Browsing by Subject "Human Rights"

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  • Mo, Peien (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis analyzes Chinese regulation on reproductive rights. Since 1949, China’s policy on regulation of population has changed many times. The main reason behind the regulation is to coordinate with the economic and social development of China, as stated in China’s domestic laws. Though economic and social development is a legitimate aim, Chinese regulation of people’s reproductive rights may still violate international law, especially international human rights law. In the first chapter of the thesis, the author explains how Chinese reproductive rights are regulated, in order to present to the readers about the historical trace of family planning policy and provide a full picture of the ups and downs of the policy. By describing the history of China’s regulation of reproductive rights, readers may have a better understanding of the reason why China regulates people’s reproductive rights. In the second chapter, the author will discuss about China’s human rights standards and its regulation of reproductive rights. China, whose human rights standards are per se different from the western world such as the United States, usually defends itself with the human rights standards such as cultural relativism and communitarianism. With these kinds of human rights standards, the author tries to analyze if China’s regulation on reproductive rights is reasonable and if its choice of human rights standards justifies China’s regulation on reproductive rights. In the third chapter, the author will research on the legality of Chinese regulation on reproductive rights. This is the main part of the research. China has signed and ratified many international conventions and treaties which aim to protect reproductive rights and other related human rights t. In this part, the author will analyze whether China’s regulation on reproductive rights is in accordance to the international human rights law which is binding on China. In the last chapter, through the analysis of the above chapters, the author provides suggestions on how China should better comply with international law. For example, as an international trend, family planning now is becoming a human right instead of civic obligation. In order to fulfil its international obligations, China shall change its attitudes towards family planning and treat it as a service which is compulsory for the State to provide to its citizens.
  • Nordman, Jenna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis examines actual and potential human rights impacts of fashion industry. The main approach on subject is from the viewpoint of business and human rights, but corporate social responsibility and sustainability are utilised and discussed as well. Fashion industry in the thesis is defined in an encompassing manner, including productions, marketing and retailing of clothes, footwear, accessories, and cosmetics. Fashion industry is the second largest sector of industry in the world. Many different areas of human rights, recognised in international human rights instruments, are impacted directly and indirectly through actions and functions of fashion industry. ‘Race to the bottom’ and fast fashion phenomenon have pushed down the prices and quality of fashion merchandise during the past decades. Fashion industry is labour-intensive and low prices are often the result of poor working conditions and remunerations that are significantly below living wages. Child labour, forced labour, dangerous working conditions and lack of unionisation are common and result to widespread egregious human rights violations in the manufacturing and production of the raw materials in fashion industry. Industry’s use of natural resources is often reckless and wasteful, and overproduction has resulted to discarding and destroying large quantities of unsold merchandise. More direct human rights impacts, relating to fashion industry and environment, can occur through use and disposal of chemicals and dyes in the manufacturing processes that can have an affect on the living standards and health of the surrounding communities. Different forms of discrimination have been commonly manifested within the industry. There have been numerous lawsuits on discrimination and harassment in workplaces in fashion industry. Statistics, as well as researches based on interviews, show diversity to be realised poorly in the fashion business. Portraying harmful and offensive stereotypes in marketing practices and advertisement reflects problems of discrimination that are deep rooted in the company cultures of the industry and portrays lack of awareness on the issue. Right to property is often infringed in the fashion industry, since copying designs is a common custom. Most well-known cases are between major fashion labels, but in this work, the focus is on rights of small designers and on cultural property of distinct culturally unified groups of people. Taking intellectual property without permission from independent designer can potentially infringe their right to property as well standard of living and using cultural property of a distinct community can be an offensive on the group’s dignity, beliefs and traditions as well as infringement on their economic rights. In this thesis these issues are approached with a somewhat holistic manner. The main tool is the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and a loose template of human rights impact assessment, based on the principles, but issues are processed from multiple focus points. There are currently various voluntary models for responsible business practices as well as national laws and different initiatives on corporate social responsibility, business and human right and sustainable business conduct. This fragmentation makes it essential to approach the issue with an all-inclusive method.
