Enforcement of Non-Universal Human Rights

Enforcement of Non-Universal Human Rights

There are some practices that are so abhorrent and degrading that they simply cannot be justified — ever.

Genocide will never be successfully defended with a human rights argument.

Rape cannot be justified on free-speech grounds”

Sullivan 2006 17).

Contemporary Human Rights Considerations

Throughout history, the outcry, “Never again!” against despicable human rights violations echoes, may reflect well-meaning intentions, however, in reality, frequently constitutes words without power. In the journal article, “The protection of human rights under international law: will the U.N. Human Rights Council and the emerging new norm “responsibility to protect” make a difference?,” Ved P. Nanda (2007) recounts historical accounts that he contends have contributed to positive changes relating to the international community’s focus regarding global international human rights issues. Nanda (2007) simultaneously describes numerous achievements: “in creating the essential norms, as well as the implementation machinery” (V1 3) as positive, yet “sorely lacking is the implementation and enforcement of those norms by states as the major actors that matter” (V1 3). According to Nanda (2007), ensuring that norms regarding to human rights are implemented and enforced constitutes a critical challenge for the world today.

No Matter Who or Where, Human Beings Deserve Basic Human Rights

Human beings, Nanda (2007) stresses, no matter who they are or where they live, deserve basic human rights. In addition, Nanda (2007) purports that a universal acceptance of the international law norm exists: “that human rights of all, irrespective of their sex, race, ethnicity, religion, language, social status, or political preferences and affiliations, must be protected and secured” II 3).

Human rights protections, albeit, as the UN Charter relates in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Bill of Rights, along with affirmations in a number of numerous treaties, too often rather than challenging realities, contradict the global reality of human rights violations.

Sickening, sadistic systematic human rights violations, which frequently include: “genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, are an everyday occurrence in so many parts of the world” (II 3).

Examples of atrocious violations of human rights include:

The killing fields of Cambodia, the genocides in Rwanda and Darfur, and severe violations of human rights in several other countries including Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Congo, constantly remind us that the world community has yet to institute effective mechanisms to prevent and deter these shameful blots on humanity. Nor are there adequate means available to stop these tragedies once they unfold.

Nanda 2007 II 4)

Global Problem

In consideration of this global problem, a contemporary anomaly, with the potential to adversely affect every person: with a number of norms stipulating specific strategies to challenge these acts; with states confirming specific strategies, and yet with the contemporary, continuing systematic implementations of atrocities and violations blatantly disregarding these norms across the globe, questions regarding the interconnections between universal human rights and global governance concepts particularly began to concern this researcher.

In light of current contradicting considerations regarding non-universal human rights and universal human rights, the idea for a study exploring components contributing to this critical concern evolved. Consequently, the thesis for this research effort purports: Although the UN Declaration contends that society defines an individual’s human rights, at times as human rights may at times conflict with universal societal norms, and consequently non-universal human rights (cultural dependent) may ultimately mandate that international regimes advocate their enforcement.

What are a number of human rights violations that currently merit considerations?

Why components contribute to the determination of whether a human right constitutes a non-universal or universal human right?

What factors may mandate that international regimes advocate the enforcement of human rights?

Contemporary International Nations’ Inadequacy to Ensure Human Rights

The problem of adequately assuring human rights, along with a dearth of political will and/or power relates to their universal or culturally relativity. One underlying cause for human rights violations relates to the world’s contemporary, “state-centered international system, under which each state jealously guards its sovereignty and often invokes the doctrine of non-intervention in its internal affairs” (Nanda 2007 II 5). Neither geography or political systems determine human rights existence, however, the survival of human rights, as well as, an individual, whose “life” may at times hinge on these rights being sustained, often need international governments to confirm and protect them. By their nature, Collin Sullivan (2006), a Senior political science and international studies major, explains in a column, “Cultural relativism not an argument for abhorrent practices”: “Human rights, simply by their nature, are universal ( 11).

