The United Nations Universal Declaration Of Human Rights

1805 Words Sep 2nd, 2014 8 Pages
In accordance with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) it is proclaimed by the General Assembly that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” (The United Nation [UN], 1948). But what are human rights? While they might be a substantially contemporary subject, the worlds first charter of human rights is now identified in 593 B.C when Cyrus the Great; freed the slaves, established racial equality and freedom to choose one’s own religion (Fleiner, 1999) With the emergence of the 18th century’s Age of Enlightenment, the concept of human rights was elevated with strong associations to the philosophy of liberalism, holding connotations of freedom after the abolition of slavery, serfdom and suppression in Europe and overseas (Von Mises, 2005). However when the United Nations drafted and constructed the Universal Declaration of Human rights, it was pledged “universal respect for and observance of all human rights and fundamental freedoms” (UN, 1948). The accentuation of universalism; applicable to all, is the foundation of the UDHR, thus the intrinsic dignity of every human being. Although on the contrary to universal innateness of human rights, is controversial criticisms of the international law’s universality, Makau Matua among many others deem it to be merely one more attempt by the West to perform similarly, modern day colonisation.

Chairperson of the Commission of Human Rights and one of the drafters of the Universal…
Open Document