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LEGAL ASPECTS OF RIGHT FOR A PENSION AS A HUMAN RIGHT

LEGAL ASPECTS OF RIGHT FOR A PENSION AS A HUMAN RIGHT
Vorslava Zane, doctoral candidate, candidate of jurisprudence, doctoral candidate

Riga Stradins University, Latvia

Championship participant: the National Research Analytics Championship - "Latvia";

the Open European-Asian Research Analytics Championship;

 

The aim of the thesis is to analyze pension rights institution in the context of human rights. Disregarding the pension reform of 1995 and the newly established pension system with several levels, the level of the pensioners living situation today is becoming worse rather than better. The choice of the topic is based on the fact that the existing Latvian pension system is neither efficient nor fair, the evidence of which is found in the fact that constant amendments are made to the law “On state pensions”, as well as unfair affiliation of the pensions and subsidies, unequal order for the pension granting and in the fact that the pension amount does not correspond with the living wage which contradicts with the human rights, the principle of justice and the order of the utilization of the social budget.

Keywords: human rights, quality of life, pension

 

Article 25, paragraph 1 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control,”[1] which basically means also a right to receive state`s social security, including social risk situations. The right to social security is a basic human right (which pertains to the social, economic and cultural rights – the second generation of human rights).

Thus,the right to a state pension is among the basic human rights and their implementation is one of the fundamental principles of the judicial state. The rightto social security is closely linked to the right to life, liberty and security of a person, provided in the Article 3ofUnited Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights[1]. Restriction of the social rights, including restriction of rights to the pension, may indirectly affect a person`s right to life. The right to life includes the financial security of an individual, which is sufficient for a person to be able to receive the goods and services necessary for his existence. Since person`s right to receive the pension is closely related to his material situation and legal confidence to receive state-guaranteed material security, infringement or restriction of this social right may affect realization of functions that are substantial for person`s life.

“The government`s responsibility to protect the life of each citizen is composed of three parts:

1)      in certain circumstances to carry out all necessary actions to prevent any unreasonable loss of life;

2)      responsibility to investigate suspicious deaths;

3)      responsibility to restrain its representatives from an unlawful killing.”[7]

The pensioner is entitled to rely on material protection by the state, thus also on the possibility to provide such circumstances that would not interfrere with his chance to survive. “Principle of the legal confidence states that public authorities in their activities must be consistent with regard to the issued normative acts and to respect the legal confidence that individuals may have in accordance with the particular standard of rights or legal regulations. An individual, in his turn, can rely on invariability and permanence of such standard of rights or legal regulations. In realization of the legal confidence it is also important that person`s reliance on the standard of rights or legal regulations would be legitimate, reasonable and justified, as well as thet the legal regulation would ne sufficiently determined and invariable by its nature so that it could be trusted.”[2] The right to receive state pension are also provided by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights that states that the right to health has to be understood as a right to such conditions, services and goods that are necessary to obtain the highest level of health protection.[1] Czech psychologistV. Henri divides elderly people in 3 groups:

1)      elderly people that are active, lively, vigorous; they continue to work and are busy;

2)      elderly people that are no longer working, but they enjoy their self-chosen activities, fancy their hobbies and continue to be busy;

3)      lowered energy group that primarily focuses on themselves.[10]

From the above mentioned it follows that activity of elderly people or pensioners directly depends on their health, thus also on the material security sufficient for maintenance of good health.The right to health includes a wide range of socio-economic factors that promote conditions in which a person can enjoy a healthy living, and it is not limited to the food, shelter and access to clean water, it includes also civil and political rights, such as prohibition of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment that essentially protects human dignity.[8] In this case, insufficient material position may cause an adverse environment for a pensioner as well as an inhumane or degrading treatment from the surrounding community, thus restricting civil and political rights of a pensioner. United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states thattorture, any cruel or degrading treatment is prohibited. Degrading treatment can make person suffer both physically and morally. Therefore it is very important to secure for persons in social risk situations (in this case – for persons who have entered in their right to receive state pension) such material conditions that would not create a ground for violations of human dignity from part of the surrounding community.

State grants pensions to pensioners for life and they are given to the possession of a person, moreover, they have a system that creates a “property” because a person has made social security contributions his all life to a certain funds where these contributions form a certain (share).[6]Consequently, right to pension is directly linked to the right to own property. One of the most important prerequisites for practical appliance and use of the right to own property guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights,is development of this right. Since the pension has a “property” forming system, the right to receive pension can also be classified as a right to own property which means that state has to comply with all perequisites that prohibit violation of person`s right to own pension as a property and thus also human rights of a person.Lawyer A. Dimitrov thinks likewise.[4] Thus, an individual has a right to demand certain actions from the state so that his human rights would be protected.[11] From abovementioned it follows that the state must take all reasonable steps to protect person`s right to own property. “The right to own property includes:

1)      right to undisturbed ownership, i.e., rights to own a thing, to gain interest from it, to transform it, manage it or despose of it, to make deals about it. This right also includes an obligation of third parties to refrain from violation of property. In realization of this right the state has a duty not to interfere with undisturbed enjoyment of property rights, as well as to create sufficient property right protection mechanism that would allow the owner to defend himself against unjustified violation of his undisturbed enjoyment of property rights;

2)      prohibition to take away property without a warrant. Property may be dispossessed if the means that provide dispossession of property comply with national legislation, if general principles of international rights and expropriation are respected, and if expropriation complies with public interest, that also includes balancing of public and individual interests, as well as states the conditions of deprivation of property;

The state has a right to restrict the use of property in accordance with the public interest. This follows from the social function of property – each owner is obliged to consider interests of others. For restriction of use of property to be lawful, restrictions must be prescribed by the law, theay must pursue a legitimate aim and be proportionate.”[9]

Main objective of the pension system is to ensure its sustainability. United NationsCommittee of Economic,Socialand Cultural Rightsalso has stated thatthe social security schemehas to be sustainable, particularly with regard to pensions,to ensure thatboth current andfuture generations could realize this right.[12]Moreover, this system must allow a person to predict his state-guaranteed social security options and its amount, before the social risk case. Sustainability of abovementioned system is based on three principles: adequacy, financial sustainability, and the ability to adapt to change.[5] Consequently, the sustainability of pension system is closely related to the overall economic system of state.[3] However, state economy can not be a basis for restriction of absolute rights of a person. The person must be sure that the system that operates for a long time, will not be changed, thus restricting a person`s right to life and good health.