Statement of the Problem

The problem for this study relates to the determination of when international agencies should intervene to enforce individuals’ human rights. Controversy often encompasses the identification of human rights, particularly when a certain culture contends that their societal practices do not constitute abuse of their citizens’ human rights. The challenge exists, nevertheless, to identify when the proclaimed cultural practices do constitute universal human rights abuse, and conflict with universal societal norms. In light of this contemporary challenge, this report their four explores the problem of times when non-universal human rights (cultural dependent) may ultimately mandate that international regimes advocate their enforcement.

Significance of the Study

The subject of international or global entities enforcing non-universal human rights not only interests, but concerns this researcher for various reasons, which include, but are not limited to the following:

The general concept of human rights intrigues this researcher.

The study of this particular search it presents the opportunity to attach some normative and practical meaning from this researcher’s personal point-of-view.

The possibility of universal rights, if they can be righteous, especially appeals to this researcher.

This study affords this researcher the means to ultimately confirmed personal perceptions regarding the right of the individual vs. The society.

As this researcher’s point-of-view stands out from the UN Declaration, this particular case study proves significant as it also allots this researcher the platform to confirm and/or discount current personal perceptions and ultimately present determinations from findings that may ultimately benefit others by:

Reason here Another reason

One more reason

Research Design and Methodology

This thesis, a qualitative study, utilizes the case study methodology, currently considered a credible strategy of research methodologies. During this study, this researcher initally surveyed more than 50 credible online sources to ultimately access and more closely explore approximately # here of these publications and Web sites.

Organization of the Thesis

The following four chapters constitute the body of the thesis:

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: A number of human rights violations which currently merit consideration

Chapter 3: Components contributing to the determination of whether a human right constitutes a non-universal or universal human right

Chapter 4: Factors which may mandate that international regimes advocate the enforcement of human rights

Chapter 5: Summary and Conclusions

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter one, which introduces this study’s problem relates a bit of history regarding this concern, along with the statement and significance of the problem, this study’s methodology, and the study’s organization.

Chapter 2: Human Rights Violations

Chapter two presents

Chapter 3: Determination of a Non-universal or Universal Human Right

Chapter three explores

Chapter 4: Factors Potentially Mandating International Regimes

Chapter four critically examines

Chapter 5: Summary and Conclusions

In addition to Chapter five’s recount and synopsis of relevant findings from researched information, this final chapter relates this researcher’s concluding thoughts. In addition, during this final chapter, this researcher

Entering this Study’s Next Phase

This researcher concurs with the contention Sullivan (2006) notes in the quote introducing this study, some human rights violations practiced in/by some cultures constitute practices that mandate interventions, if not by their own cultures, then perhaps international forces. Human rights theory draws principle from cultural relativism, albeit, but ultimately rests on the law of universalism. “Just because a government does not recognize or protect a particular right” ( 17), Sullivan (2006) stresses, does not mean that people who live under this government are not entitled to certain human rights. Determining when international agencies should intervene into which cultural practices that violate universal right, however, merits careful consideration.

As this researcher enters the next phase of this study to explore information, the quest to enhance this increased understanding will, in turn, contribute to confirming or disproving this study’s thesis: Although the UN Declaration contends that society defines an individual’s human rights, at times as human rights may at times conflict with universal societal norms, and consequently non-universal human rights (cultural dependent) may ultimately mandate that international regimes advocate their enforcement.


Human Rights Violations

Wherever there is a human being, see God-given rights inherent in that being, whatever may be the sex or complexion”

William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) (Bartlett 2000).

The second chapter of this study examines a number of human rights violations that currently merit considerations.

No Value System More Correct”? Sullivan (2006) purports that moral universalism suggests a number of moral standards exist: “by which all cultures and value systems may be judged” ( 10). This starkly contradicts the theory of cultural relativism, which contends that no one particular culture proves inherently superior to any other society. Cultural relativism contends that no one culture possesses a more correct value system than any other. “There is no one standard set of morals,” Sullivan (2006) argues, which one can use as a base to: “objectively judge all cultures, so comparing morality between cultures — which retain independent and distinct histories and influences — is basically futile” ( 9).

