At three in the morning on December 7, 1948, after two months of over 80 meetings, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was created. The final obstacle for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was approval from the United Nation General assembly. In order for the document to be approved it required two-thirds of the vote. On December 10, 1948, the document was adopted.1 The United Nation has not been successful at enforcing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights because the underlying values in the document are not actually universal.
Different states have different values about human rights. Even though some states signed the document, they did only to appear humane to others and hidden Human right violations continue. In the aftermath of World War II, the United Nations created UDHR for the purpose of preventing the next generation from devastation of international conflict, such as World War II. The last good war was an unprecedented global devastation. The levels of severity of the crimes of Adolf Hitler and his military could not have been predicted by Europe.
Before the outbreak of World War II in March 1938, Austria was annexed under Hitler, which led international crises of human rights abuse.2 Patrakis 2
When Hitler’s military invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, this invasion would ignite the largest crimes against humanity the global community ever experienced. Once Hitler invaded Poland, war was declared by France, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand on Germany. This began the outbreak of World War II.3 Throughout World War II, Hitler launched attacks on the following countries: Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Yugoslavia, and Greece. The impact Hitler and his military had on the occupied countries and the global community was a horror that not been experienced until Hitler become Germany’s chancellor.4 The lasting effect of World War II was the Holocaust where six million Jews were murdered by Nazi Germany.5 The manner that was conducted to murder the Jews and other racial, ethic, and disabled populations would involve a variety of methods.6 The gas chamber would involve weak inmates who were unable to work in the labor camps.7 There were cases of gas vans and mass shootings.8 Around 5,000 children of various ages were included in the mass murders. The methods used to murdered children were starvation and overdoses of medicines. 9 The victims of the Holocaust were from thousands of locations in Europe. Winston explains, “Second World War is the greatest crime in recorded history, committed on human and geographical scale which far
surpasses that of other acts of genocide”.10 During the Second World War, Human rights did not exist in terms of international laws. As a result of the mass murders of innocent women, children, and men this was an indication to the world leaders to develop pre-war international law in order to secure the global community. The process of drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was the idea of universalism of rights which would be applied to different types of people. McGuinness explain, “social and cultural contexts against pragmatic and realist account of resolving armed conflicts.”11 The drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was a difficult process.12 The process of the declaration would begin once the United Nations was established in 1945.13 Shortly after, there was tremendous pressure to pass an international bill of rights placed on the Charter of the United Nations. In 1946, the United Nation created the Commission on Human Rights.14 The Commission was responsible for the draft of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The draft committee includes the following: public figures Dr. Charles Malik of Lebanon, Alexandre Bogomolov of USSR, Dr. Peng-chun Chang of China, René Cassin of France Eleanor Roosevelt of United States, Charles Dukes of United Kingdom, William Hodgson of Australia Hernan Santa Cruz of Chile, and John P. Humphrey of Canada. 15
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was shaped by seven different stages. In January and February of 1947, the first stage began with the First Session of the committee meeting. As the delegates discussed the content for the internal bill of rights draft, there was an issue about trusting a committee or the secretary with the drafting of the Declaration. The decision was for the Commission Human rights Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Rapporteur and the Secretariat to develop the international bill of human rights draft. The second was the First Session of the Drafting Committee. This involved the process of drafting the document.16 The third stage was Second Session of the full Commission. In December 1947, the Second Session took place. During this session, the different types of organization attend this include seventeen different groups for example “American Federation of Labor, International Federation of Christian Trade Union, and Inter-Parliamentary Union” to name a few.
These organization opinions were not viewed as important and were sent to the “Commission by the Secretariat in forms of précis”.17 The Second Session of the Drafting Committee started in May 1948. This was about discussing an agreement due to the delegates who were holding out on the adoption of declaration and the agreement of the inter bill of rights. The Third Session of the Commission discussion was intense due to the Commission wanting to shorten the burdensome of the draft. The sixth and seventh stages were about The Third Committee of the General Assembly and the Plenary Session of the 1948 Assembly. During the Plenary Session, there debate about Third General Assembly that had led to the approval of the Declaration.18 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights symbolizes an agreement on different types of human rights for the first time between different nations. However, this declaration is not a “legally Patraksi 5
binding treaty”.19 Floor explains, “Authority for the United Nations efforts to implement human rights standards is found either in the text of the Charter or in subsequent internal agreement.” 20 The issues of human right abuses such as discrimination, torture, child rights and treaties such as Social and Culture Rights are only applied to the states that signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.21 The member states are for the community in the issues allocated with Charter. For example, Article One expresses that the United Nation’s purpose is to protect human rights.22 The countries voted for the document but have not been successful in applying those rights to their countries. Flood states, “Even if some government do not accept human rights as good in themselves, most government want to be seen as civilized and humane by their peers and by the publics of countries whose cooperation is important to them.”23 In some cases countries will not defend the reasons for abusing citizens and instead will hide the violations. Floods explain, governments are willing to ignore the global community and violate the international human rights laws at the cost of an “external relationship”. Another effect of not applying to the UDHR Floor explains, “political psychological, sometimes it directly affects material interest…”24 Contemporary states must understand the consequences when determining internal policies; The United Nations’ “human rights system now constitutes an external factor that any government must take into account in determining policies that affect practical observance of human rights25. Patrakis 6