 

References:

  1. United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, http://www.humanrights.lv/ doc/vispaar/vispcd.htm,accessed May 2, 2013.
  2. Application initiating proceedingsabout the Law on 16 June 2009 "On State Pensions and benefits during the period from 2009 to 2012", http://www.scp.lv/lat/scp_politika/ dokumenti/? page=0&doc=680,accessed May 4, 2013.
  3. Decree of Constitutional Court of Republic of Latvia of 21/12/2009 in case № 2009-43-01
  4. Dimitrovs A. Right to the lost years, http://www.politika.lv/ temas/ cilvektiesibas/ tiesibas_uz_izsvitrotajiem_gadiem/, accessed May 3, 2013.
  5. European Commission. Objectives and working methods in the area of pensions: Applying the open method of coordination. Joint Report of the Social Protection Committee and the Economic Policy Committee - Luxembourg: Official Publications of the European Communities, www.ann.ugal.ro/eco/Doc2009/JaroslawPoteraj.pdf, accessed April 15, 2011.
  6. Gaygusuz v. Austria, judgment of 16 September 1996, Reports of Judgments and Decisions - 1996-IV, §42, p. 1123.
  7. Latvian Republic Ombudsman. Civil and political rights, http://www.tiesibsargs.lv/ lat/cilvektiesibas/pilsoniskas_un_politiskas_tiesibas/, accessed May 4, 2013.
  8. Latvian Republic Ombudsman. In view of the case Nr. 2008-48-01 www.tiesibsargs.lv/lat/petijumi_un_viedokli/, accessed March 15, 2011.
  9. Ombudsman Republic of Latvia. Social and economical rights, http://www.tiesibsargs.lv/ lat/cilvektiesibas/socialas__ekonomiskas_un_kulturas_tiesibas/, accessed May 3, 2013.
  10. Liepina S. Psychological aspects ofgerontology.– Riga: Raka, 1998, p. 35.
  11. Neimane I. Right for a propert as a human right, http://www.zemesgramata.lv/ ?cid=97&from=0&txt=23323, accessed May 3, 2013.
  12. United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The right to social security: General Comment No.19. E/C.12/GC/19 4. – 2008., p. 11
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Comments: 5

Ispenbetova L.

Актуальнейшая тема для дальнейших научных исследований. Остро обсуждаемая тема как в Казахстане, так и в других странах.

Zulfugarzade Teymur El'darovich

Рассматриваемая работа представляется весьма значимой для развития современной юридической науки и может заслуживать весьма высокой оценки. С уважением, Теймур Зульфугарзаде

Konoplytska Oksana

Статья имеет познавательный характер. Как правильно заметил автор: "Экономика не может быть основанием для ограничения абсолютных прав человека". По моему мнению, главное чтобы это высказывание касалось всех граждан, а не какую-то одну категорию. Зачастую для того, чтобы обеспечить права одной категории, госсударство не ичет пути обеспечения, а ужимает права других категорий. Например: госсударство не ищет пути пополнения пенсионного фонда, а увеличивает взносы в пенсионый фонд с работающих граждан (это не означает, что работающие граждане выходя на пенсию, будут получать больше). Некоторые категории предпринимателей в Украине должны платить ва Пенсинный фонд 33% от минимальной зароботной платы ежемесячно.

Chiladze George Bidzinovich

Исследованию данной темы заинтересованы и ученые моей страны и она заслуживает должного внимания.

Puzikov Ruslan Vladimirovic

В целом работа носит больше информационный характер, чем научный.
Comments: 5

Ispenbetova L.

Актуальнейшая тема для дальнейших научных исследований. Остро обсуждаемая тема как в Казахстане, так и в других странах.

Zulfugarzade Teymur El'darovich

Рассматриваемая работа представляется весьма значимой для развития современной юридической науки и может заслуживать весьма высокой оценки. С уважением, Теймур Зульфугарзаде

Konoplytska Oksana

Статья имеет познавательный характер. Как правильно заметил автор: "Экономика не может быть основанием для ограничения абсолютных прав человека". По моему мнению, главное чтобы это высказывание касалось всех граждан, а не какую-то одну категорию. Зачастую для того, чтобы обеспечить права одной категории, госсударство не ичет пути обеспечения, а ужимает права других категорий. Например: госсударство не ищет пути пополнения пенсионного фонда, а увеличивает взносы в пенсионый фонд с работающих граждан (это не означает, что работающие граждане выходя на пенсию, будут получать больше). Некоторые категории предпринимателей в Украине должны платить ва Пенсинный фонд 33% от минимальной зароботной платы ежемесячно.

Chiladze George Bidzinovich

Исследованию данной темы заинтересованы и ученые моей страны и она заслуживает должного внимания.

Puzikov Ruslan Vladimirovic

В целом работа носит больше информационный характер, чем научный.
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