Week 1 Discussion
Please, answer ONE of the following.
1.) Which of the Human Rights Acts do you find the most important? Please explain.
2.) What is the largest challenge facing international human rights protection today? Has globalization and technology increased awareness and protection? Or, has the development of international trade led to greater levels of exploitation?
In my humble opinion, when talking about the Human Rights Acts, I believe the most important is Article 15.
Which states that “1. Everyone has the right to a nationality. 2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality. The reason for this is because Nationality, as well as our spiritual beliefs for example, is a part of our identity and our way of being. Our nationality can explain who we are, why we do things, and what we fight for. We our not limited to just a “legal” nationality because of birth, nor can we not be limited to our choices of nationality due to race and religion. This Act gives us a right to be the people that we truly are and express ourselves better.
I find The Universal Declaration of Human Rights the most important. It laid the modern framework for the liberal west’s interpretation of human rights and successfully enabled a century-plus long expansion of human rights that translated into historic levels of freedom of speech, guarantee of liberty, and other fundamental human rights across the world.
This ties into the second question – what is the largest challenge facing international human rights protection today. As the world order shifts away from one organized around the west towards a multipolar one organized around different power centers, some of which do not espouse western liberalism and democracy but instead authoritarianism, the continued expansion of human rights is threatened, especially in regards to protecting minorities. This trend goes hand-in-hand with mounting global populism, which tends to leverage xenophobia and nationalism to cement itself.
Although difficult to single out one, it is my personal opinion that Article 10: Freedom of Expression is the most important. If applied, this Article protects our individual right to hold our own opinions and express them aloud, whether it be through social media, public protest, or published articles. Further, it allows those around us to do the same – presenting different perspectives of the same topic(s). To be able to learn from others and their belief systems, as well as express your own, is vital in order to create an open dialogue and incite change. Through this Article, we have the ability to stand up for what we believe in, and push those in power to make a change.