Human Rights Master Essay

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The concept of human rights, equality and the respect for the rights of the cultural minority stands as one of the most pervasive liberal ideal. Liberalists have not only proliferated these ideals during the previous century, proponents of the discipline have also witnessed the flourishing of liberal principles enshrined in various UN conventions especially in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, setting forth the principles which call for the respect for the rights and the preservation of cultures of minority groups.


As these principles aim to universalise the concept of 'human rights' under Western-centred traditions, many contend that these ideals do not bestow rights to cultural minorities at all to practice their own customs and traditions especially when some aspects of their culture 'violate' the principles of the 'universality of rights.' The supposed 'maltreatment' of women in some Islamic cultures for instance, especially those that practice 'fundamentalism' and view women as 'unequal' with men, becomes a predicament for the proponents of liberalism and its underlying dogma as this violates its egalitarian principles with regards gender. Other liberalists contend that human rights are universal and its ideals are evident in the cultures of the minority. Still, cultural relativists have criticised the UN Declaration as too ethnocentric - one which only strives to perpetuate Western democratic ideas of human rights and equality, focusing mainly on individuality. ...
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