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The universal human rights concept has its roots in western political thought, so can we say that it applies to all human beings?

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Human beings' want to claim their rights as a will to liberate themselves.
    1. Magna Carta: A text preventing men from being punished without legal reasons.
  3. Declaration of Human Rights and of Citizens.
    1. It's universal character.
    2. The first declaration without religious references.
  4. The struggle and necessity for the recognition of individual rights.
  5. The Universal Declaration and the notion of democracy.
  6. Writing the Declaration led by John Humphrey.
    1. A common standard of achievement for all peoples.
  7. The Bangkok Declaration of 1993.
  8. Banjul Charter on Human and People's rights.
    1. Emphasis on collective rights.
    2. Economic and social rights.
    3. Political and civil rights.
  9. A common set of rights.
  10. Conclusion.
  11. Bibliography.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Bordersthose are some of the many non-governmental organisations (NGOs) around the world based on the protection of human rights. Given they are international organisations, does it mean human rights are universal, i.e. they apply to everyone? The first step to answer this question would be to refer to the foundations of the universal concept. We might think of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, in 1948) as a main source, but in fact the notion of universal human rights is much older. With a flashback in the history of human rights theories, it is then possible to point out the problem of a relative Western conception of rights presumably applying to everyone. This peculiarity has been underlined through the doctrine of cultural relativity. More than fifty years after the vote of the Declaration, raise some delicate questions: can we go as far as to say that the Declaration of Human Rights is as universal as it pretends? The world is a gathering of states whose cultures and history are different, so how can a common ideal applied to them without destroying their specificities? Is it in the world interest to spread a similar way of life and thought? "The man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains" wrote Rousseau, a French philosopher of the XVIIIth century, in his book Du Contrat Social (The Social Contract). Actually human beings have, for ages, wanted to claim their rights as a will to liberate themselves.

[...] Encyclopaedia Encarta, section ?John Locke'. Eude, AsbjØrn and Alfredson, Gudmundur (1992) ?Introduction'. In The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: a commentary. Scandinavian University Press. Page 11 (Chap part C). Badinter, Robert (1998) Dossier : La Déclaration Universelle a 50 ans [Translation : File : The Universal Declaration is 50 years-old]. Paris : Hommes et Libertés. Page 17. Eude, AsbjØrn and Alfredson, Gudmundur (1992) ?Introduction'. In The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: a commentary. Scandinavian University Press. Page 11 (Chap.2, part [...]


[...] From which one concludes that non-governmental organisations defending human rights or for example the European Court of Human Rights are fundamental, as long as reports show the continuation of acts such as segregation by caste, death penalty or stoning Bibliography Alleton, Viviane Dossier : La Déclaration Universelle a 50 ans [Translation : File : The Universal Declaration has 50 years old] (Paris : Hommes et Libertés, 1998). Dunne, Tim; Wheeler, Nicholas J., eds, Human rights in global politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). [...]


[...] Universal Declaration of Human Rights : Gandini, Jean-Jacques (1998). Les droits de l'homme [Translation : The human rights]. Paris : Librio. Page 54. http://www.ina.fr/voir_revoir/droits_homme/itv_cassin.fr.htlm (interview : the 13th of December of 1948). Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Gandini, Jean-Jacques (1998). Les droits de l'homme [Translation : The human rights]. Paris : Librio. Page 54). Eude, AsbjØrn and Alfredson, Gudmundur (1992) ?Introduction'. In The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: a commentary. Scandinavian University Press. Page 10 (chap part B). http://www.droitshumains.org/Biblio/Text_fondat/DesDroits.htm (first paragraph). Möller, Jakob Th. [...]

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