Human Rights Between Universalism and Cultural Relativism

An essay by Antonio Stango published on Chorzowskie Studia Polityczne / Chorzowskie Studies in Politics, Nr. 7, 2014

Stango_Human_Rights_Between_Universalism_and_Cultural_Relativism_on_Polish_Academic_Journal_CSP_7_2014

Summary. There is a serious discrepancy between formal and actual observance of International Law of human rights, and this is often masked as “regional approach”. Several governments claim to apply universal standards by their own particular methods, pretending this is consistent and required by any regional, local or religious tradition; but no tradition should be used as a justification to authoritarianism and abuse. Meanwhile, large scale migrations urgently need from the host states to strengthen their capacity to ensure equal rights for each individual, independently from his or her native country or ethnic, religious, or other most familiar community. Acceptance of sectarianism would imply different levels of human rights protection within the same state – which, in essence, means the denial of rights. Strengthening international law by progressively reducing the areas of misapplication under “regional approach” is key to avoiding this phenomenon.

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