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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was established by the UN on the 10th of December 1948, consisting of 30 articles describing civil, political, cultural, economic and social rights that “all human beings should enjoy”. Throughout the drafting of the Declaration, the West played a very significant role. John Humphrey (Canadian), Rene Cassin (French) and Eleanor Roosevelt (United States of America) were the main drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Yet important features were added by countries such as Lebanon, China and Chile and most “Non-Western” countries voted in favor of the Declaration. It can therefore be asserted that it really is “universal” because it included the “voice” of people from various different areas and cultures of the world.
The Declaration provides a standard towards which countries can be measured with regard to universally accepted human rights. These conditions laid out by the declaration are considered as the “minimum” for being able to lead a dignified life (that worthy of being a human being). Moreover, the Declaration can be considered fundamentally flawed as it only takes the position of a set of guidelines. Countries generally fall short of these guidelines or norms because of the idea of the right-bearer having an obligation towards the right-holder. These obligations are not always met because they are not “wanted” to be met, which is why the rights in themselves are so important for humanity.