Human rights and responsabilities

Edith Sizoo, September 2012

A worldwide struggle for the establishment of basic human rights is going on. It is officially supported by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) adopted by the General Assembly of the UN on the 10th December 1948. 2 Since then the majority of the UN Member States gradually ratified this Declaration, thus also committing themselves to the introduction and/or maintenance of the rights mentioned in the document. And quite a number of them have used the text as a basis for further legislation.

There is no such international reference text pertaining to the obligation to assume responsibility, to evaluate the impacts of far-reaching decisions and to account for the consequences of actions, whether the actors are individuals, organizations, corporate businesses or governments. And yet, responsibility for safeguarding the environment and ensuring a life of dignity for present and future generations is a common task that has to be shared by all, be it at different degrees.

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