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International scientific and practical law journal Eurasian Journal of International Law

Тургунов И.Т.

Культура прав человека: понятие и юридическая природа

Цель: Рассмотрение основных аспектов понятия «культура прав человека», формулирование соответствующих выводов и предложений.

Методология: Использовались историко-правовой, сравнительно-правовой методы и метод анализа.

Результаты: После принятия Всеобщей декларации прав человека приняты ряд международных договоров по правам человека, которые ратифицированы государствами. Кроме того, приняты региональные инструменты в сфере прав человека. Большинство государств на конституционном и законодательном уровнях обеспечивают защиту и соблюдение прав человека. Автором отмечается, что культуре прав человека придается большое внимание не только на национальном уровне, но и на международном.

Новизна/оригинальность/ценность: Статья имеет определенную научную ценность, поскольку содержит авторские выводы и обобщения по определению «культура прав человека».

Ключевые слова: права человека, культура прав человека, защита личности, правовая культура.

Turgunov I.T.

Culture of Human Rights: notion and juridical content

Objective: Dealing with the main aspects of the notion «culture of human rights», drawing appropriate conclusions and suggestions.

Methodology: In the work there were applied historical-legal, comparative-legal methods and methods of analysis.

Results: Human rights have been enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and codified in a series of international human rights treaties ratified by States. There are also regional human rights instruments, and most States have adopted constitutions and other laws that formally protect basic human rights and freedoms. The author considers that a great attention was paid to the issues of human rights culture not only on the national level, but also on the international level.

Novelty/originality/value: The article has a certain scientific value since it contains author’s suggestions and generalizations in the sphere of the notion «culture of human rights».

Keywords: human rights, culture of human rights, protection of personality, legal culture.

Human rights are universal legal guarantees protecting individuals and groups against actions and omissions that interfere with fundamental freedoms, entitlements and human dignity [3]. Human rights are inherent in all human beings and are founded on respect for the dignity and worth of each person. They stem from cherished human values that are common to all cultures and civilizations. Human rights have been enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and codified in a series of international human rights treaties ratified by States and other instruments adopted after the Second World War. There are also regional human rights instruments, and most States have adopted constitutions and other laws that formally protect basic human rights and freedoms. While international treaties and customary law, together with interpretive practice by treaty organs, form the backbone of international human rights law, other non-binding instruments such as declarations, guidelines and principles adopted at the international level contribute to its understanding, implementation and development.

Having achieved its State independence the Republic of Uzbekistan has realized fundamental changes and reforms on democratization, liberalization and modernization in all spheres of socio-economical and socio-political life of the country. One of the conditions for development of the society is increasing the legal culture and legal knowledge of the population. It is as much important as the person’s participation in socio-political activities, observance and realization of one’s rights, making use of one’s rights and timely fulfillment of obligations.

Ensuring the human rights is the major priority and one of the fundamental principles of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The article 13 of the Constitution reads as the following: «Democracy in the Republic of Uzbekistan shall be based on the principles common to all mankind according to which the ultimate value is a human being, his life, freedom, honour, dignity and other inalienable rights». According to article 2: «The state shall express the will of the people and serve their interests. State bodies and officials shall be accountable to the society and citizens».

In nowadays the notions «human rights», «culture of human rights», «legal culture» entered our life. As it is generally known, that human life has been improved and developed with the help of spiritual substance. It is assumed that a particular importance as an integral part of the legal culture of the society is the spiritual development of the society. The legal culture of the society is inseparably linked with the general cultural degree of the population ensuring human and citizen’s rights and freedoms, availability of legal guarantee and legality, law and order in the country, development of juridical science and juridical education.

An indispensable condition for building law-based state is the observance of the rule of law ensuring human rights, developing of legal culture in the country as well as formation of culture of human rights and active participation in the process of civil institutional settings.

Culture of human rights is a major part of spiritual culture. This notion existed in the news stories of the UN in 1989. However, it wasn’t used as a subject of scientific research in legal literature and opinions of the majority on this notion as it has different interpretation so far.

According to the definition of professor Z. Islomov, the notion of «culture of human rights» originated from humanitarian law in connection with its content, difference of its major elements is of a particular importance [4].

In his report the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan I.A. Karimov in the joint session of the Legislative Chamber and Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan «Conception on further deepening democratic reforms and formation of civil society in the country», particularly stated that «one of the key priorities of democratic renovation of the country is successive democratization, liberalization of judicial system aimed at ensuring the rule of law, legality, reliable protection of rights and personal interests, in brief, formation of legal state and consciousness of justice in the people»[5]. Under the significance of this direction, a particular attention in building a law-governed democratic state is paid to further increasing the significance of human rights and legal culture in the life of community.

