Are Human Rights Truly Universal? Essays

1605 Words Mar 28th, 2012 7 Pages
Are human rights truly universal?

This essay will address the question of human rights, whether they are truly universal or not. First I will explore the contemporary definition of human rights by outlining the key points in the historical evolution of the concept. Then I will engage with those perspectives which suggest that human rights are not universal, because of cultural or other differences between societies. After that, I will consider the possible ways that human rights can achieve its universality without the contradiction of any culture.
Human Rights have quite a long history. They have already been mentioned in ancient Greek Philosophy. Later on, “Rights of Man” has been mentioned in both the American Declaration of
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Because of rights are the same significance, and they cannot be fully enjoyed without one another. However, some critics argue the universality of human rights. (www.unfa.org)
In his article, Frank (2001) highlights that the success of human rights has two factors: individualization and globalization. Globalization has been reached by inventing fundamental codes of protection, and by monitoring and promoting obedience. However, this inspection came into conflict with state sovereignty, as sovereignty is not like it was before. The global system after the second world war started to take humanitarian crimes more seriously, which resulted in the interference of United Nations in the sovereignty of states. The reaction of member states was quite unfriendly. The example of Jamaica, when the Commission of Experts claimed that Jamaica breached the treaty of ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), and their response was when it comes to the treatment of their own people, they do not want globalism, they want sovereignty. Sovereignty has always been in conflict with human rights.
Rayner argues that human rights are not universal, just because human dignity. According to Rayner the idea of rights does not inevitably exists everywhere in the world. Rights are not equal concept as acceptable forms of behavior, which are

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