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Cultural Rights - Research Paper Example


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Cultural Rights

It may be necessary to note that vernacular languages are important in passing traditions from one generation to the other. This is one reason why the debate to declare English as the official language in the US has been met with a lot of resistance as doing so would lead to assimilation of minority groups. The US is a country, which is rich in cultural diversity since it has more than 300 communities speaking in different languages. Every community has its own traditions, which are passed from one generation to the other with the facilitation of the vernacular languages. However, forcing them to speak in English will only interfere with this important process not forgetting that it would also be against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Wilson 43). Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) requires states and governments to respect and protect cultural diversity where it is present (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights 2007). However, minority groups throughout the world continue to be discriminated against either on the basis of their religion, race, ethnicity or their population size. Since the September 11 attacks on the US, for example, racial and religious discrimination against Muslims and those of Arab origin especially in the US and Britain has become a major societal dilemma. This discrimination is based on the fact that the attacks were orchestrated by al-Qaida, which is a terrorist network that is highly

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associated with Islamic extremism (Morries 2005). However, the fact that a person is a Muslim does not imply that he or she is a terrorist and therefore is no reason for him to be harassed either by the public or government officers. Native communities around the world have continued to suffer injustices in the hands of private developers and their national governments, which should be protecting their way of life. Majority of these people depend on natural resources such as forests and wildlife for survival. However, the growth of industries and the ever increasing population have increased the demand for wood products as well as space for expansion. This has led to massive destruction of forests thereby distorting the lives of these people. In America for example, investors have been clearing forests in order to create space for cattle rearing and to sustain the demand for timber (Ruiz et al n.d). Trees and other bushes are a rich source of traditional medicine and once they are depleted, the production of such products will cease to exist forcing these people to turn to modern medicine (Wilson 101). The international community has also continued to support the enactment of laws to govern and protect natural resources such as wildlife but with little or no consideration of the impact such laws would have on native communities (Silverman 66). For example, whaling activities have been put under heavy watch since the 1986 moratorium and this has limited the amount of whales that can be caught. This is a positive development as it would allow for restocking but there are native communities such as the Inuit people, who engage in whaling as a means of survival. Subdivision of land has also hampered nomadic and pastoralist activities as it encourages individuals to put up structures and boundaries thus making it impossible for


Cultural rights protect minority groups and their traditions in order to protect them from extinction. The contemporary world is going through turbulent times, whereby technological advancements and globalization are changing the way people interact and this has continued to contribute to erosion of traditions, which are important and should be protected…
Author : kaseykautzer
Cultural Rights Paper essay example
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