Human rights a western phenomenon
Universal declaration of human rights western bias
Indeed, the legacy of the Enlightenment in the development of modern human rights supersedes all other cultural influences Ishay , 7. As such the priority of human rights is to preserve the rights of the individual, and thus communities that are not based on the free and equal participation of all sane, adult members, and thus violate the human rights of its members are in need of change Howard , 8. Human rights are a Western cultural construct. Ned Richardson-Little photo: private The claim that human rights are a product of the Western tradition is problematic as this is more often a political assertion than a reasoned historical account. The modern human rights construct does not exist under Sharia law, and given the cultural divide it cannot Mayer , Donnelly and R. This is a point in history without precedent and one which needs to be safeguarded. Conventions on the Rights of the Child. These cultural traditions, such as Sharia law and female circumcision, challenge the cultural foundations of human rights by providing alternative means of understanding the individual and their role in the broader community. Similarly, in , a cross-regional group of states from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean secured the adoption of two commission resolutions, establishing the first two Special Procedure mandates: the Ad-Hoc Working Group of Experts on southern Africa and the Special Rapporteur on Apartheid. International Human Rights and Islamic Law. Columbia University Press, New York. Such is the case with some societies that practice Sharia law and justify their neglect of human rights on cultural grounds Baderin , 11; Hoods ,
Regardless of the importance of traditional cultural norms, modern human rights provides protection to all members of all cultures equally, and thus is not limited by its own historical cultural influences.
Georgetown University Press, Washington. Douzinas, C.
Human rights arguments
In Defence of Human rights: A non-religious grounding in a pluralistic world. Afshari, R. Division for the Advancement of Women, viewed on 12 June As such, in some societies, such as Islamic societies that operate under Sharia law, modern human rights are not compatible with important components of the traditional society, specifically those relating to punishment and gender equality. Welch and R. Bibliography Abusharaf, R. Vivani eds Bodily integrity and the politics of circumcision: culture, controversy and change. World Affairs: An Analytical Overview. One such theory, modern human rights, is the continuation of a long philosophical and ideological tradition, evolving over time from the Enlightenment Falk , Philosophy of Human Rights. But, these concepts are not unique to the West, nor have they been the rule in Western cultures, rather the exception. Indeed, many non-Western philosophies and religions retain a strong community focus, with an emphasis on duties arising from strong social responsibilities, instead of inherent rights, none of which were part of the early development of modern human rights Douzinas The socialist bloc rapidly discovered, however, that human rights were a useful propaganda tool against the West. Gallo, P. The modern human rights structure has moved beyond the exclusive Declarations of the past, and whilst foundational elements have been maintained Brown , 43 , human rights are strongly universal in content Ishay , 3.
Tauris, London. Macmillan Press, Great Britain.
The difference in culture is so pronounced that unless there is a significant shift in the understanding of Sharia law then innate and inalienable rights, such as those developed in human rights, will not be realized within Sharia societies.
University of California Press, London.
Both resolutions were adopted by a vote, with most Western countries abstaining. Principally developed in the West Howard84; Falk45modern human rights have been directly inspired by, and evolved from, two pivotal Western Declarations Brown Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Profound cultural differences between non-Western cultures and the Western human rights often revolve around the role of the individual within community, a difference well demonstrated through the example of female circumcision.
Wheeler eds Human Rights in Global Politics. Berting, P.
Thus the argument of collective and traditional rights are interwoven into the arguments surrounding female circumcision. In Defence of Human rights: A non-religious grounding in a pluralistic world.
Universality of human rights
Islam and the Challenges of Human Rights. The claims of non-universality also fall flat when looking back at historical support for human rights. Ned Richardson-Little photo: private The claim that human rights are a product of the Western tradition is problematic as this is more often a political assertion than a reasoned historical account. Viewed on 3 June Traditionalists however, despite the foundations of human rights, do not believe that traditional societies, which maintain the values of an orderly society by violating human rights, should be required to change Howard , 4. Rahman, A and Toubia, N. Baderin, M. However, cultural traditions that restrict or violate the rights of its members, such Sharia law, often claim cultural relativism as justification for human rights abuses. Dalacoura, K. Flinterman, R. The term female circumcision is the collective name given to several different traditional practices, all of which include cutting of the female genitals Rahman and Toubia , 3 for religious or other non-therapeutic reasons Fineschi and Turillazzi , Whilst no longer an exclusively Western creation, the tradition of human rights is, and its characteristics remain, distinctively Western Pettman , Douzinas, C. Wheeler eds Human Rights in Global Politics.
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