Violation of collective rights

Visualization of narrower problems
Violation of communal rights
Slavery, colonization and apartheid, practices which have disappeared or are rapidly disappearing, were, in the recent past the principal massive violations of collective rights or individual rights. These categories of rights are closely linked, as the former provide the framework for the enjoyment of the latter. These collective or communal rights are to individual economic, social and cultural rights what democracy and the rule of law are to civil and political rights. While civil and political rights are now more or less an accepted and integral part of most national legislation, the same cannot be said for economic, social and cultural rights and collective rights.
1. Treating collective rights as merely an unfortunate factual situation is based on an erroneous idea that does not resist serious analysis of the legal and economic foundations of these rights. The extremely reluctant attitude of the developed countries concerning them is merely an expression of a certain selfishness.

2. From the point of view of international law, these violations should be regarded as crimes against humanity and, consequently, not subject to a statute of limitations and coming under universal jurisdiction. Such a characterization should prevent the perpetrators of these violations from taking advantage of the impunity afforded them today. This impunity in respect of crimes against humanity which take the form of violations of economic, social and cultural rights, of fundamental rights and of the right to development seriously and systematically prevents the effective enjoyment and full application of human rights throughout the world.

According to international law, and more particularly that elaborated since the judgement of the Nurnberg Tribunal and in the work of the International Law Commission, crimes against humanity also include gross actions against any civilian population, whether in the context of an armed conflict or outside it. Impunity for these crimes denies human beings any possibility of living in a world based on justice, peace, freedom and democracy.

Collective rights should not be regarded as rights but as a factual situation.
(J) Problems under consideration