Discuss the relevance of Social Contract theories in the making of ideas of Human Rights

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“What do you understand by Human Rights? Discuss the relevance of Social Contract theories in the making of ideas of Human Rights”


A human right is a relationship that rises from our daily leaving life, and as human beings that give the right an individual to certain manner from all others. However, this right should not confuse with an ownership, like an apple or a house. And also it should not be equated with a human power, like the power to think or see or live. It is a contract right flowing from the social contract that inflicts ahead all others the necessary and universal duty to act or desist from acting in a certain way. Rather, a human right is a relationship between an individual and all others that gives the right to a person to some certain conduct from the other person and from the society.


Human rights are the basic rights and liberty to which each and every humans fell free, choice of thinking and appearance, and equality before the law, fundamental rights, as the rights to speak, intuition those thought to belong to an person and in whose exercise a government might not obstruct, associate and work. All this rights are native to all human beings, whatever our community, national origin, religion, place of residence, language, or any other position.

According to Eleanor Roosevelt, “A right is not something that somebody gives you; it is something that nobody can take away”

In short, human rights are not legal fictions conferred by governments but are inherent features of our nature as human beings.


THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims this UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of success for all peoples and all states toward the end with the purpose of every person with every appendage of civilization, keeping this Declaration continually in mind, shall struggle by lessons, humanizing and to encouraging respect for these rights and freedoms. Moreover, by progressive events, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

In Article 1, it has said that, all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

In Article 2 it has mention that, Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Besides, distinction should not made based on the political, jurisdictional or international position of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it is self-governing, faith, non-self-governing or under any further restriction of dominion.

Universal human rights usually expressed and definite by law, in the forms of agreements, usual international law, universal values and other sources of international law. International human rights law places down pressure of Governments to act in certain ways or to cease from convinced proceed.


Natural duties, which are also known as natural duties since they arise from our nature as human beings. Though, these natural duties are not ideal until we form ourselves into social groups, since duties are relationships. It becomes a duty only with the creation of the social contract. Before that, it is an unformed duty. Basic or natural duties are the necessary and substantive requirements of the social contract, but in our society not all, the duties are basic.

A duty is a basic duty and a substantive provision of the social contract if sensible people with the same bargaining power and no or minimum knowledge of how the duty will have an effect on them will generally agree to it everywhere and at all times.


The human rights of Bangladesh are far different from the international morals. Most of the Bangladeshi people face poverty to their life. In Bangladesh the situation of human rights mostly perceived by the situation of women, child minorities and the role of safety forces. The constitution of Bangladesh presents adequate space for rights of every human being. Religious and traditional values are the center on every argument of human rights of Bangladesh.


Social contract theory expresses two fundamental ideas to which the human mind always clings the value of liberty; the idea that “will” and not “force” is the basis of government; and the value of justice or the idea that “right” and not “might” is the basis of all political society and of every

system of political order

The theory seeks to explain the formation of societies and governments. Despite the great variations on some points, the social contract theory mainly focuses on the voluntary consent that people give to the formation of the government. Moreover, the theory denotes an implicit agreement within a State regarding the rights and responsibilities of the State, i.e. the government and its citizens. It is an explicit or implicit agreement and it emphasizes the rights of citizens in their relationship to their government<href=”#_ftn5″ name=”_ftnref5″ title=””>[5]. The theory posits that rights of citizens are prior to and more fundamental than the organization of society under the government. The governed, in essence, should be the governors. The idea of self-government is posited as an end in itself. A political order offering opportunities for participation in the arrangement of public affairs should not just be a State, but rather, the formation of a type of society in which the affairs of the State are integrated into affairs of ordinary citizens

The theory of a social contract is a hypothesis amplifies how society creates as well as the reputed affiliation among its associates, how they acquire responsibilities, and their human rights. Complicating these arrangements later on was the further evolution from rural to urban society and agrarian society to developed society.


Social contract theory, nearly as old as idea itself, is the view that person’s moral obligations are reliant winning a contract or agreement with them to form the society in which they live. Social contract theory are linked up with modern ethical theory and is gives it first full description and defense by Thomas Hobbes. This theory imprisons an agreement, often create on explicit support and sometimes it works as a hypothetical explanation of what acquaintances ought to consent to if they are reasoning well. After Hobbes, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau are the best known proponents of this enormously influential theory, which has been one of the most dominant theories within moral and political theory throughout the history of the modern West.

