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Are Human Rights Universal? By Mayurakshi Sarkar at Lexcliq

 Are Human Rights Universal? By Mayurakshi Sarkar at Lexcliq

A theorist's interpretation of human rights depends on their understanding of moral

obligation, international law, and their relationship in international relations. It is a

philosophical argument about whether or if human rights are universal, and how widely

acknowledged and appreciated they are. The issue becomes much more difficult when values

from various philosophies are translated into practical politics. In a world of varied cultures

and political beliefs, trying to universalize human rights can be difficult and confusing. With

respect to both national obligation and the link between respect for sovereignty and moral

justification for intervention, progress has been made in codifying human rights duties at the

international level.

To make human rights universal in practise, proof must be supplied of their availability as

well as accessibility. This distinction is critical in international relations because it determines

whether infractions are a topic for international discussion or must remain largely domestic.

This essay will analyse the extent to which human rights are universal within an international

framework that strives to balance moral obligation with respect for variety and national


However, several views challenge cosmopolitanism by questioning the universality of human

rights. These ideas stem from a different understanding of rights, claiming that humans do not

inherit rights simply by being human. They get them as members of a community.

Communitarianism is a powerful branch of this political philosophy. That is, fundamental

inequalities in moral norms, values, and world views exist among groups. Because of these

cultural variances, it is hard to develop a definitive list of rights that apply to all. The perils of

universalising morality trump any good intentions that are ‘incompatible with a commitment

to human rights'.

The relationship of states is essential to the topic of universal human rights. This relationship

has altered tremendously in terms of culture, economics, immigration, and justice. Inevitably,

this has influenced human rights conception and implementation. Globalisation has increased

economic interdependence, causing global problems that require global solutions. As a result

of globalisation, NGOs now occupy a ‘considerable institutional space' as governments

restructure to reflect new global solutions. Transnational decision-making processes are

progressively taking precedence over national decision-making processes, causing a decrease

in state power.

The importance of NGOs has tremendous effects on maximising worldwide human rights

accessibility. NGOs can help reduce border significance, thereby lowering the extent to

which internal variables allow human rights abuses. This is most visible in Latin America

during periods of violence and violation. In Uruguay, for example, NGOs pushed hard for

truth commissions, demonstrating their power to override any impunity imposed by regimes

that violate human rights. Both universal jurisdiction and the emergence of NGOs work

together to hold offenders accountable without jeopardising the international order. Borzutzsy

notes that Pinochet's detention in London "stimulated the human rights NGOs." This means

that as globalisation accelerates, NGOs should become more effective, increasing access to

human rights and enhancing their universality.

Sovereignty, fairness and accountability are fundamental concepts in international relations.

Human rights abuses are not foreseeable, as demonstrated in Latin America. On the extent of

universality of human rights, philosophers are split by their conceptions of justice and

accountability. In reality, however, human rights are far from universal, as they are only

occasionally accessible to particular states. Because of this disparity, the international

community should address it. This could be accomplished in two ways. This will prevent

states from prioritising their own interests before protecting human rights. Notably, the role

of human rights NGOs is expanding as universal jurisdiction is accepted globally. As for

promoting human rights, states must acknowledge their moral responsibility to do so and

transfer their economic interdependence into humanitarianism. In order to promote human

rights, they must allow human rights to play a role in inter-state interactions. Any claims to

universal human rights will be severely damaged if states continue to ignore tragedies like

those in Latin America.


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