Universally Accepted Declaration of Human Rights Essay example

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The preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) proclaims that the rights discussed in the document are "a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations." This document, along with the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), are meant to be global agreements that span all cultures and traditions. These documents however do not live up to their intent. In fact, the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights prove this unrealized and unrealistic expectation of the earlier ‘universal’ and ‘international’…show more content…
This weakened their effectiveness as ‘universal’ treaties. The political arm wrestling between the US and Soviet Union also shows why building an overlapping consensus was so difficult during the cold war.
Additionally, many African and Asian countries were under Western colonial rule during the initial drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Donnelly 8). This left many voices unheard. As a result, documents such as the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam and the Banjul Charter have been drafted and signed by Islamic and African nations, respectively.
The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam was signed by the Organization of the Islamic Conference on August 5th, 1990. In the preamble it states a wish to "protect man from exploitation and persecution, and to affirm his freedom and right to a dignified life in accordance with the Islamic Shari’ah." Article One of the Cairo Declaration states that "All human beings form one family whose members are united by submission to God and descent from Adam." These religious references to the Shari’ah, God, and Adam are all aspects of the Islamic viewpoint that are obviously not in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights because in the UDHR’s attempts at universality it can not embrace one religion openly.
Some articles in the Cairo Declaration could be interpreted at odds with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 6a
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