Applying Human Rights Framework in a Organization.

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 15
Words: 3856
Reading time:
14 min
Study level: Master


Human rights play a crucial role in social relations and relations between the state and citizens. In general, in the integral approach human rights are not made subservient to any ideology. Rather they constitute a basic political philosophy per se. Life must be livable, which requires both a reasonable standard of living and a decent quality of life. Man is both an individual and part of a community.

In reality negative freedom cannot be separated from positive freedom (“freedom to”). A right to food, for example, is meaningless when people are not free to say that they are hungry and the press is not free to report on it. Freedom, on the other hand, does not mean much to those who are hungry while lacking any form of food entitlement. Thus, civil/political rights, social/economic rights, cultural rights and ecological rights (a “generation” of human rights still to be created) all go hand in hand.

It would be a fundamental mistake to set priorities in their implementation. The integral approach to human rights and their implementation is found more among non-governmental organizations than among states. In a world in which many states make human rights subservient to their own ideologies and their own views of the “national interest,” the concepts of sovereignty and non-interference would have to be rethought. An integral approach is severely hampered by the primary role of the nation-state. The workplace selected for analysis is the Royal Perth Hospital.

Human Rights Defined and Explained

Applied to healthcare settings, it is possible to say that the subject of human rights is always an individual person. Despite the collective dimension of all human rights, and the fact that all individuals are part of a group, human rights should nevertheless be considered the rights of individuals as against the state or group. While collective rights do exist, and can often be important, they should not be named “human” rights, as this would detract from the essential meaning of the term “human rights” and lead to conceptual vagueness.

To the extent that human rights claims are politically effective–that is, to the extent that political and legal relationships and practices are altered in conformity with the demands of human rights–the need to make such claims is reduced or eliminated. One claims a human right in the hope of ultimately creating a society in which similar human rights claims will no longer be necessary. Where human rights are effectively protected, the societies continue to have human rights, but there is no need or occasion to use them (Australia’s implementation 2008).

The Royal Perth Hospital Stakeholders

The stakeholder groups used for analysis are nurse and [patients. In the Royal Perth Hospital, a set of pre-established rules and expectations directs the course of client-nurse interactions. There may be some overlap in these interactions with those involving friends and family, but one factor in particular differentiates helping relationships from social relationships. A helping relationship is established for the benefit of the client, whereas kinship and friendship relationships are designed to meet mutual needs.

In particular, the client-nurse relationship is established to help the client achieve and maintain optimal health. It is expected that administration and nurse practitioners will provide leadership and governance of human rights doctrines and principles. It will involve education of staff and training programs for all employees.

Human Rights Framework for the Royal Perth Hospital

The idea to implement the human rights framework in the Royal Perth Hospital is based on necessity to improve internal culture and introduce new relations based on universal moral and human values. The framework should be of a functional nature. What are the best arrangements for proper satisfaction of human rights for all? In some cases, existing framework should be divided into several units. But much more often the proper response is to maintain the sovereign unit but to organize partial, functional self-control by sub-state units of issues that are important to them and which do not constitute a challenge to the other sub-state units.

In some cases, sub-state control over language and culture is enough–and this should be allowed to be coordinated with similar efforts by peoples of the same language or culture living inside other units. This could be done without interfering unduly with the overall development policy or security arrangements of the state as a whole. In other cases, it might be necessary, as an expansion of cultural self-control, to allow also for the existence of plural legal systems inside the states.

The options are many; if the protagonists could base their efforts on the human rights system as found in the Universal Declaration and look for a functional rather than an emotional approach to the search for practical solutions, many of the violent conflicts of our time could be substantially modified and humanized, even if they did not entirely disappear (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 2008).

Principle of Respect

Respect is the acceptance of the client’s ideas, feelings, and experiences. When nurses show respect to clients and colleagues their are sending them the message, “I value you. You are important to me.” When helpers demonstrate they care in a non-possessive way, they transmit unconditional positive regard. This means accepting others for what they are, not on the condition that they behave in a certain way or possess special characteristics.

Receiving respect makes people feel important, cared for, and worthwhile. In contrast, when people do not receive respect, they feel hurt and ignored. Respect is communicated principally by the ways helpers orient themselves toward, and work with, clients. It is respectful to understand and respond to clients’ individual responses to grief and catastrophic illness. Although respect starts as an attitude, this mental outlook needs to be translated into behavior in order to demonstrate respect.

