Mankind demands the realization of diverse values to ensure their individual and collective well being. It is also observed that certain communal forces in the society engage in exploitation, oppression, persecution, and other forms of deprivation resulting in disturbing communal harmony. Based on these observations are the beginnings of what today are called "human rights" and the legal processes, national and international, associated with them. The principle of human rights has widespread acceptance domestically and internationally, however, there is no complete agreement on the nature of such rights or their substantive scope. Despite this lack of consensus, certain fundamental aspects are widely accepted. Regardless of their ultimate origin or justification, human rights are understood to represent individual and group demands for the shaping and sharing of power, wealth, spiritual pursuit, and other cherished values in community process. Most fundamental are the value of respect and its constituent elements of reciprocal tolerance and mutual forbearance in the pursuit of all other values. Consequently, they imply claims against persons and institutions that impede realization, and standards for judging the legitimacy of laws and traditions. The Charter of the United Nations (1945) begins by reaffirming a "faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small." It states that the purposes of the United Nations are, among other things, "to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self determination of peoples . . . [and] to achieve international co-operation . . . in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion . . . ." And, in two key articles, all...
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