Generally speaking, rights and responsibilities seem to go hand-in-hand. Yet in the discourse of human rights, there is seldom talk of human responsibilities - although human rights are in a sense responsibilities of the State towards its citizens.
On the one hand, this makes sense, because to establish a set of human responsibilities to be taken as seriously as human rights would mean essentially coercing certain behavior out of citizens, rather than merely providing them with a platform for self-realization, as human rights do. It seems, however, that the quality of a society is not dependent merely on the freedom of its members, but also on their involvement and consideration for one another. Given this consideration, I am curious as to whether any philosophers have elaborated on a theory of "human responsibilities", to complement our current human rights scheme. If so, what do these responsibilities look like?
Here are a few things you might want to look at. In 1997, the InterAction Council drafted a UniversalDeclaration of Human Responsibilities, see www.interactioncouncil.org/ In 2002 the Fundacion Valencia Tercer Milenio published a Declaration of Responsibilities and Human Duties, available at http://globalization.icaap.org/content/v2.2/declare.html Somewhat more detailed and useful are some of the General Comments produced under the auspices of the United Nations (see http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/gencomm/econ.htm). As one example, see General Comment 14 on the human right to the highest attainable standard of health. Onora O'Neill has long written about the need to achieve greater clarity on who is required by human rights to do what for whom. See her books Towards Justice and Virtue and Bounds of Justice . And, if it's permissible, I'd also mention my own book World Poverty and Human Rights: Cosmopolitan Responsibilities and Reforms.