Though, it has been said that the exercise of social contract as a specific idea in political and legal argument preserved draw back to the Italian Marsalis of Padua who battled against the ascendancy of the church other than religious stuffs. He developed the idea that the people are the source of all political power and government is by mandate of the people, and with their consent

Hugo Grotius applied social contract as an explanation of complete agreement of the people to the government and a base for lawfully compulsory and constant relations between states. Grotius supposed that social contract had preceded the constitution of every state by means of people choosing the form of government which they considered suitable for them. However, Grotius believed that once they had transferred their right of government to the ruler, they forfeited the right to control the ruler however bad their government was. Grotius thus denied the concept of the government for the sake of the governed.

Likewise, in his account of the domestic social agreement, Rousseau admits that people may undermine the general will in favor of their particular will: “the general will is always right. But it does not follow that the people’s deliberations always have the same rectitude.”

To Grotius once the government is in power it becomes absolute and can exercise its functions in whichever manner. Hobbes, argued that social contract evolved out of pragmatic self interest. People willingly came together and agreed to live under the rule of government that was strong to keep order i.e. security. The natural transferring of right was what Hobbes called contract in which he stressed governmental power. Hobbes argued that sovereign’s power should be unlimited because the state originated in a so-called social contract whereby individuals accepted a common superior power for protection and made possible certain human desires.


To explain how and why human rights become part of social prospect, some theories trend to assign the power from part of some philosophers. Hume the philosopher, says that the human rights position to an ethical performance which is a human social creation developed by a procedure of natural and social completion. Philosophers like Hobbes, Locke or Rousseau remark that we need a social contract to survive with a least amount of security and to own economic compensation but we have to be subordinate to some rules from a legitimate authority to made admiration the law. The growth of this tradition of natural justice into one of natural law is usually credit to the Stoic.


As the basis of a democracy, a social contract presupposes that its parties come to it with rights that are theirs already.The contract itself is specifically designed to respect, defend, and even enhance these prior rights. Any attempt to rescind these rights puts the society in violation of its founding mandate, even if only a small minority might actually object to such rescission. Conversely, in any secular society not based on the idea of a social contract, even where human rights are acknowledged, these rights are at best conceived to be entitlements from the society rather than claims made to the society. In such societies, human rights are a matter of social largesse or tolerance rather than the duty of a society to ever respect and defend. This is why in societies that do not recognize anything prior to themselves, whatever human rights they do recognize are only entitlements granted by the society at will. As such, these rights can just as easily be rescinded from the citizens as they were granted to them by the society; and that can be done without the society contradicting its founding mandate. This type of a society can just as easily decide that these rights are useless for its projects as it can decide that they are useful, whenever any such perceived need arises.

Because the social contract stems from the rights of persons even prior to their becoming citizens of a democracy, a society based on a social contract, can also respect and defend the human rights of all human beings everywhere or anywhere. By virtue of simply being human, those other persons who are not now democratic citizens could in principle become citizens of this or any democracy later. Rights-based democracy, then, affirms an idea of human nature, and it is potentially global therefore. The social contract presupposes that humans are by nature rational beings capable of making contracts and keeping them. That view of human nature has huge political consequences everywhere. The question remaining, nonetheless, is whether we need to see human nature as more than the mere capacity of humans to make and keep contracts between themselves.

According to Rousseau, these ideas are intended not as experiential accounts of how human beings motive but as normative accounts of how they ought to motive. In his version of social contract theory to the international challenge, Rousseau wrote that, “Doubtless, this is not to say that the Sovereigns will adopt this plan; but only that they would adopt it if they consulted their true interests”.

This emphasis on human rights is what makes modern constitutional democracy so attractive in theory, especially to Jews, who have greatly benefited from it in practice. Thus very few Jews today would want to live in anything but such a democracy. The other modern political alternatives have proven disastrous for any society that has adopted them, and especially disastrous for Jews who, unfortunately, have found themselves having to live in such societies. For this reason alone, Jews first need to think out a democratic theory by themselves for themselves, especially a democratic social contract theory, inasmuch as social contract theory seems to be the best explanation of a rights-based democratic order. Only in this way can Jews be participants in a contractually based democratic social order in good faith, and not regard the benefits that have accrued for them from such a social order as some sort of historical accident. But that must first be done in traditional Jewish terms, and only thereafter in terms that could appeal to rational persons who are taken to be actual or potential citizens of a democracy.


Human rights are inseparable along with mutually dependent. Besides that, those are the turn over side of the natural duties of the social contract. Human rights are the reimbursement discussed by our hypothetical sensible people and established by each of them. As a result, of their accord to believed the natural duties forced by the social contract. Human rights are the deliberation for the compulsions unspecified under that primary accord.


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see: Universal Declaration of Human Rights; The full text of the Declaration


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