunteer jokingly said? He said that he would kiss our female volunteer IF she consented (kung payag siya) -- kiss with consent. This tells us that things happen, transactions take place, and various relationships are established, between persons because they adhere to certain unwritten agreements, philosophically called as social contract. Imagine man in a state of nature. In that state, man is in a state of freedom, able to det