Behaviour Agreed as a Human Right

People are entitled to expect each other to comply with behaviour agreed as a human right in the country that they are living in.

As described earlier, each society reaches agreement on human rights (4.2.4).  Some of those agreed human rights define aspirations for how people should behave towards each other.  The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) specifies “equality between spouses” (Protocol No. 7, Article 5), for example.  That might be hard to enforce in a court of law, but it is nonetheless a required standard of behaviour in Europe.

The ECHR would be very difficult to change, requiring the agreement of all the signatories to it, so it is in effect non-negotiable for people living in Europe.  And immigrants are expected to show behaviour agreed as a human right in the countries they settle in.  Other Western countries have comparable conceptions of human rights, such as the American Constitution, and these are also hard to change.

Articles 5 – 11 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) are specific legal entitlements.  Article 10, for example, specifies that “Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.”

Some rights in the Western world might appear to conflict with the right to freedom of religion.  Islamic texts allow women to be treated as inferior, for example, but this is unacceptable in the West– so Western Muslims need to resolve the apparent contradictions.  As described later, this is possible with goodwill (4.4.4) and most of those affected have adapted peacefully.



This page is intended to form part of Edition 4 of the Patterns of Power series of books.  An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition04/4422a.htm