The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights

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Culture is an important part of society; culture is what binds people together and ties generations from one to the next. It is culture that separates one group of people from another, making them unique from each other and adding variety and beauty to the world. Many nations and peoples cite their traditions and culture as the bedrock of their society. They refer to traditional values as the moral fiber which holds their societies together. Culture is a good thing, when allowed to progress, but can be dangerous if followed blindly. Culture can oppress minorities and those who don’t fit the traditional mold of a people. Culture can impede progress and leave women, minorities and other sub-sects of a society without the basic human rights…show more content…
Though the UDHR has been ratified by every country in the world, there are many nations that have violated the very Articles that they consented to be bound by. There are many examples of such violations in the sixty-eight years since the initial acceptance of the UDHR by the UN General Assembly. Many of these violations are committed under the auspices of cultural, moral or ethical relativism. Ethical Relativism is the idea that one’s morals are only bound or defined by the norms of the culture in which they are a part. For example, if a practice that is accepted by the local culture, or is a part of the tradition or fundamental values of that culture, then the practice is considered moral (Velasquez, 1992). Some example of such accepted practices are female genital mutilation, public stoning and dismemberment of those who break certain laws. Most of these accepted practices take place in less developed nations, such as Iraq, Algeria, and some sub-Saharan nations in Africa. The irony is that each of these nations has ratified the UDHR, yet they do not prohibit such acts against its citizens.
There is an ongoing argument with regard to the Universal Declaration and whether it infringes on the sovereignty of individual nations. The idea is that an outside entity should not be able to redefine what is morally right for a particular culture.
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