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U.N Declaration on Human Rights.

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David Jackson Interpretation Essay U.N Declaration on Human Rights What are human rights? Human rights usually refer to those rights that society has agreed are fundamental to people everywhere, such as the right to life, the right to live without oppression, and the right to equal freedom of opportunity. Until World War II it was up to each country to decide what rights to grant its citizens but in 1948 the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).This for the first time formally outlined what huma rights were.There has been disagreement about what constitutes a human right since the signing of the Universal Declaration in 1948. The West stressed the importance of civil and political rights like the right to choose a government, freedom of expression, conscience and belief. But the Communist bloc gave priority to economic, social and cultural rights, such as the right to work, housing and access to health care. Are human rights really universal? The Vienna Declaration of 1993 stated: "All human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated... While the significance of national and regional peculiarities 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." ...read more.


The UN's most well known recent activities dealing with human rights are the two International Criminal Tribunals held to bring to justice those responsible for the horrible acts of violence committed during the recent civil wars in the Balkans and Rwanda.The tribunal for crimes committed in Balkans was set up by the UN's Security Council in 1993. The following year the council started the Rwanda tribunal in 1994.Presently in Sierra Leone and another propsed for Cambodia in 2004. They are the first international war crimes trials since the Nuremberg Trials for Nazi war criminals. Although the tribunals were established by the Security Council, they operated independently of the UN. Another more serious problem was the inability to arrest suspects in countries that do not recognize the treaties brought in by the UN as valid. The Yugoslav tribunal indicted 75 people for war crimes and genocide, including the top military and political leaders of the Serb forces in Bosnia and a high officer in the Croatian militia in Bosnia but neither Serbia nor the Bosnian Serb forces have turned over suspects. The international military forces in Bosnia have also refused to arrest them. In 1997 the tribunal had only a handful of low-ranking suspects to actually bring to trial. Impact Many critics of the UN claim that the International Declaration Of Human rights has had very little real impact on infringements to any of the rights outlined ...read more.


The work of the General Assembly, the universal organ of the States Members of the United Nations, should be revitalized. The Security Council should, be expanded and its working methods continue to be reviewed in a way that will further strengthen its capacity and effectiveness, enhance its representative character and improve its working efficiency and transparency; as important differences on key issues continue to exist, further in-depth consideration of these issues is required. The role of the Economic and Social Council should be strengthened to enable it to carry out effectively, in the modern age, the tasks it has been assigned with respect to the well-being and standards of life of all people. These and other changes, within the United Nations system, should be made if we are to ensure that the U.N declaration is to be relevent and continue to be so in every sense of the word.I think the declaration was a good well timed,thought out idea ,it established for the first time what are human rights ,although it might not be perfect and not pro active it does maintain and in some cases change improve things for humans. Sources and reading : http://www.amnesty.org/ailib/intcam/unchr50/d2_hr.htm Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples <http://www.unhchr.ch/huridocda/huridoca.nsf/2848af408d01ec0ac1256609004e770b/e4fc6deeafb3b06c802566cf003bea67?OpenDocument> http://allafrica.com/stories/200312050824.html http://abcasiapacific.com/news/stories/asiapacific_stories_1005222.htm U.N Universal Declaration of Human Rights http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html Fifty Years After the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights:Cause for Celebration or Concern http://www.wcl.american.edu/hrbrief/spring98/html/50ann.html http://www.towardfreedom.com/1998/nov98/thussu.htm http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/1678895.stm http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/human_rights/doc/50th_decl_98.htm http://www.quotesandsayings.com/undec50.htm David Jackson Interpretation Essay U.N Declaration on Human Rights ...read more.

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