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TOPIC: Universal human rights

Universal human rights 22 May 2016 19:11 #9882

  • Sarah.H
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I keep reading critiques concerning the idea of 'universal' human rights, the idea that this is just a front for cultural imperialism. But I haven't been seeing much about which rights should not be regarded as universal. I'm confused, should we limit democracy and political participation then to the 'West', or was it anti-discrimination and gender-equality that they are referring to?
Yea, 'cause those rights should definitely not be regarded as 'universal'.
How can human rights not be universal if they are HUMAN rights? The fact that some might find this a form of cultural imperialism doesn't mean that suddenly human beings are no longer entitled to these rights. And the interesting thing is that those who claim that the uversality of human rights is cultural imperialism are usually countries, groups or individuals who stand for gross human rights violations. My concerns lie with the fact that universal human rights may never be applied everywhere because of these violators and because of the small gangs of people outside of governments that continue to cause international mayhem leaving governments with no solution but to use ammunition. I don't see how it will end, this vicious cycle. I understand that if human rights were to appropriately be followed in all nations , less criminals will breed. But what about the current situation. and what about the different religions that do not recognize human rights as we have come to develop our understandings of them over time. It is simply a bureaucratic and ideological mess out there.
It's difficult for me to conceptualise any of the recognised universal human rights that should come second to other considerations. Having said that, it's important to remember that it's dangerous to entrench one form of institutional practice as the correct application of the principles enshrined in universal human rights. As long as flexibility of form is recognised, human rights shouldn't have the effect of imperialism. Taking that as our starting point, things become more experimental and the question becomes whether a given form sufficiently respects human rights.
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