Human rights are moral principles or norms that describe certain standards of human behaviour, and are regularly protected as legal rights in municipal and international law. They are commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because he or she is a human being, and which are inherent in all human beings regardless of their nation, location, language, religion, ethnic origin or any other status. They are applicable everywhere and at every time in the sense of being universal, and they are egalitarian in the sense of being the same for everyone. They are regarded as requiring empathy and the rule of law and imposing an obligation on persons to respect the human rights of others and it is generally considered that they should not be taken away except as a result of due process based on specific circumstances for example, human rights
May include freedom from unlawful imprisonment, torture and execution.
According to Kaelin as cited by Peter G. Kirchschlaeger, Human rights protect the essential elements and areas of a human existence, which are necessary for survival and for life as a human being. Human rights are those rights that belong to everyone as a member of the human race, regardless of skin colour, nationality, political convictions or religious persuasion, social standing, gender or age. Every individual possesses human rights. They are subjective rights because the right-holders of human rights are individuals, not collectivities. Human rights are rights with a certain complexity because they are at the same time moral, legal, and political rights. In their legal dimension, human rights are part of a legal system and individuals living in this legal system are entitled to these rights. They are ‘legal entitlements of individuals against the state or state-like entities, guaranteed by international law for the purpose of protecting fundamental needs of the human person and his/her dignity in times of peace and war’ (Kaelin 2004: 17).
Hence The International Bill of Human Rights considered the foundation from which the international system of human rights protection has been developed (Smith 2007: 35)
‘Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status” (Article 2 in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948).
According to Peter G. Kirchschlaeger relationship between democracy and human rights shows the need for education in democracy which overcomes the reductionist understanding of democracy to recognize only the will of the majority, the need for human rights education. Human rights education is the essential fundament of the implementation of human rights as every human being needs to know about her/his rights. Human rights education is a ‘must have’ and not a ‘nice to have’ in today’s pluralistic society where human rights enable us to live in peaceful coexistence with respect for the human dignity of each other and with tolerance across the boundaries of traditions, cultures, religions, world views and opinions. This is because there can never be a democracy without human rights.
Competitive authoritarian regimes are regimes in which democratic institutions exist on paper, but are subverted by incumbents, regular elections take place in all competitive authoritarian regimes. These elections are meaningful in the sense that the opposition does at least stand a theoretical chance of winning. At the same time, however, competitive authoritarian regimes have an autocratic character as the conditions favour the incumbents. According to Levitsky and Way, in competitive authoritarian regimes the incumbents violate at least one of the defining features of democratic regimes (Levitsky and Way 2010.) examples of authoritarian governments include the regimes in China, Myanmar, Cuba and Iran. In an authoritarian political system, control is held by a single ruler or small group. Authoritarian governments do not permit freedom of speech and look to control every aspect of the daily lives of their citizens.
Therefore according to Slater as cited Matthijs Bogaards and Sebastian Elischer power among competitive authoritarian regimes in Africa makes no difference for the prospects of democratization, which is determined solely by linkage. The causal logic inherent in Levitsky and Way’s theory is brought out most clearly and forcefully by Slater (2011, p. 386), who writes that the “three variables do not so much causally interact as they unfold in a logical sequence”. When Western linkage is high, democratization will follow. When linkage is low and organizational power is high, authoritarianism will be the outcome. Under these conditions, then, “Levitsky and Way’s argument is essentially monocausal, deterministic, and unidirectional (Slater 2011, p. 386).
When linkage and organizational power are both low, leverage comes into play, this account for the difference between stable (low leverage) and unstable (high leverage) authoritarianism. “In other words, Western linkage is the only causal factor theorized to explain the democratization of competitive authoritarian regimes in the post-Cold War era” When linkage is high, democratization is inevitable and when linkage is low, democratization is unthinkable. Democratization, thus, is always exogenous. “The upshot is that Competitive Authoritarianism far from teleologically over-predicting democratization actually under-predicts it. Slater, in contrast, argues that more roads lead to democratization than Levitsky and Way (2010) allow for. In particular, authoritarian weakness and Western leverage are presented as factors that not merely destabilize authoritarianism but can bring about democratization. Levitsky and Way (2011, p. 388) argue that “the absence of a domestic route to democracy in our study is a product of the particular nature of our cases.” By looking exclusively at countries that were competitive authoritarian in the early 1990s, almost 20 years after the third wave of democratization had started, they left out the successful early democratizers, those countries that democratized on their own, so to say. Levitsky and Way remain skeptical about the possibilities of democratization when organizational power is low, pointing out that “these cases are characterized not only by weak civil societies and domestic oppositions but also by state and party weakness” and provide unpromising conditions for democratization. For example A case of Ukraine, which they classified as having democratized in their 2010 book, although their theory predicted unstable authoritarianism. One year later they observed that “the Ukraine had already reverted to competitive authoritarianism” (2011, p. 388).