Nowadays, the meaning of the notion «culture of human rights» excites not only legal scholars of our country, but also legal scholars of other countries who have given the same interpretation of the notion and express different opinions and discussions.

For example, according to professor Z. Islamov’s judgment «legal culture», «culture of right» and «culture of human rights» are very similar and not considered to be component parts to each other, and they are considered to be the component parts of the spiritual culture of the society. Besides, the right is of great importance for human rights and freedoms and for their realization. Moreover, it facilitates the legal basis of humanity for human rights and their effective realization in practice [4].

At the same time, the notion «culture of human rights» is available in our practice and is of great practical importance. Professor A.Kh. Saidov considers that «culture of human rights is an inalienable part of high legal culture, foundation of democratic society and the main indicator of development of a legal system. An indispensable condition for accomplishment of effective activity of political and juridical society of the legal system is a respect to laws, human rights and freedoms [2].

«Сulture of human rights» is a compulsory knowledge of human rights regulations, exercise of their rights and freedoms, observance of legislative regulations established in a society, respect to values, human rights and freedoms, irreconcilable relation to breaching of human rights which must become the form of life, and in its turn, it presents a modern view of social and legal culture. We consider that the given definition to the notions «culture of human rights» as a modern view of «social and legal culture» is not quite true.

Based on above-mentioned definitions the «legal culture», «culture of right» and «culture of human rights» are a constituent part of social culture and have a similar notion and these terms are inseparable.

The notion of the definition of «culture of human rights» attracts a great interest of foreign specialists and they express their own ideas on the theme.

A specialist of the International Сentre of education in the field of human rights (Canada) Vinchensa Nazary considers that «culture of human rights is a live method used in policy as moral and legal measurements that is always developed, and to which international standards and regulations in the sphere of human rights serve with inspiration and guidance».

Lory Rodny (San Francisco, USA) considers that «culture of human rights is a notion of human rights culture is understandable for everybody, and everyone has an access to human rights and bears a responsibility for human rights of all citizens». Vafula Muila (Denmark) suggested the following definition: «The culture of human rights is a condition in which the respect for human rights is a method of life» [6].

According to the definition of International non-government organization «Amnesty International» the «culture of human rights is an atmosphere in which all members of the society understand, value and protect human rights because such values as equality, dignity, respect, nondiscrimination and participation are a basis for the policy and all activities in the community» [1].

On the other hand, this definition accentuates the role and responsibility of every certain person for creation of such culture and the other role of the government in which all the activities must be built on the basis of human rights. According to our opinion, it is impossible to determine the similarity or difference of these definitions, their content and essence, whether they supplement each other or there is any limit to the regulations or there are other hard and fast rules.

In order to distinguish these regulations and rules proceeding from practice, the most important thing is to disclose the definition «culture of human rights» and its correlative elements:

First, it is the condition for consciousness of justice in the society.

Second, it is the condition for legality which characterizes the degree of deployment of all requirements, reality of their accomplishment, and at the same time, a particular importance is the quality and content of a law in the process of its adoption and their practical application.

A great importance of this process is perceived in what active legal and organizational measures are applied to settling problems revealed in the course of lawmaking process. Adopted laws must be corresponded both to social importance and answer all questions and not let gaps in the law.

Third, it is the condition for legislation, perfection of its content and forms. Unfortunately, facts can be met in practice contrary to legislative acts, regulations of the law.

Paul Hasuk, from OSCE ODIHR, considers that in the process of development of the notion «culture of human rights» some horizontal and vertical (conditional) measurements can be taken. The «horizontal» measurement is connected with the «spatial» and by its notion and it may be personal, social (or governmental) and universal. The «vertical» measurement contains the culture of human rights in moral and law planes. In spite of their content and similarity, these notions have some difference in practice [6].

On the basis of the culture of human rights the supreme value has been laid about human beings. In determining the given notion, it is important to take into consideration the moral condition in which the spirituality dominates. «Spirituality» is the essence of human and social culture. Spirituality determines the state of mind, mental condition of every certain human being, nation, society. At the same time, the notion «spirituality» has the same meaning with the word «spirit», «spiritual». The notion for all human beings, community and nation takes a specific and nonmeasurable place that makes human consciousness. We consider that respect for right is the highest indicator of legal culture, and it depends on the bodies protecting and controlling the execution of laws.

These demands concern all the employees of the organs of internal affairs. The supreme legal culture and knowledge of the employees of the organs of internal affairs, polite and well-bred treatment of the citizens, fidelity to one’s duty and profession, raises the authority not only of the colleagues in service but the employees of other law-enforcement bodies.