As the movement is rooted in the world community’s response to the excesses inflicted upon humanity by the Nazi and Fascist regimes during the Second World War, the founders of the United Nations ensured that the Charter would reflect the close relationship between international peace and security and international human rights. Thus, the first two goals embodied in the Preamble of the U.N. Charter are: “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war” and “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, the dignity and worth of the human person, [and] in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small….” Article 1 of the Charter lists among the purposes of the U.N. “[t]o achieve international co-operation in… promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.” (2) Nanda 2007 II 1)

Portrayals of Human Rights Violations

In” Globalization and Human Trafficking,” Jones, Engstrom, Hilliard, and Diaz (2007) purport that human trafficking mirrors one particularly repugnant portrayal of human rights violations. They contend that human trafficking could be perceived as one of globalization’s dark sides. When humans are sold for prostitution, to work in sweatshops, completing labor projects, to beg on streets, for completing domestic work, for marriage, for adoption, “agricultural work, construction, armed conflicts (child soldiers), and other forms of exploitive labor or services” ( 3), albeit these actions constitute the violation of universal human rights.

The following Daily Nebraskan newspaper article relating a recent case in an Atlanta, Georgia courthouse reveals some of the challenges the contemporary global cultural divide presents regarding human rights violations.

On Nov. 1, Khalid Adem, an Ethiopian immigrant, was sentenced to 10 years in a Georgian prison for aggravated battery and cruelty to children. By the listed charges, it would seem that he repeatedly beat his little girl, now 7.

In reality, prosecutors said Adem used scissors to remove his daughter’s clitoris. And while Georgia recently passed an anti-mutilation law — pushed through with the help of the girl’s mother — that law wasn’t on the books when the mutilation occurred.

Adem said that he never circumcised his daughter, and that he grew up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, and he considers the practice to be more common in rural areas.

While he hasn’t admitted guilt, Adem’s case highlights one of the world’s most culturally divisive practices, a topic of great debate within the human rights community.

Female genital mutilation, also known as female genital cutting or sometimes female circumcision, comes in numerous variations, but often involves cutting the clitoris from the female, usually young girls. This has various cultural justifications and implications, but is often intended as sexual damage-control.

Since the clitoris contains thousands of nerve endings, removing it can serve to moderate or completely dissolve a woman’s ability to experience sexual stimulation. This quells promiscuity and removes physical temptation, sometimes with intent to keep women “pure” until marriage. Hence, those on the receiving end of this brutal procedure tend to be young.

As the Daily Nebraskan’s audience is almost exclusively Western, it’s safe to suggest that readers are either still cringing or are now just plain disgusted. That’s because of our upbringing. An act as brutal as FGM — often performed with unsanitary and primitive objects like broken bottles, sticks or sharp rocks — can seem barbaric to those of us in the West.

Cultural anthropologists can explain this with the theory of cultural relativism. The idea is that no culture is inherently superior to another, no value system more correct. There is no one standard set of morals by which we can objectively judge all cultures, so comparing morality between cultures — which retain independent and distinct histories and influences — is basically futile.

This stands in stark contrast to the theory of moral universalism, which suggests that there are at least some moral standards by which all cultures and value systems may be judged. Murder, maybe they’ll say, or rape shan’t ever be justified with cultural arguments. Moral universalists look for values found consistently across cultures and identify them.

The theory of human rights takes principle from cultural relativism, but finally rests on the law of universalism. Human rights, simply by their nature, are universal. They do not rely on geography or political system for existence — they do, however, rely on governments and activists to promote and protect them. Just because a government does not recognize or protect a particular right does not mean the people are not entitled to it. (Sullivan 2006)

Sullivan (2006) purports that “…cutting a young girl’s clitoris will always be a repugnant act, whether in Ethiopia or Georgia. Cultural practices can be altered to include universal human rights and still honor tradition and local values. Human rights can never bow to culture alone” (18).