Principles of Equality

The principle of equality within human rights framework is closely connected with minority and racial differences. It is proposed to introduce a framework based on indigenous and minority rights, religious and cultural rights, children and personas with disabilities rights. Probably the most difficult issue in the evolution of human rights is the question of rights of minorities (Universal Declaration of Human Rights 2008).

The League of Nations administered a set of minority rights conventions; these were in many ways a failure, and not looked upon with favor when the United Nations was established. The question of rights for minorities nevertheless was considered important enough for a special body under the Commission of Human Rights to be established in 1947 with the name “Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities.”

The constellation of these two concerns–elimination of discrimination on one side, protection of minorities on the other–has caused considerable theoretical and practical problems; a review of the efforts of this SubCommission is found in the final part of this paper. The outcome, however, has been minimal regarding minorities (International, A 2008).

Principles of Dignity

To be truly present is to bear witness to the client’s experience, understand the client’s perspective, and respect the client’s dignity and rights to self-determination. Future efforts might be directed toward finding ways in which a minority can have partial autonomy over issues which are vital to it but not threatening to the national integrity of the state as presently structured. This could be done in many different ways, depending on the nature and extent of the integration of that particular minority in the mainstream of the dominant society, and the areas in which separateness is vital to that minority.

The management of such compromises should be made not only on the basis of the perception of the security and national interest of those who control the government, but on appropriate sovereign behavior informed by human rights. The key questions would be these: in which areas are protection and provision by the state desirable for the minority, and in which areas would they prefer freedom and self-management? Is it really essential for the central government to deny such limited freedom and self-management? If so, what compromise could be found? (International Rights 2008).

Principles of Fairness

Sometimes just being able to voice your disagreement makes you feel more authentic, more assertive. Assertiveness is a matter of choice and not necessary or appropriate in every situation. You may have a strong sense of fairness, but if another customer who is obviously belligerent and inebriated cuts in front of you in line at the grocery store, you would probably make a choice not to share your opinion about fairness. This does not mean you are nonassertive but that you have good judgment. Some of these decisions are based on unpleasant results from past experience. Try to remember that everyone has to learn some things the hard way.

As you learn when to take appropriate risks to express your opinion and earn the respect of clients and colleagues, you may find your input is requested as you are viewed as an authentic person who is willing to take a stand. Special problems exist under international law, in regard to indigenous peoples, or populations. The case of indigenous peoples should probably be seen to form a special case falling between that of external self-determination (see above) and that of minority rights (see below). In the United Nations, during the last six years, a special working group has existed on the rights of these peoples (Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission 2008).

A major concern has been to draft elements for a future declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples. Apart from the obvious points, such as the right of indigenous peoples to maintain their own culture, speak their own language and practice their religion which is different from that of other minorities, the main preoccupation is with land rights and local autonomy (internal selfdetermination) for the indigenous populations (Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Persons 2008) We speak of “saving face” or helping the other “save face” and mean the preservation of dignity so each party continues to be willing to invest in the interaction without experiencing threat.

Principle of Autonomy

The outcome of the nurse-client interaction depends on the nurse’s ability to engage the client in decision making and share the control and power in the relationship. Polite behaviors lessen the threat of the intimate nature of nursing interventions. Nurses may gently and indirectly encourage the clients’ participation in problem solving, whereas a direct order in such a situation would be considered impolite and inappropriate.

When discussing a potentially embarrassing situation such as safe sex, the nurse is careful about the language used and asks questions gently to help the client save face. A complicated balance between considerations of face work and politeness and the necessity for client involvement point to the need for further research to supplement successful intuitive strategies that are difficult to teach. Nurses understand the importance of tact in engaging the client’s participation.

Nursing research validates that treating the client as a unique individual and actively engaging the client in problem solving are associated with increased client satisfaction, an important quality indicator. It is expected that the hospital would take into account the fact that women’s human rights are a standard of legitimacy; to the extent that governments protect human rights, they and their practices are legitimate. No less important, they empower citizens to act to vindicate these rights; to insist, through the exercise of their rights, that these standards be realized; to struggle to create a world in which they are realized in practice.