The law enforcement bodies raise the statues of the state and the society with the help of given wide authority to them by the government. Having such authorities my cause different problems connected with the conduct of such bodies, and as a result law-and-order is violated.

Specialists consider that priority of law enforcement bodies in the given direction that they have an authority to take measures for legal influence. The abuse of the given authority may cause negative consequences. That’s why the mechanism of exercising control over the bodies is demanded to safeguard democracy. If these bodies or officials ignore the execution of laws, laws will lose their significance and lose courage of the society.

The perfection of democratic content of the legal system and state administration in the process of forming a civil society and building a law-based state is naturally determined. Under these conditions, one can observe the legal relations on a new level, the renovation of legislation, and coordinate it to the existing social system. It demands the preparation, retraining and professional development of juridical personnel.

Forming a higher legal culture in the society is concerned with the conditions of legal education, degree and quality of development, and they all bring to finding out the solution to the problem and a special attention to the given sphere. We consider that it is important to note that content, essence of the scientific research and structure of legal culture, definition of philosophical, social, financial, psychological problems in its formation are the priority of the direction.

So, legal culture is an integral part of national spirituality, and it demands its perfection. Legal culture based on the standards and traditions, language, faith and spirituality of our nation contributing to the rule of law, profound respect and attention to human beings as well as the their enlightenment and sense of justice. Besides its deferential relation of law enforcement bodies towards the law, citizens, their rights and legal interests, stringently realization of legal mechanism have an important significance in forming culture of human rights.

Thereby, culture of human rights is a high feeling for law and order, legal knowledge and legal culture which denotes a supreme degree of civil society which treats the law respectfully and freedoms of human beings and their legal awareness are considered to be ordinary position in life for all citizens, bodies of self-government and public authority.

Generally speaking, in the 90ies of the XX century and at the beginning of the XXI century a great attention was paid to the issues of human rights culture not only on the national level, but also on the international level. For, at that time there began consideration of human rights as an important universal human value. Particularly, the Second World conference on human rights held in Vienna in 1993 and Vienna Declaration and Action plan adopted on its results. The UN Decade on human rights education (1995–2004), wide celebration of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2008, declaration of 2009 as the International human rights learning year, adoption of the UN Declaration on human rights education and training in 2011, and the measures adopted internationally and nationally in these spheres were considered as the vivid evidences for this.

A separate attention should be paid to the World Programme for human rights education adopted by the UN Assembly on December 10, 2004, and which is considered an important document in analyzing the activity of the UN in the sphere of human rights education. This Program involved the first (2005–2009) and the second (2010–2014) stages. If its first stage (2005–2009) had focused upon the school education, the second stage (2010–2014), the third stage (2015–2019) had focused on the institutions responsible for training citizens and future leadership, including the employees from civil service and law enforcement to military women and men, observance, protection and realization of their human rights [7].

In Uzbekistan there have been realized systemic and successive measures on further development of the legal culture of the population, formation of the ideas of the rule of law, law-abidance and respect for law in the society. Uzbekistan created its own system of education in the sphere of human rights. In the country more than 20 legislative acts have been adopted in the sphere of raising the legal culture, legal consciousness and legal education of citizens.

An additional impulse in the development of the legal culture for improvement of education in the sphere of human rights was the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan «On program of events dedicated to 60th anniversary of the «Universal Declaration of Human Rights».

In the realization frame of the provisions of the «Conception on further deepening democratic reforms and formation of a civil society in the country» and for the purpose of improving the system of legal propaganda and awareness directed at raising the level of legal consciousness and legal culture of the population in the society there were adopted such laws as: «On prevention of law breaks», «On transparency of the activity of the organs of state government and administration», «On social partnership», «On appeals of physical and legal entities», «On ecological control» and others.


1. <Draft paper of the «International Amnesty». «Friendly Schools with human rights»> URL: htt://friendlyschools.tiged/org/?about=hrfsn.

2. Formation of the culture of human rights is the most important task in the sphere of ensuring protection of human rights and freedoms, further development of civil society in the country: materials of international round table. Tashkent, 2012. Р. 165–167.

3. Frequently Asked Questions on a Human Rights-based Approach to Development Cooperation (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.06.XIV.10), p. 1.

4. Islomov Z. Culture of human rights: conception, sense, forms // Civil society. 2009. № 4. P. 27.

5. Karimov I. Conception of further deepening of democratic reforms and forming of civil society in the country. Tashkent, 2012. P. 27.

6. Xasuk P. Formation of the culture of human rights and role of OSCE in this process // Formation of the culture of human rights is the most important task in the sphere of ensuring protection of human rights and freedoms, further development of civil society in the country: materials of international round table. Tashkent, 2012. P. 32.

7. <World Programme on human rights education. Second stage. Action plan>


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