Human Rights

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By Shelley Wright

Protecting a various variety of issues, case reviews and theories, the writer undertakes a critique of the valuable assumptions on which the prevailing overseas human rights regime has been built. She argues that the decolonization of human rights, and the construction of an international group that's conducive to the healthiness of all people, would require a thorough restructuring of our methods of considering, discovering and writing. In contributing to this restructuring she brings jointly feminist and indigenous techniques in addition to postmodern and post-colonial scholarship, attractive without delay with the various triumphing orthodoxies, comparable to 'universality', 'the individual', 'self-determination', 'cultural relativism', 'globalization' and 'civil society'.

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Extra resources for International Human Rights, Decolonisation, Globalisation: Becoming Human (Routledge Studies in International Law, 3)

Sample text

Romulo of the Philippines and Alex P. Pavlov of the Soviet Union (Buckingham 1999: 28; Waltz 2001: 57–61). The hope was to reach as wide a consensus as possible and this seems to have been achieved with the exception of the Eastern bloc. It should not go unnoticed, however, that most of the principal drafters were male. It was mainly a few determined women in delegations from the developing world and smaller nations, such as Hansa Mehta of India or Jessie Street of Australia, who pursued issues of sex discrimination within the UN at this time (Waltz 2001: 63–64).

For Kant, the dignity and worth of human beings stems from the internal autonomy of subjects who are ‘ends in themselves’ rather White man’s rights 33 than means to some external end. This internal unified subjectivity is the quality of all rational beings. It means that each individual is unique and priceless as a matter of moral certitude. Thus virtue [Sittlichkeit], and humanity to the extent that it is capable of it, is that which alone has dignity. Skill and diligence in work have a market price.

It was mainly a few determined women in delegations from the developing world and smaller nations, such as Hansa Mehta of India or Jessie Street of Australia, who pursued issues of sex discrimination within the UN at this time (Waltz 2001: 63–64). The Declaration went through extensive discussions and revisions before reaching a vote in the General Assembly plenary session on 10 December (under the warmly supportive chairmanship of Australia’s H. V. Evatt). From the first drafting or ‘nuclear’ committee of the newly formed UN Human Rights Commission, to the full Commission (both under the guidance of Eleanor Roosevelt), and finally to the Third Committee of the General Assembly the debate included all member-states of the UN (Waltz 2001).

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