Human rights express not merely aspirations, suggestions, requests or laudable ideas, but rights-based demands for social change. None of this, however, indicates any essential weakness of human rights. Rather, it indicates a different function for human rights. Legal rights ground (legal) claims on the political system to protect already established legal entitlements. Human rights ground (moral) claims on the political system to strengthen or add to existing legal entitlements. That does not make human rights stronger or weaker than legal rights, just different; human rights rather than legal rights (Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission 2008).

Individual human rights, and people with disabilities rights in particulate, guarantee the autonomy of individuals to choose a way of life. In the case of persons who define themselves not principally as individuals but as members of a traditional community, that choice of a way of life must be guaranteed. And it can be plausibly guaranteed in the name of individual human rights. The genuine self-determination of native peoples is possible within a broader social context of internationally recognized individual human rights, so long as such peoples are allowed the opportunities to shape, maintain and influence the evolution of community institutions-which is precisely what internationally recognized human rights attempt to guarantee.

And even if these institutions are unable to retain the allegiance of group members, and thereby wither away or die, that too will be an act of self-determination (Department of Human Services 2008).

Most of the argument on the compatibility of group rights and individual human rights focused on civil liberties and political rights, which are most often seen as the individual rights most at odds with the rights of collectivities. A full account of group rights in the context of individual human rights, however, must have recourse to cultural rights as well. Cultural rights usually receive far less attention than the other principal categories of internationally recognized human rights. For example, it is common to elide “and cultural” in discussions of the conventional dichotomy between civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights, a practice that may reflect more than just considerations of verbal economy and symmetry (Department of Human Services 2008).

Since human rights are based on the principle of equality of all human beings, it would seem natural to claim universal validity for these rights. On the other hand, it stands to reason that, by being based on this principle, human rights maximize the possibility of achieving broad agreement. Precisely this insoluble link with the principle of equality may explain why the idea of human rights found so much adherence outside the West (Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Persons 2008).

The significance of human rights entails obligations of fellow human beings. In both cases, however, this translation of rights into obligations does not affect the basic premise of the human rights idea, namely that every human being is entitled to expect a certain behavior on the part of the authorities, and also to some extent on the part of his fellow human beings, with a view to safeguarding the indispensable conditions for a life worthy of a human being.

Children are a bellwether for how society treats its citizens. If children of various racial and cultural groups can find harmony in their neighborhoods, day care settings, and schools, they can grow up to extend the same tolerance to their own neighbors, associates, and friends. In the increasingly diverse culture of the United States, children have the opportunity to meet, play with, and befriend children from many different cultural and ethnic groups.

How these opportunities are played out rests largely in the hands of adults, both parents and teachers, who must actively guide children to value and respect each other. Child health clinicians witness the effects of racial prejudice every day in one or another form. It is found among children whose self-esteem is accosted by verbal slurs or who physically sustain violence because their skin is a different color from that of another child’s. The health of all American children is inexorably bound up in the need to solve these problems of racial intolerance. As long as there is racial prejudice, there will be an influence on the health and the mental health of every American child of every race and color (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2008).

The human rights framework applied to the Royal Perth Hospital is based on the idea that the specific social and cultural constellation contributed to the continuation of the process of rationalization, resulting in a rational order based on the participants’ conviction that the conditions of daily life can be understood rationally. Social life is essentially predictable once the rules are laid down. Rationalization of social life is the “disenchantment” of the world by the rule of rational organizations in which orders are issued in the name of impersonal norms, i.e., norms that are independent of personal authority and favors.

Rationalization has become the development of the bureaucratic type of administration in the state and in the modern corporations (Convention on the Rights of the Child 2008). In this process both governments and large corporations are becoming increasingly dependent on accurate, continuous, efficient and predictable bureaucracies. In this process human beings are often fragmentized by the “rational” needs of systems or institutions and both individual and collective liberties are being flouted in this process.

Those rights are based on social justice as following from the fundamental equality of all human beings. They are the expression of the acknowledgment that measures have to be taken to remove traditional social barriers to the realization of equal opportunities for everyone and to redress unjust inequalities flowing from the outcomes of exchange relationships in the market. These social and economic rights are rights in themselves, originating from social justice as based on fundamental equality of all citizens.