  • Toivanen, Reetta; Cambou, Dorothee (Helsinki University Press, 2021)
    Human rights are among the key concepts of sustainability science because they constitute the basis for sustainable well-being in any given society. Human rights form an understanding of a world in which individuals and peoples can trust in justice and claim rights by virtue of being human. The idea of an international human rights law is that it is not up to a specific government to decide how it treats individuals and peoples living in its territory. Thus, human rights form a discourse of emancipation with a universal outreach. They are essential to achieve sustainable development as specified inthe 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which indicates that the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is based on human rights. However, there are some tensions that continue to oppose SDGs to human rights. This is partly the case in relation to the rights of Indigenous peoples, an issue that will be further explicated in this contribution with regard to the situation of the Indigenous Sámi people. This chapter elaborates on the concept of human rights from the perspective of sustainability sciences. It explores human rights as a concept of law and as a concept of global politics, and it analyzes its differing functions depending on the contexts in which it is applied. This contribution considers the recent interconnections of human rights with the issues raised by sustainable development and the rights of Indigenous peoples.
  • Adebayo, Gabriel O; Mansikka, Jan-Erik (2018)
    This paper discusses citizenship in Finnish religious education (RE) in relation to human security. It traces the characteristics of human security that connect citizenship, religion, and education in Finnish policy documents. The article focuses on basic education (grades 7–9). Its data were analyzed employing qualitative content analysis (QCA). The findings indicate that citizenship in Finnish RE entails personal security concerns dealing with psychological and human rights issues. These are found to be essentially human security as conceptualized by the United Nations (UN). However, Finnish policy documents sparingly utilize human security in explicit terms. Finland rather emphasizes the practical applications of human security. Incorporation of explicit global citizen and human rights issues into RE in the new Finnish curriculum seems to project critical global citizenship. This is found to promote human security. Following Finland’s bid for practical application of human security, we recommend (but cautiously) that human security be explicitly integrated into the Finnish RE curriculum.
  • Chaichee, Sofia H. (2007)
    The purpose of the research is to further explain the complex nature of the current development policy initiative of human rights-based approach to development cooperation (HRBA). The questions, such as, why were the human rights incorporated into the Western development aid strategies and what do they stand for, are addressed. Moreover, the aim is to examine the development aid policy's possible beneficial effects on the Mozambican Muslim community. In the late 1980's, the former economic development cooperation policies underwent a shift towards development strategies of political conditionality. From that time onwards, development has been conceived as incorporating elements of 'social and political dimensions of poverty reduction', aside from solely focusing on economic variables. Presently, the development aid policies that were originally implemented under poverty reduction strategies have yet evolved and the new wave of including a softer approach to development policies can be further reinterpreted as the human rights-based policies to development (HRBA). Within the chapters of this research, policies by the entities of European Union, World Bank and UNDP describe the concept of HRBA in a different setting of words and with differing development objectives. However, the HRBA policies by the development agencies, albeit varied, base the normativity of the concept on the 'universality claim' of human rights and its legitimacy on the human rights laws. The research sets to point out, how the language employed by the development agencies for the policies of HRBA to development is vague and no clear-cut definition is offered to its name. The wide-ranging underpinnings on human rights and development, in addition to the concepts introduced by the development cooperation agencies, are by no means analogous and of corresponding thinking. Moreover, while conducting the research it became apparent that since human rights are based on ethical and moral values, they are rather contingent and contextual than universal and absolute. Thus, the policies of HRBA may only deliver so much of its claimed promise. This notion, especially, was examined through a closer exploration of human rights and development arguments within the framework of the Islamic community in Mozambique.
