The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights

1396 Words Feb 1st, 2016 6 Pages
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, (UNDR) was adopted by the United Nations in 1948 with the intention off providing a moral standard for judging an individual state’s treatment of it’s citizens.
Yet to this day a debate rages between scholars such as Jack Donnely and Michael Goodhart as to whether the principles expressed within the UNDR are not only universal but actully culturally relative. When drafting the UNDR, the term “universal” was meant to show that the declaration “was morally binding on everyone, not just upon the governments that voted for its adoption.”
There was never an intention for it to be a legally binding document and as a western construct reflecting western ideals it failed to reflect other cultural values.
Which is why even at it’s inception states such as Russia & China opted out of becoming signatories, so to declare human right’s as universal would be a very bold statement.
In his article The Relative Universality of Human Rights the scholar Jack Donnelly acknowledges “whether everyone, or even anyone, enjoys these rights is another matter”
In order to evidence the principles off human rights most scholars root their argument in the sense of the inviable moral worth or dignity of each citizen but how can this be expressed in a way that is truly universal?
When examining the dominant arguments for universality, we find that they are incapable of supporting their own tenets without twitsing the language used in order to do…
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