In the article, “Universal human rights and cultural diversity,” a review of the book, a Review of Human Rights: New Perspectives, New Realities, edited by Adamantia Pollis and Peter Schwab, Hilde Hey (2001), a political scientist who holds a Ph.D. from the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights, notes the progression of the contemporary controversy regarding human rights being deemed as universal or culturally relative. In 1947, Hey (2001 p, 17) recounts the Commission on Human Rights consideration of proposals to formulate a declaration on basic human rights. At this time, the American Anthropological Association argued that: “ideas about rights and wrongs and good and evil that exist in one society are incompatible with the ideas of rights and wrongs and good and evil in many other societies” (p. 17). Since the advent of this particular contention, however, the gap between those who advocate for universality and the individuals who proclaim the virtues of cultural relativism has narrowed. During 1993, the adoption of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action at the World Conference on Human Rights, initiated the integration of culture into the universality of human rights. Hey (2001 p, 17) points out that the fifth paragraph of the Vienna Declaration reads:

All human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated. The international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing, and with the same emphasis. While the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty of States, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms United Nations 1993(Hey (2001 p, 17)


Non-Universal or Universal Human Rights?

My country is the world;

my countrymen are mankind”

William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) (Bartlett 2000).

Garrison (Bartlett 2000), similar to Socrates, “said he was not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.”

During this chapter of this researcher considers components that contribute to the determination of whether a human right constitutes a non-universal or universal human right?

The “Cultural Critique.”

Li, Xiaorong (2007) a research scholar at the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park, author of numerous articles on international justice, human rights, ethics and democratization, also authored the book Ethics, Human Rights and Culture. In what she labels the “cultural critique,” published as “A cultural critique of cultural relativism.(Part III: Rethinking Culture: Globalization and the Challenges of Interculturality),” Xiaorong discusses contemporary debates denoting “the troubled relationship between culture, on the one hand, and the claim to universal moral principles, on the other”(Introduction 1) She specifically explores controversies, targeting truth-seeking labors to guard these universal principles. Xiaorong (2007) purports that when one carefully dissects traditional perceptions relating to culture, he/she begins to better comprehend particular misunderstandings that, in the past, proffered ammunition to cultural relativism. In addition, scrutinizing general conceptions regarding culture contributes to strengthening rational objections to normative cultural relativism.

The following chart (1) describes a number of fundamental rights the United Nations Population Fund UNFPA strives to ensure, along with some interventions this group initiates.

Human Rights

Establishing Agreement

Rights-Based Actions

Right to life and survival

UDHR, article 3

ICCPR, article 6

CRC, article 6

Prevent avoidable maternal deaths

End pre-natal sex selection and female infanticide

Screen for cancers that can be detected early and treated.

Ensure access to dual-protection contraceptive methods

Right to liberty and security of the person

UDHR, article 25

ICESCR, article 12

CEDAW. Articles 11, 12 and 14

Eliminate female genital cutting

Encourage clients to make independent reproductive health decisions

Right to marry and establish a family

CEDAW. Articles 11, 12 and 14

Prevent early or coerced marriages

Right to decide the number and spacing of one’s children

UDHR, article 12

ICCPR, article 17

ICESCR, article 10

CEDAW, article 16

CRC, article 16

Provide access to a range of modern contraceptive methods

Help people choose and use a family planning method

Right to the highest attainable standard of health

ICESCR, article 12

CEDAW, articles 12 and 14

CRC, article 24

Provide access to affordable, acceptable, and comprehensive reproductive health services

Rights to the benefits of scientific progress

UDHR, article 27

ICESCR, article 15

Fund research on women’s as well as men’s health needs

Provide access to obstetric care that can prevent maternal deaths

Right to receive and impart information

UDHR, article 19

ICCPR, article 19

CEDAW, articles 10, 14, 16

CRC, articles 12, 13 and 17

Make family planning information freely available

Offer sufficient information for people to make informed reproductive health decisions.

