Engaging with Human Right Defenders on Ethics and Responsibility

Reflection on action Document

Sudha Sreenivasa Reddy, Ajit Muricken, April 2013

The Rights & Responsibility Collective formed in 2010 in India, affirms that the Rights and Responsibilities are integral to each other and therefore rights need to be balanced by an equal emphasis on responsibilities as the latter is the subjective dimension of human rights. It also believes in strengthening of Human Responsibility as a ‘third pillar’ to supplement the United Nations Charter for Peace & Development and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the United Nations.

The Collective realizes that a fundamental characteristic which human beings have in common, is a sense of responsibility which is expressed in our everyday discourses; whether in families or in societies the word ‘responsibility’ comes out spontaneously than rights with the expressions like ‘why did you fail in your responsibility, you should be responsible, you should take responsibility, behave responsibly, I have responsibility etc. It is a willingness to take care of what is valued and is embedded in our ethical and moral systems and cultural traditions, which defines human relationship and behavioral patterns.

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