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A letter to the United Nations commission on human rights

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  1. Introduction
  2. American anthropological association's statement on human rights
  3. Edward Burnett Tylor's definition
  4. The conflicting ideas on how much cultural relativism should play part in shaping universal human rights
  5. The Makah tribe
  6. Conclusion
  7. Citations

This is a letter asking you to consider the long-standing whaling conflict around the Makah tribe, in Northwest United States, as a human rights violation. The case has the potential to greatly impact the day-to-day lives of many Makah people, and to determine the continuation of a significant cultural expression. I urge you to please carefully consider the enormity of the matter and its potential results.

[...] On a separate note to the Makah tribe, it is recommended that you submit your letter to the Inter-American court of human rights rather than the United Nations commission on Human rights. This is because the United Nations commission tends to look at cases that have consistent and a large amount of violation such as torture, disappearance and religious liberty (Donnelly 129). Meaning, little attention will be given to your case as it doesn't involve the list above. On the other hand the Inter-American counsel responds to state inquires, develops awareness of human rights, and, at times, observes the situation going on at the region of concern (Donnelly 141). [...]

[...] And it is up to the UN human rights commission to step in and stop this bullying. As Edward Burnett Tylor- a cultural evolutionist-defines it, culture is a complex whole that includes beliefs, morals, customs, and arts among other things acquired by man as a member of society (Tylor 1). The deep connection the Makah people have with whaling for a long time, and the continuation of the custom from generation to generation reflects Tylor's definition of culture. And as article of the Universal declaration of Human rights states ?Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits?. [...]

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