Figure 1: Rights UNFPA Strives to Support (Promoting Human Rights 2006)


Considerations Regarding the Implementation of Human Rights

You can not possibly have a broader basis for any government than that which includes all the people, with all their rights in their hands, and with an equal power to maintain their rights”

William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) (Bartlett 2000).

Need Intro Here the following table (1) compares two Regional Human Rights Instruments, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Arab Charter on Human Rights

Table 1: Comparison of the Banjul Charter and the Arab Charter on Human Rights

The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

The Arab Charter on Human Rights

Also known as the Banjul Charter, an international human rights instrument seeking to promote and protect human rights in the African continent.

Emerged in the framework of the Organisation of African Unity (since replaced by the African Union)

Adopted in 1986

Drafted on the basis of already existing regional instruments

Ratified by more than forty African states

The most widely accepted regional convention.

Adopted in its original version by the Arab League in 1994, but never ratified by states.

Widely criticized at adoption as failing to meet international human rights standards.

Efforts were made to modernize the text through a revised Charter adopted in January 2004.

Only Jordan and Tunisia have ratified the revised Charter (requires 7 ratifications to enter into force).

A additional states have signed it, but not ratified.

A unique in the sense that it covers both economic, social and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights.

Thus different from both the European and the American Conventions which follow a more traditional methodology.

Covers third generation rights.

Gives importance to the assumption that a person has duties as well as rights in the community.

A revised Charter a substantial improvement on the original document, especially on issues such as state of emergency, fair trial, slavery, sexual violence, disability and trafficking.

Some provisions in the new Charter are still inconsistent with international human rights law, eg: provisions for death penalties for minors.

A right to life derogated in states of emergency.

A no mention of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, although torture is prohibited.


Overseen by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights set up in 1987.

Later the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights was created – a regional court that rules on African Union states’ compliance with the African Charter.

In January 2006, the African Union elected the first judges of the African Court and it had its first meeting in July 2006.

New Charter creates a monitoring mechanism, similar to the Human Rights Committee.

Adoption of the revised Charter paves the way to the creation of a regional human rights mechanism for the Arab states, once the Charter comes into force.

The American Convention on Human Rights

The following relates information regarding the American Convention on Human Rights:

According to the Preamble of the Convention, the purpose of is “to consolidate in this hemisphere, within the framework of democratic institutions, a system of personal liberty and social justice based on respect for the essential rights of man.” Part I of the Convention establishes the State’s obligations to respect the rights and freedoms recognized therein, and its duty to adopt such legislative and other measures as may be necessary to give effect to those rights or freedoms. Part II establishes the means of protection through the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. (“American Convention” 1969)

The American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man

This researcher considers the following segment of the American Convention on Human Rights, the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, particularly relevant to this study’s focus:

The American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man

The American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man adopted during the Ninth International Conference of American States held in May 1948 is the first international instrument of its type, as it was adopted several months prior to the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The American Declaration constituted “the initial system of protection considered by the American States as being suited to the present social and juridical conditions, not without a recognition on their part that they should increasingly strengthen that system in the international field as conditions become more favorable.” Another paragraph in the introduction states that “the essential rights of man are not derived from the fact that he is a national of a certain state, but are based upon attributes of his human personality.” The American States thus acknowledge that when the State legislates in this area, it is neither creating nor granting rights. Instead, it is recognizing rights that existed before the State was ever created and that flow from the very nature of the human person.

Both the Inter-American Court and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights have held that, although originally adopted as a declaration and not as a legally binding treaty, the American Declaration is today a source of international obligations for the OAS member States.

