Friday, March 29, 2019

Universal Human Rights and Cultural Differences

Universal Human Rights and pagan DifferencesSince the end of the Second World War, an change magnitude number of military personnel rights pricks subscribe to been adopted, by the United Nations. These instruments have enured forth coarse standards of kind rights, and members states of the U.N. are called upon to respect in tack to ensure check protection of world rights everywhere. But opposite to this trend, thither has been a sort of resistance in many parts of the world, where kind rights norms are seen as western matter. During the Cool War period, countries of the Soviet stop over used to consider them as associateed to capitalist bourgeoisie dapple young separate nations of the South saw the focus on clement rights as a threat to their newly acquired sovereignty. Both sides pleaded their right to resistence. This raises the distinguish whether gentle rights standards should be considered diversely because of pagan or differences among peoples. To put it a nonher(prenominal) way, are tender rights of general viability and applicability or are they better understood and evaluated within specific sociable and ethnic contexts? What take of social nebability hobo be accommodated within the emerging global gracious rights regime to accord it cultural legitimacy within various societies?1 Voices from the West have pointed out that differences among people did not permit them to realize the westerly standards of human rights. It is believed that some cultures are more similarly to buck human rights abuses, and for a series of reasons, there are people elsewhere to cover them or to keep silent because of their interest, thus excusing the inexcusable which they claim being part of their culture.The aim of this root is to sound the foresightful debate on the relationship between universal standards human rights and cultural differences. Firstly, it recalls the foundation on which is grounded the invention of human rights, namely the human high-handedness, irrespective of culture, race, religion or gender. Secondly, it analyses major arguments put forward by cultural relativists, highlighting their danger, that is, the risk of having double standards of human rights. Finally, in concluding remarks, the paper considers the actual trend of recognizing human rights norms and condemning their abuses (such as female circumcision or sharia), even where people justify them by cultural specificity.I. The universal conceit of human rights and the recognition of human dignityThe concept of human is grounded on the idea that Man has rights simply because he is human. The universal worth and dignity of human being is founded in the writing of philosophers such as behind Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau. For the former, human beings are by nature free, equal and independent2, and the protection of that freedom and equality should be the end of the political society. Rousseau in addition insists on the freedom of the human being and writes that Man should never free his freedom A man who renounces to his freedom renounces at his quality as human being. After bloody revolutions, there were attempts to introduce these concepts in states constitution in England, in France, and in the United States of America. But the low recognition of the need to secure rights for human being was stated in the Charter of the United Nations, following the atrocities of the Second World War. In its Preamble, it is state that one of the purpose of the U.N. is the achievement supra disciplineistic cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and fundamental freedom for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion. The Universal Declaration on Human Rights is the first instrument on human rights in its preamble presented itself as a parkland standard of achievement for all peoples and nations. It went further by stating Recognition of the human dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. Subsequent instruments such as the compact on Civil and political Rights and the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights contained what is usually called consequence rights meaning that are indispensable for an existence in human dignity and therefore need absolute protection. Among those core rights are the right to life, the prohibition of torture, slavery, arbitrary arrest, discrimination or genocide. No derogation from such rights is permitted, even in time of war.The philosophical foundations of the concept of human rights are to be found in the Western Europe. As Robertson and Merrils write, it is clear that the mainstream has its origin in the liberal democratic tradition of Western Europe, a tradition which is itself the product of the Greek philosophy, Rom an law, the Judeo-Christian tradition, the humanism of the Reformation and the Age of reason. It means that the Western World translated into international law its philosophical, moral, cultural and sacred rate. Questions arise therefore as to their catholicity that is whether it is possible to take into account the differences while focusing on the common standards of human rights. On the separate hand, if cultural differences cannot be denied, it is to establish whether differences can be an excuse to human rights abuses. Who will decide the nature and the level of change to meet universal standards of human rights and how avoid to be tagged /or accused of cultural hegemony?For the relativists, moral and cultural values differ from one culture to another. According to Parekh, Different societies throw up different systems of moral beliefs depending on such things as their history, traditions, geographical circumstances, and views of the world. We have no means of judging them for there are no objective and universal criteria available for the purpose, and even if there were, we would be too deeply lettered by our own society to discover them.Cultural differences whitethorn have an influence on the human rights issues where national competence, the sovereignty of the state or the quest of self-determination are irrelevant to the idea of universal human rights standards. The 1993 Vienna Conference was an example of arena where, universal principle of human rights clashed with relativistic assumptions. At the eve of that important even, African and Asian groups of nations friend to draw their views they intended to put forward at the conference. In the capital of Tunisia Declaration, which reflected both their convictions and their expectations, the African group nations gave a different sound. While admitting that the universality of human rights, they declared that no ready-made model can be prescribed at the universal level since the historical and cultural realities of from each one nation and the traditions, standards and values of each people cannot be disregarded. They also highlighted the principle of the indivisibility of human rights Civil and political rights cannot be dissociated from economic, social and cultural rights. None of these rights takes precedence over the others. Finally, the Tunis Declaration insisted on the link between human rights and economic developing Political freedom when not accompanied by respect for economic, social and cultural rights is precarious. The right to development is inalienable. Human rights, development and international peace are interdependent () Africa, which has chosen the path of democracy, economic reform and the promotion of human rights, in an invidious international economic environment, and which finds itself particularly exposed to internal tensions deriving from the chastening to meet the basic needs of populations and from the rise of extremism, will neverthele ss breathe committed to its choices and its responsibilities, and calls upon the international community to do likewise, in particular by an intensification of international solidarity, an adequate increase in development assistance and an take into account settlement of the debt problem.In the capital of Thailand Declaration, Asian group of nations opposed what they saw as Western imperialism and urged the international community to take into account their cultural difference as regard to human rights. While agreeing like Africans that human rights are universal in nature, they insisted that those rights must be considered in the context of a dynamic and evolving process of international norm-setting, bearing in mind the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds. Furthermore, they added, the promotion of human rights should be encouraged by cooperation and consensus, and not with confrontation and the imposit ion of incompatible values. Finally, criticising the use of human rights as conditionality for extending development assistance and as an instrument of political pressure, the Bangkok Declaration stressed the need to avoid the application of double standards in the implementation of human rights and its politicisation. Indonesian Foreign Minister stated later(prenominal) in Vienna While human rights are universal in character, it is now generally acknowledged that their expression and implementation in the national context should remain the competence and responsibility of each government. This means that the multiform variety of problems of different economic social and cultural realities and the unique value systems prevailing in each country should be taken into contemplation12. One may draw the conclusion that for Southern countries, priority has to be given to the satisfaction of basic needs for food, shelter, clothes before other rights such as freedom of expression and fa ir elections. One may even go so far to consider Western concepts of human rights as luxury for poor countries, because cultural

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