  • Stenlund, Mari (2013)
    The analysis presented in this article reveals an ambiguity and tension in human rights theory concerning the delusional person’s freedom of belief and thought. Firstly, it would appear that the concepts ‘opinion’ and ‘thought’ are defined in human rights discussion in such a way that they do include delusions. Secondly, the internal freedom to hold opinions and thoughts is defined in human rights discussion and international human rights covenants as an absolute human right which should not be restricted in any situation for any reason. These views, if understood literally, imply that a person has an absolute right to hold a delusion. However, this kind of conclusion has not been made in mental health laws, the ethical principles guiding psychiatric care or the practice of psychiatry. Instead, they assume that the use of involuntary antipsychotic medication is justified even thought its purpose is to influence delusions. The ambiguity and tension in human rights theory concerning the freedom of belief and thought challenge us to develop this theory within an interdisciplinary discussion so that people with delusions are taken into account properly.
  • Uusitalo, Jenna (2020)
    The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are emergency services generally been designed to provide urgent treatment of patients with life-threatening conditions outside medical facilities. Even though the EMS belongs to the category of socio-economic rights, it nevertheless has great significance in safeguarding one of the most fundamental human rights, the right to life. In fact, international humanitarian law has recognised this important connection by establishing explicit legal rules that oblige states to ensure urgent medical care for the wounded and sick. International human rights law, on the other hand, has no such expressed provisions. However, the problem is not the lack of legal rules applicable to the EMS as such but rather the challenges in human rights perception, which hinder the EMS being perceived as a valuable human right. Therefore, this article essentially argues that international human rights law does not recognise the EMS as a human right sufficiently and that more thorough actions are required from the UN Committee of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) in this regard.
  • Karjalainen, Ninni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis examines the political career, agenda and narratives of Marielle Franco, a former city councillor of Rio de Janeiro. Franco ran for political office the first time in the municipal elections of 2016. Her campaign contained the demands of women and sexual minorities, black people and favela residents. With 46,502 votes, she was the fifth most voted-for council member. The councilwoman was assassinated on March 14, 2018, after leaving an event of black feminist activists. Her death was followed by rallies in several Brazilian cities. Many of the core organisers of these mass mobilisations were black women, and their actions ensured media visibility for the case. In the general elections of 2018, three cabinet members of Marielle Franco were elected to the State Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro (Alerj), defending her political legacy. The primary sources of the thesis comprise of speeches, campaign material, interviews and articles of Marielle Franco as well as public hearings, reports and other records of her term which lasted for fifteen months. The data also includes material produced by black women’s movements following the councilwoman’s assassination. The thesis approaches this material through counter-narrative methodology, which aims to integrate marginalised communities’ voices and perspectives into the research agenda. The aim of the research is to contextualise the political career and agenda of Marielle Franco as a ‘black woman from the favela of Maré’. To that end, the research draws from an intersectional theoretical framework, deploying it as an analytical tool. Intersectionality theorises the relationships between socio-cultural categories and identities. This thesis applies the intracategorical approach, entailing an in-depth study of a particular social group. The analysis focuses on low- income black women. Brazilian black women are disadvantaged by multiple sources of oppression: their race, class and gender. They often work in the informal sector and are disproportionately affected by poverty. Race and gender discrimination prevent them from accessing positions of power. In 2016, the year when Marielle Franco was elected, black women comprised of more than 25% of the population, but represented only 5% of all elected councillors. Their exclusion from political institutions, where decisions concerning their lives are taken, render low-income black women vulnerable to governmental neglect and violations of their and their family members’ fundamental human rights. The election of Marielle Franco was considered as a breakthrough in local politics and seen as an opportunity to change oppressive power structures. The analysis reveals that the councilwoman empowered black women and favela residents to participate party politics in multiple ways. Franco brought their voices, bodies and demands into the institutional domain, and her powerful speeches voiced the concerns of black mothers resisting the state violence within their communities. She also asserted solidarity as part of an alternative political practice of black feminists. Besides being a councillor, Franco was also a scholar and a front- line human rights defender. The analysis also found that Franco’s conception of human rights was based on the praxis developed in the Human Rights Commission of Alerj and centered on the black women of the favelas and urban outskirts. The counter-narratives deployed by Franco emphasised the legacy of feminist movements, including their leaders and symbols. She campaigned for recognising and valuing social differences and fought against all forms of discrimination within political institutions. Her politics and narratives continue to inspire young Brazilian women, particularly black women from the favelas and the urban peripheries.