The United Nations ' Universal Human Rights Essay

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The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights stands as the current gold standard for every individual’s rights. Focusing on culture, one may see that cultural rights are not clearly defined and are oftentimes in conflict with other types of rights. In this paper, I will first discuss the United Nations’ use of ‘cultural’ in its universal human rights in relation to the concept of cultural relativism. Then, using South African and American practices, such as virginity testing and discriminatory criminal justice system respectively, I will describe and analyze practices violate the UN’s universal human rights in addition to the practices’ use for the community or society as a whole. Lastly, I will compare the American Anthropological Association’s rights to culture to the UN’s universal human rights by analyzing the limitations of each.
2. Articles 22 and 27’s Definition of ‘Cultural’ and Connection to Cultural Relativism
While Articles 22 and 27 do not outline a clear definition of ‘culture’ or ‘cultural,’ I understand these specific Articles to describe ‘cultural’ as the practices within a specific community that members of the community use to mature. Specifically, Article 22—“indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality”—uses culture as a freedom necessary for individual dignity and development. On the other hand, Article 27—“cultural life of the community”—refers to ‘cultural’ as participation in the community.
The United
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