But they are also judgments, formulated as rights, on the necessary conditions to the enhancement of the capabilities of all men to implement the potentiality of their formal liberties, including their cultural rights. The social and economic rights are to be regarded as claim-rights, directed to the state, which are partly related to the solidaristic idea of the realization of a decent level of living for everyone and, in other respects, to the realization of equal opportunities for all individuals to participate in the main institutions of society.

The first type of claims are based on the urgent needs of all members of society; the second type refers to claims which have to do with the enhancement of the capabilities of individuals to compete in a free market (Convention on the Elimination 2008).

This transformation obliges the members of society to reformulate the idea of individualism. In fact, the contents of the idea of individual achievement changed several times since the end of the nineteenth century and those changes clearly reflect the changing opportunities for advancement in modern economic and social life. The development of the system of social services, assuring every citizen the right to minimum standards of income, nutrition, health , education and housing.

The welfare state, constructed in a period of full employment, was initially intended to correct some effects of the free market which were both unexpected and undesirable. Once established, it appeared to be very difficult to control the cost as in the process of individualization many expenditures became the responsibility of the state (International Covenant on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 2008).

Accountability and Empowerment

The creation of a peer group, or trusted individuals who can be called on to help solve problems, will provide more universal answers to issues. Quality improvement involves “constant attention to better meeting the customer’s needs. These are the issues that are important to nurses, and participation in interdisciplinary quality improvement teams is an opportunity to be heard. (International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 2008).

Attempts at checking its growth, or even at curtailing its reach, have been relatively unsuccessful. Many of its entitlement programs have proved politically sacrosanct. Much of the growth in expenditure is self-generating, due to indexing and the increase in the number of duly entitled recipients. The only retrenchment in the United States during the Reagan administration was in the means-tested programs for the most needy. The share of such programs had gone down from twentytwo percent to seventeen percent of all federal welfare expenditures

Staffing requirements, an essential aspect of physical support, are discussed in the abundance of articles on retention. In this era it is believed that the provision of adequate cognitive and affective support will attract nurses. The requirements for supplies, equipment, and environmental conveniences have likely been secured in most nursing workplaces through the efforts of technology, computerization, and stringent occupational hazard and safety regulations.

Nurses need to be assertive about securing the support necessary to function comfortably and confidently at work. The clearer Nurses are about what support we need to do our job, the more likely we are to secure it. Nurses spend a lot of energy attempting to improve the health status of clients. Getting the support nurses need to do work can help us maintain our health and enhance how we feel about both our work and our co-workers.

In the Royal Perth Hospital, there should be a complete separation of economic power and political power. The role of the state is primarily to establish and maintain a system of law and order in which property is protected. Once there is a successful market-economy, time has come for government policies for full employment, social security, health and education. Part of the colonial legacy in developing countries is a large collection of state laws.

Legal reform would have the character, primarily, of unmaking law. As an instrument for development, law tends to be overestimated. Generally, the instrumentalist view of law disregards law as process. At the same time, legal implications of development policies in terms of changes in the entitlement situation tend to be neglected. The use of legal resources deserves a growing attention (International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 2008).


In hospital, the human right idea pertains to basic protections and guarantees which are supposed to be valid for every individual, whatever the context, his social position, ethnic specificity, race, etc. Man’s basic dignity has to be secured in a categorical way. Human rights are related to individualism, but that in fact within the European tradition two types of individualism, which are not mutually compatible, have come to the fore: possessive individualism, related to contract theory, and universal, ethical individualism that is related to the concept of human rights. The minimum standards which are guaranteed by the state are not “objectively” fixed once and for all, but are dependent both on economic and social development of society.

This redistribution of benefits and burdens in society by a system of specialized welfare agencies implies that the welfare state develops as an important economic subsystem of the national economy. These obligations may relate either to refraining from action (for example noninterference in the practice of religion) or to positive action (for example providing for adequate education).

As the idea of human rights first arose from the need for protection of the individual against arbitrary action on the part of the state, the first rights to be put forward were in particular those which entail an obligation for the authorities to refrain from action. Human rights of this kind have often been formulated as freedoms (for instance freedom of religion, freedom of the press) and for this reason they are also known as fundamental freedoms or liberties.


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