It is also important to indicate that, in addition to its preamble, the Declaration consists of 38 articles spelling out the protected rights and the corresponding duties. The Declaration is a catalogue of civil and political rights, as well as economic, social and cultural rights. (“The American Declaration” 2008)

The following section of this study presents excerpts from the American Convention on Human Rights (See Appendix a for full version):

American Convention on Human Rights, O.A.S.Treaty Series No. 36, 1144 U.N.T.S. 123, entered into force July 18, 1978, reprinted in Basic Documents Pertaining to Human Rights in the Inter-American System, OEA/Ser.L.V/II.82 doc.6 rev.1 at 25 (1992).


The American states signatory to the present Convention,

Reaffirming their intention to consolidate in this hemisphere, within the framework of democratic institutions, a system of personal liberty and social justice based on respect for the essential rights of man;

Recognizing that the essential rights of man are not derived from one’s being a national of a certain state, but are based upon attributes of the human personality, and that they therefore justify international protection in the form of a convention reinforcing or complementing the protection provided by the domestic law of the American states;

Considering that these principles have been set forth in the Charter of the Organization of American States, in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and that they have been reaffirmed and refined in other international instruments, worldwide as well as regional in scope;

Reiterating that, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ideal of free men enjoying freedom from fear and want can be achieved only if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his economic, social, and cultural rights, as well as his civil and political rights; and Considering that the Third Special Inter-American Conference (Buenos Aires, 1967) approved the incorporation into the Charter of the Organization itself of broader standards with respect to economic, social, and educational rights and resolved that an inter-American convention on human rights should determine the structure, competence, and procedure of the organs responsible for these matters,

Have agreed upon the following: PART I – STATE OBLIGATIONS and RIGHTS PROTECTED


Article 1: Obligation to Respect Rights – Article 2: Domestic Legal Effects (See Appendix a)


Article 3 – Article 25 (See Appendix a)


Article 26 – Article 31 (See Appendix a)


Article 32 – Article 50 (See Appendix a)


Section 1. Organization

Article 52 – Article 82 (See Appendix a) (“The American Declaration” 2008)

The Human Rights Education Associates

The Human Rights Education Associates (HREA), an international non-governmental organization, supports:

human rights learning;

the training of activists and professionals;

the development of educational materials and programming; and community-building through online technologies. (About us 2008

According to the Human Rights Education Associates (HREA), 62 representatives from EU member states drafted the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union in June 1999. The goal for the Charter was to encompass “all rights pertaining to the EU’s citizens, including those rights based in the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Social Charter, two treaties of the Council of Europe” (Charter of Fundamental Rights 2008). Due to a disagreement among member states, albeit, the Charter was not adopted as a treaty. The European Parliament and the Commission, however, recommended the Charter be incorporated into the EU Treaty. The Charter’s Preamble recounts that it aims: “to strengthen the protection of fundamental rights in the light of changes in society, social progress and scientific and technological developments by making those rights more visible in a Charter” (Charter of Fundamental Rights 2008). The Charter “guarantees rights, included in the following six categories:

dignity, freedom, equality, solidarity, citizens’ rights, and justice. (Charter of Fundamental Rights 2008)

The following portrays information relates excerpts from the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union:

Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms as amended by Protocol No. 11

Rome, 4.XI.1950

The text of the Convention had been amended according to the provisions of Protocol No. 3 (ETS No. 45), which entered into force on 21 September 1970, of Protocol No. 5 (ETS No. 55), which entered into force on 20 December 1971 and of Protocol No. 8 (ETS No. 118), which entered into force on 1 January 1990, and comprised also the text of Protocol No. 2 (ETS No. 44) which, in accordance with Article 5, paragraph 3 thereof, had been an integral part of the Convention since its entry into force on 21 September 1970. All provisions which had been amended or added by these Protocols are replaced by Protocol No. 11 (ETS No. 155), as from the date of its entry into force on 1 November 1998. As from that date, Protocol No. 9 (ETS No. 140), which entered into force on 1 October 1994, is repealed and Protocol No. 10 (ETS No. 146) has lost its purpose.

