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The Challenge of Human Rights and Cultural Diversity
Transcript of The Challenge of Human Rights and Cultural Diversity
Published by the United Nations Department of Public Information, March 1995 By Coryn Clough, Roberta McMorran and Samaah Jaffer Published by the Department of Public Information, March 1995 Introduction - more social problems than solutions
- increase in violence, poverty, unemployment, displacement
- economic crisis of 2008-2009 increased the inequality of wealth Universal Human Rights and Cultural Relativism - values may differ based on culture
- human rights should be universal, but cultural differences often make it difficult Universal Human Rights and International Law - UN recognizes human rights as international law, birthright "for all without distinction"
- standards agreed upon by all members of the General Assembly
- internationally established
- should be a top priority - UN Charter
- International Bill of Rights
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
- Vienna Declaration in 1993 Human Rights, Cultural Integrity, and Diversity - universal human rights defines a legal minimum amount of protection
- agreed upon by all, no control or predominance of any culture
- new idea which required coordinated international efforts Inherent Flexibility - universal human rights provide flexibility to accommodate diverse cultures
- minimum standards must be followed
- Vienna Declaration noted importance of culture in human rights
- respecting diversity through cultural rights Cultural Rights - limited at the point where they violate human rights
- no national cultural rights may supersede international rights
- cannot justify any violations (such as torture, murder, discrimination, genocide) due to cultural differences A Cultural Context - traditional culture protects human dignity
- does not substitute, but reinforces human rights
- cultural diversity is excepted as long it does not jeopardize human rights
- future of human rights, tolerance and cultural pluralism Question Time! 1. At the beginning of the article, the Diana Ayton-Shenker asks, "How can human rights be reconciled with the clash of cultures that has come to characterize our time?" Do you feel the information presented was sufficient to answer that question?
2. After watching the Amnesty International report, do you feel that having universal human rights are effective today? Note: Syria and Bahrain are members of the UN General Assembly, and the Arms Trade Treaty has not been passed. the end