Despite a continuing trend towards globalization, the world still consists of a number of independent sovereign nations. These nations consist of many different cultures, philosophies and levels of individualism and collectivism. These differences are often the cause of war, usually the result of one side trying to exert their control over the other. War takes a tremendous human toll. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights sets down a set of guidelines that that set forth a certain set of human rights to which every human is entitled. In theory, they are an excellent means to assure that the rights of all humans are preserved, but in reality, they raise many more questions than they answer. This research will explore these questions.
The idea of human rights is the result of many wars and struggles. The most widely accepted universal law is the right life, freedom, and security. One only has to consider the consequences of this concept to realize that human rights is a more complex issue than it would appear on the surface. The problem is that there are many difference versions of what these definitions mean. In general, industrialized nations are considered to be examples of the progress of human rights issues. One only has to go back to the 1960s to find the end of human rights violations in the United States. The Civil Rights Movement marked a major milestone in the promotion of civil rights in the United States.
The language in the UN Declaration may appear to be vague, but there are many cases upon which many agree. For instance, any act that mutilates a person’s body against their will for a cosmetic or nonmedical reason is now considered to be a human rights violation, even if the practice is embedded in an ancient culture. Many nations who have evolved in terms of human rights had to do so at the expense of long held social traditions. The global community has now become a self-policing judge and jury on the issue of human rights and what is considered to be a violation. Consensus provides a viable means of enforcement. Nations now have standards and examples against which to judge alleged violations. These standards will help to define what constitutes a violation and what does not.
Slavery, human trafficking, and the execution of children are now considered to be abominable violations of human rights. These acts directly affect the person’s right to life, liberty, and security. The international community must take action through sanctions or through direct intervention if a country is found to have these acts within their boundaries. The International community should do so without regard to the type of government structure or society that permits such acts.
Human rights violations affect the ability to have a peaceful global community due to the presence of conflict when one group tries to gain dominion over another one. When human rights violations threaten the ability of a person to exist or feel safe, then the global community has an obligation to act on it. To ignore the problem is to condone and encourage it. Technology has made the world a more connected place than in the past. As such, activities within the borders of the nations are no longer unseen by the global community.
The world has an obligation to protect every other human being on earth. This means that certain nations and groups of people will have to give up cultural traditions that violate human rights. They can still retain other parts of their culture and keep their cultural identity in more positive ways. What the nations are being asked to sacrifice in the name of human rights is not what defines them. It is only small portion of who they are. This is the essence of creating a fair human rights policy in the global community.