Your source of Free Articles Your source of Free Reprint Articles and Content! Login

Find an Article:, your source of Free Articles about: Safety

Definition of Human Rights

human right

Definition of right? Human rights are universal, which means that they apply equally to all people everywhere in the world, and with no time limit. UDHR

Diversity can still exist in a world where everyone is equal, and equally deserving of respect. But some people have dismissed this universality of human rights. They argue that human values vary a great deal according to different cultural perspectives and wonder how universal human rights can exist in such a culturally diverse world.they have evn argued that Human rights are just a contemporary feature of post world war II international goals that derive from particular western traditions, whose cultures have the status they do because of the economic and military power currently associated with them. To these people, human rights are culturally relative rather than universal.

However, despite the realities of change, inconsistencies and the human nature that changes over time, I believe that human rights must be universal as explained in the following.

Human rights should be universal because they emerge with sufficient flexibility to respect and protect cultural diversity and integrity. States have maximum room for cultural variation without diluting the minimum standards of human rights established by law. The Vienna Declaration provides explicit consideration for culture in human rights promotion and protection. It recognizes cultural considerations but at the same time these considerations should not diminish a state’s human rights obligation.

Many leaders in the developing world often argue that human rights can not work in their states since the tasks of nation building, economic development, and the consolidation of the state structure are still unfinished. However, this argument is illusory because these very leaders choose rights and adopt whatever is in their political interest. The lesson from this is that despite the unfinished work of nation building, rights can work in these states.
Culture is constantly evolving in any living society. There is much in every culture that societies quite naturally outgrow. It is therefore illogical to let inherent human rights be affected by culture yet these cultures change over time. A good example is of many African societies where women were regarded as merely property. Today, this is un acceptable.

Modern nation-states cut across tribal boundaries thus making it difficult to use tribal traditions to judge the human rights conduct. In East Africa we have the Samias in Kenya and Uganda, the Luos in Kenya and Uganda, the Bakonzo in Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. This means that human rights in a modern state can not be judged by traditions thus making universalism relevant.
As a result of colonialism and globalization, developing countries have adopted the western way of life. The physical infrastructure, education system, and systems of government in these countries have been copied from the Western world. Therefore, if we have embraced most of these western practices, why should we then reject human rights just because they were founded on western values? Actually there is nothing wrong with borrowing a good norm from another culture.

Traditional culture believes in traditional protection to life, liberty and security just like human rights. Therefore, human rights pose no threat to traditional culture. The traditional culture can absorb and apply human rights instead of dismissing them. We should thus use traditional cultural values to reinforce the application and relevance of universal human rights instead of limiting human rights to suit a given culture. This would help particular cultures to recognize cultural integrity and diversity without compromising the universal standard of human rights.

Given the vastly different conditions of societies due to inconsistency and change in human nature, human rights cannot be effectively implemented in all societies. Human rights can not, forexample, be fully protected in societies that are ravaged by violent or in states ruled by dictators. However, this does not legitimize violations under these unfavorable conditions, nor is it to deny the universal applicability or validity of human rights to all human beings no matter what circumstances they face. We know that for every general rule there is an exception and therefore these few exceptions can not be used dismiss the universality of human rights.

Human rights should be universal because they represent a global consensus on human dignity. Universal human rights are established by the two international covenants on human rights which address numerous concerns. These achievements in human rights standard setting span nearly five decades of work by the United Nations General Assembly and other parts of the United Nations system. As an assembly of nearly every state in the international community, the general Assembly is a uniquely representative body authorized to address and advance the protection and promotion of human rights. This consensus is embodied in the language of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Its preamble proclaims the Declaration as “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.”
Due to capitalism that has swept most parts of the world, there is great need for human rights to be universal. Capitalism has moved into even former communist states like Russia. But despite the development it brings about, capitalism is also associated with social deprivation and economic exploitation which need universal human rights that can stop this exploitation. As a result of capitalism, the exploitation in Europe is not different from the exploitation in Africa. Therefore, the rights needed in Europe are not different from the rights needed in Africa.


Donell, Jack. Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice. London: Cornel University Press, 2003.
Turner, Terence. Universal Human rights Versus Cultural Relativity. Journal of Anthropological Research; University of New Mexico.
Messer, Ellen. Pluralist Approaches to Human rights. Journal of Anthropogical Research.
Morgan, Lewis. Counselors at Law, 2000 One Logan Square, Philadephia.
Zechester Elizabeth. In the Name of Culture:cultural Relativism and the Abuse of an individual. Journal of Anthropogical Research.
Published: 2009-11-07
Author: nyombi sam

About the author or the publisher
Name :nyombi mwebaza Samson
Tribe: muganda
Nationality: Ugandan
Religion: Protestant
Schools Attended
I had my primary school from Makonzi boarding primary school. Then I went to
Ndejje senior secondary school for my ordinary level from 2001 to 2005
There after I attended my advanced level from st mary’s boarding school kitende in 2006 to 2007
In 2008 I joined makerere university



Most popular articles from Safety category
Buy this article  
Full Rights: Not available

Article Categories
Arts and Entertainment Automotive Business Communication Computer and Internet Finance Health and Fitness Home and Family   Crafts and Hobbies   Gardening & Landscaping   Holidays   Home and Family (General)   Home Audio Video   Home Improvement   Home Security   Household Tips   Interior Decorating   Marriage   Parenting   Safety Legal News and Society Pets and Animals Recreation and Sports Science Self Improvement Travel


Home | Submit an article | Benefits | Terms and Conditions | Top Writers | Contact-Us| Login

Copyright - Free Reprint Articles -