The governments signatory hereto, being members of the Council of Europe,

Considering the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10th December 1948;

Considering that this Declaration aims at securing the universal and effective recognition and observance of the Rights therein declared;

Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is the achievement of greater unity between its members and that one of the methods by which that aim is to be pursued is the maintenance and further realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms;

Reaffirming their profound belief in those fundamental freedoms which are the foundation of justice and peace in the world and are best maintained on the one hand by an effective political democracy and on the other by a common understanding and observance of the human rights upon which they depend;

Being resolved, as the governments of European countries which are like-minded and have a common heritage of political traditions, ideals, freedom and the rule of law, to take the first steps for the collective enforcement of certain of the rights stated in the Universal Declaration,

Have agreed as follows:

Article 1 – Obligation to respect human rights

Section I – Rights and freedoms

Article 2 – Right to life

Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.

Article 3 – Prohibition of torture

No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 4 – Prohibition of slavery and forced labour

No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.

Article 5 – Right to liberty and security

Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law…. (Charter of Fundamental Rights 2008)

German Human Rights

Approximately 82 million citizens live in Germany, a constitutional parliamentary democracy. Individuals in Germany “periodically choose their representatives in free and fair multiparty elections” (“German Human Rights” 2007 1). The Federal Parliament (Bundestag) elects the Chancellor, who officially heads Germany’s federal government. Members of the state governments constitute the Federal Council (Bundesrat), Germany’s second legislative chamber, which represents the 16 federal level states. “The Basic Law (constitution) sets forth the powers of the Chancellor and of the legislative branch. The most recent national elections for the Federal Parliament took place in September 2005. Civilian authorities generally maintained effective control of the security forces” (“German Human Rights” 2007 1). Although the German government reportedly respected its citizens human rights, numerous reports of prisoners and police detainees human rights violations have been reported. In addition, violations of rights, including “freedom of speech, press, assembly, and association aimed at groups deemed extremist” (“German Human Rights” 2007 2) have been noted.

Reports and complaints also relate instances of extremists engaging in intimidation during the election process, as well as:.”..governmental and societal discrimination against some minority religious groups; and cases of societal harassment of asylum seekers and other foreigners occurred. Violence against women, trafficking in persons, and harassment of racial minorities were problems” (“German Human Rights” 2007 2). The following presents excerpts and a number of comments relating to Germany’s declaration of human rights:


Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom From:

a. Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life

There were no reports that the government or its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings.

b. Disappearance

There were no reports of politically motivated disappearances.

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

The law prohibits such practices, and there were no reports that government officials employed them. Investigations of earlier instances of alleged abuse continued.

In 2004 prosecutors indicted 18 army instructors on charges of degrading treatment of subordinates in Coesfeld. In December 2005 the Muenster Regional Court refused to begin trials involving nine of them, citing lack of evidence. However, the Higher Regional Court in Hamm reversed the Muenster Regional Court’s decision and ruled in August that all 18 instructors must stand trial. The trials had not begun by year’s end.

There were a number of violent attacks by right-wing groups on members of minority groups, foreigners, and political opponents (see sections 3 and 5).

Prison and Detention Center Conditions

Prison conditions generally met international standards, and the government permitted visits by independent human rights observers. However, one reported incident and conditions in some facilities were causes for concern.

In February an interim report of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) of the Council of Europe criticized conditions at prisons in Hamburg, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein, and Thuringia. According to the report, none of the inspected prisons had adequate staffing or facilities. The report criticized “dirty and seedy cells,” “systematic censorship of correspondence,” and a lack of television sets and books. Addressing the CPT’s allegations, the speaker of the Hamburg justice ministry referred to financial constraints and stated that the cited conditions affected only a few detainees.

