The article is devoted to the basic concept of human rights, which serves as a methodological tool for research. First, there is explained the initial notion of fundamental human rights, in particular its definition, which was formulated at the Law Faculty of the University of Lviv in the early 90s of the last century. The author shows the social underpinnings of this concept. He also proves that biological approach to human rights alleged by Ukrainian author S. H olovatyi is completely inconsistent with the development of social sciences. The author provides the following definition: human rights are certain options of a person, that are demanded to satisfy his needs of living and development, determined by the level of the development society and are secured by duties of other persons. The suggested interpretation of the phenomenon of human rights is made from the position of needs-oriented approach that is based on social positivism. Fundamental character of these rights consists in their ability
to be the basis for securing person’s life and self-development. Without such rights, without the use of them existence and development will not be possible. Options (of a human) – is an ontological, existential, «substantial» characteristic of its fundamental rights; and their purpose is to mediate, «instrumentalize» the satisfaction of basic needs. This is anthropological and social sense of fundamental human rights. Organic sociality phenomenon, considered objectively determined by natural sociality of human existence: rights of a person may refer only to any other entity. Second, the questions are discussed of who can be a bearer of fundamental rights. In particular, whether collective entities are capable to be bearers of human rights. The author proves that in spite of the traditional view on human as the one and only bearer of human rights, the notion of human rights is now expanded on collective subjects (families, religious groups etc.).
Keywords: fundamental human rights, international human rights instruments, bearer of fundamental rights