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a basic income to all in need of such protection and comprehensive medical care,”
“adequate protection of the life and health of workers in all occupations,” “provision
of child welfare and maternity protection”).
The UN Charter and the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights responded
to the tragedies of war and holocaust by basing the UN Charter not only on “sovereign
equality of states,”
but also on “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal
and inalienable rights of all members of the human family (as) the foundation of
freedom, justice and peace in the world.”
They recognized that “human rights should
be protected by the rule of law,”
and included, inter alia, everyone’s “right to take part
in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.”
The universal recognition of civil, political, economic, social and cultural human
rights in dozens of the UN and regional human rights conventions, the recognition
of the ‘inalienable’ and ‘indivisible’ character of these human rights, and their
incorporation into national Constitutions adopted by most of the 193 UN member
states entailed a “paradigm change” transforming the “international law among
sovereign states” into an “international law of states, peoples and citizens” with
inalienable human and democratic rights (e.g. to popular self-determination). The
legal empowerment of peoples and citizens not only induced “struggles for justice”
like decolonization. It also progressively transformed the state-centered “international
law of coexistence” into a citizen-oriented “international law of cooperation”
collective protection of public goods (PGs) based on human and constitutional
rights of citizens (notably in European human rights and economic integration law)
recognizing that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,”
“endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit
The universal recognition of ‘inalienable’ and ‘indivisible’ human
rights also reects recognition of the sociological fact that civil, political, economic,
social, cultural, moral and legal orders are interdependent and dynamically interact.
1 U.N. Charter art. 2.
2 UDHR pmbl.
4 Id. art. 21.
5 For details on the post-1945 evolution from the “international law of coexistence” to an “international law of
cooperation,” see generally W. Friedmann, The Changing STruCTureS oF inTernaTional laW 60ff (1964).
6 UDHR art. 1. Johannes Morsink maintains that the history of the UDHR, and its references to “reason and conscience”
as justifications of the inherent, ‘inalienable’ nature of human rights, confirm the reliance by the drafters of the UDHR
on the enlightenment doctrines of “metaphysical inherence” and “epistemic awareness” (moral intuitionism) in order
to demonstrate the universality of human rights and of corresponding state obligations to promote human capabilities,
human flourishing, participatory democracy and cosmopolitan human rights. See J. morSink, inherenT human righTS
17 ff (2009).