The authorities continued to investigate the January 2005 death of a detained asylum seeker, Oury Jalloh, from Sierra Leone. The death occurred during a fire in a jail cell in the state of Saxony-Anhalt. The state district attorney’s office charged officers on duty with involuntary manslaughter. Court proceedings against one police officer were scheduled to begin in March 2007 at the Dessau Regional Court. Authorities had not decided whether a second officer would have to face court proceedings.

d. Arbitrary Arrest or Detention

The law prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention, and the government generally observed these prohibitions.

Role of the Police and Security Apparatus

Police forces are organized at the state level.

Allegations of corruption were rare.

Arrest and Detention

An individual may be arrested only on the basis of a warrant issued by a competent judicial authority unless the suspect is caught in the act of committing a crime or the police have strong reason to believe that the individual intends to commit a crime…. Police may detain known or suspected radicals for brief periods when they believe such individuals intend to participate in illegal or unauthorized demonstrations.

Although criminals may not be punished twice for the same crime, the law allows “retroactive preventive detention”

Bail exists but was employed infrequently; authorities usually released detainees unless there was clear danger that the detainee might flee the country, in which case a detainee could be held for the duration of the investigation and subsequent trial.

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial

The law provides for an independent judiciary, and the government generally respected this provision in practice.

Trial Procedures

The law provides for the right to a fair trial.

Military courts include one civilian judge and two lay judges. Appeals of their rulings go to the civilian court system.

Political Prisoners and Detainees

There were no reports of political prisoners or detainees. (“German Human Rights” 2007)

Human Rights Education Associates, Inc.

As the human rights education field matures and a for supplies, which according to the Katharine Teleki (2007) in the initial issue of HREA’s Research in Human Rights Education Papers Series, Human rights training for adults: what twenty-six evaluation studies say about design, implementation and follow-up, can potentially impact the promotion of the global human rights movement, more definite recommendations need to be developed and implemented to further ensure individuals retain their universal human rights. The following recommendations purport to improve the quality of human rights training programs “at the stages of design, implementation, follow-up an evaluation” (2007 Abstract):

Programs need to more consistently deliver the interactive, experiential and transformative adult education methodologies that they all agree are essential to affective human rights training.

Programs need to emphasize comprehensive mechanisms to follow-up with participants after the formal training program is complete.

Program should explore how they might carry out reliable and comprehensive research and documentation of their work as the field as a whole lacks solid longitudinal evalualuation data of the long-term impact of human rights training on participants. (Teleki 2007 Abstract)

Teleki (2007) purports that “human rights education is a relatively young field, rooted in the promotion of human rights standards set forth in the universal declaration of human rights and international treaties” (p. 5).

As the UN increasingly emphasizes human rights education “as a strategy to prevent human rights violations into Foster respect for human rights as well as the aims and goals of the work of the United Nations” (p. 5), Teleki (2007) contends, the need for training in this area simultaneously grows. Teleki (2007) contends that the development of “a common language” (p. 11) will her ensure genuine participation, as well as facilitate clear communications to/from individuals and institutions.

From their training, participants should gain an action plan and knowledge of available resources, while they, consequently are to be perceived as resources with skills and expertise that others tap into to challenge human rights violations.


Summary and Conclusion

Death is not the only way to lose your life”

Customs and border protection” 2008, 1).




B.some practices that are so abhorrent and degrading that they simply cannot be justified — ever.

1.recount of practices

2.what abhorrent, degrading practices mandate


A no one standard set of morals,” Sullivan (2006) argues, which one can use as a base to: “objectively judge all cultures, so comparing morality between cultures — which retain independent and distinct histories and influences — is basically futile” ( 9).

Recount these quotes at end of study:

Death is not the only way to lose your life”

Customs and border protection” 2008, 1).

There are some practices that are so abhorrent and degrading that they simply cannot be justified — ever.

Genocide will never be successfully defended with a human rights argument.

Rape cannot be justified on free-speech grounds”

Sullivan 2006 17).

To help ensure that “never again” will perhaps one day mean more than an empty slogan, this researcher

(Nanda 2007 II 3)

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