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Dean’s talk No. 6 : Human Rights.

Human rights refer to moral principles or norms that provide certain standards for human behavior. They are usually protected by law at both national and international levels. Human rights are commonly referred to as fundamental rights to which each individual person is inherently entitled to, simply because they are human beings, regardless of their nation, location, language, religion, political belief, ethnic origin or any other socio-cultural or economic status. They are universal values which have been applied worldwide and in most countries.
The doctrine of human rights has been held as sacred in higher education and in higher educational institutions worldwide. It has been developed over time by numerous influential thinkers and educational theorists, including (for example) John Locke, Francis Hutcheson, and Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui. Their ideas played a prominent role in the political discourse, for example, of the American Revolution and the French Revolution.
According to The United Nations General Assembly, U.N. (2015),  proclaimed the UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as “a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, 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”. 
The U.N. Declaration sets the achievement of                human rights as goals for every country. It recognized that human rights are a diverse range of rights, including moral rights, legal rights and equality rights.  They include, for example, the fundamental right to life. There are rights to meet basic needs for food, clothing, shelter and health care. There are rights to protection and safety, such as, protection against arbitrary arrest, the right to a free trial and the right not to be enslaved by another. There are rights to work, to education and to enjoy basic freedoms such as recreation that help to increase quality of life.
Human rights are not simply to be seen as a part of the popular culture. Therefore, they should not appear only as frivolous statements that suggest lifestyle rather than substance. Human rights should be what we take for granted as the fundamental guarantees of rights and freedoms for all of us as we live in society.  In short, they should be a part of the atmosphere of daily living as well as becoming a common moral language among academic social scientists at all levels.
In Thailand, the ideas and ideals of human rights have been discussed and stated by academic intellectuals from time to time such as that of Puey Ungpakorn, Jit Pumisak, and Pridi Banomyong during the peoples’ revolution of 1971-1976, and again by senior intellectuals such as Niti Aewsriwong, Somsak Jeamteerasakul, Thongchai Winichakul, and Charnvit Kasetsiri during the political crises in 1992 and 2006-2015.
The Faculty of Social Sciences, Naresuan University considers HUMAN RIGHTS to be the bases of our principles, norms and moral values. As Dean, I will strive to do my best to design our organizational policies and implementation based on the respect for human rights. This includes considering the seven major’s declaration of the UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as our policy guidelines: 1) Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); 2) Convention on the Rights of the Child; 3) U.N. International Covenant on Civil, and Political Rights (ICCPR); 4) U.N. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR); 5) Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD); 6) Convention against Torture and other Cruel or Degrading Treatment or  Punishment (CAT); and 7) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
By using these are our standards, I believe that our Faculty will be able to show that we are taking seriously our responsibility to ourselves and to the society at large. And by doing so, I suggest that that our Faculty will become a social science community that is based on principles and values of equality and morality, and that provides  a good, productive and happy environment for our staff and students and those with whom we work.  Even though these standards may be beyond the grasp of Thai society as a whole, there is no reason why we should not implement an academic community that is based on the full expression of human rights.

Looking forwards to talking with you again, Patcharin Sirasoonthorn
Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences

Naresuan University


Thai Edition