The Universal Declaration Human Rights document is not actually universal. Roberts and Kingsbury explain, “It remains the case, that, despite the existence of many purportedly definitive agreements on the subject, different societies have very different conceptions of the content and important of human rights.” Due to the diverse concepts about human rights, there are different practices for these nations, and the changes will not occur quickly26. The most influential and powerful countries in Europe have demonstrated violations of the Universal Declaration Human Rights, despite having voted at General Assembly in 1948.27 These countries include: the United Kingdom, France, and Turkey. The violations these countries have in common are torture and other ill-treatment. The torture and ill-treatment that has occurred in these counties involve law enforcement. In the United Kingdom, there were cases of ill-treatment against detainees in that intelligence officers were allegedly involved. For example, there was involvement of torture and other ill-treatment in the first case of unnamed individual. There have been other allegations of the United Kingdom participation in human rights violations towards detainees individuals detained.28 Amnesty International a watch dog group, states that in France, “The Criminal Code continued to lack a definition of torture in line with the UN Convention against Torture. There was a lack of prompt, independent, impartial and effective investigations into allegations of ill-treatment by law enforcement officials.”29 For example, Lamba Soukouna alleged ill-treatment by police officers. In his statement, he explained, “They hit me on the forehead with the butt of a flash-ball gun and started kicking me. I tried to tell them “Take it easy. I’m sick, I’m sick. What have I done to deserve this?” They didn’t listen and Patrakis 7
kept going.”30 Soukouna said he was on his way home when the police in riot gear charging at a group of people. Soukouna entered his home and police ran inside and grabbed him from behind and pushed him against the wall and beat him severely31. In Turkey, torture and other ill-treatment cases have occurred in police transfer and prison continued. For example, Amnesty International states, “two boys held at Poznan prison … were transferred, following the allegation that prison officials had subject them to abuse including sexual abuse.32” Under the Universal Declaration Human Rights United Kingdom, France, and Turkey have violated Article five under the document. The Article five states, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment33.” Article five demonstrates how these countries are not following the UDHR. This results in poor treatment and abuse. These examples show that countries are failing to follow UDHR due to this document not being a legally treaty. Therefore, countries are selecting seriate articles to follow under the Universal Declaration Human Rights. Another case of human rights violation in the United Kingdom involves a legal and policy development that goes against the Declaration. The Justice and Security Bill were published by the United Kingdom government. The Bill expensed “closed material procedures” to civil cases,34 which the “government claimed that such measures were necessary “for purposes connected with protecting members of the public from a risk of terrorism.”35 The government would be allowed to use “secret Patrakis 8
evidence presented to the court behind closed doors.” This would exclude the plaintiff, lawyer and the public. 36 The Bill is allowing sensitive information to be disclosed to and this contains “information pertaining to alleged human rights violations, which would assist individuals in a case against a third party.”37 There are concerns that the Bill challenged ethics of equality and open justice. Amnesty International states, the effort made for victims of human rights violations setback due to “secure disclosure of material related to those violations before the courts.38” The government perceptive of the Bill claim was judges would have more hearings of national security cases.39 The Justice and Security Bill violates Article ten of the Universal Declaration Human Rights. “Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.”40 The Justice and Security Bill can affect the outcome of a fair trial. The Bill will allow “secret evidence” in court only to certain individuals as a result plaintiff and his or her laws are excluded for the evidence which could result in an unfair trial. For example, evidence could be manipulated from being withheld or allowed which could cause the plaintiff being deprived from a fair trial. Under the Universal Declaration Human Rights Article seven states, “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.”41 However, in France there have been numerous counts of discrimination such as
disability 56 percent,42 religion or beliefs 55 percent,43 and sexual orientation 61 percent.44 For example, there have been cases of Muslim women and girls discriminated against. For Muslim women they are denied of a job and for young girls, they are prevented from attending classes because of headscarf. Marco Perolini expressed, “Wearing religious and cultural symbols and dress is part of the right of freedom of expression. It is part of the right to freedom of religion or belief – and these rights must be enjoyed by all faiths equally.”45 Perolini augment exhibit Article eighteen “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”46 The evidence Perolini reveals that France government is not supporting or applying Article eighteen. The reason political parties and public officials are not opposing the ban on headscarf or preventing additionally discrimination Muslim communities are up against is there need pursuit for votes for the population. This reveals how little power the Universal Declaration Human Rights have in the aspects in government. When political parties or government officials are running for re-election or preparing to
run they are willing to stop at nothing to gains support or votes. As a consequences legation will not be enforced unless it is poplar issue.
The Universal Declaration Human Rights states, in Article four “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.”47 Unfortunately, in Turkey, Article four has been broken due to modern day slavery where women, children and men are entrapped in some form of slavery. In some cases people are kidnapped and forced into the sex industries. The most common form of slavery is women. According to Sharma and Atria, “Trafficking in women for the purpose of sexual exploitation is a multibillion dollar shadow market. … The value of the global trade in women as commodities for sex industries is estimated to be between seven and twelve billion dollar annually.”48 The amounts of money these smugglers can reactive demonstrate the reason for eighty percent of women and girls being victims of sex slavery and thirty-nine point seven percent from Turkey.49 The preferred location for trafficking women is Turkey based on geographic location bordering and bridging.50 Due to the high percent of women and children are trafficked and the easy access Karakuş and McGarre explain, Turkey is developing “protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking.” Turkey has endorsed the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. In eighty-one cities in Turkey are accordance in accepted the international definition. However, Karakuş and McGarre state, “operationalization of human trafficking as a crime is not quite as straight forward as in other type of crimes because of the small number of cases of human trafficking in most cities.” In fifty-eight cities, there were no cases and in twenty-three cities there were one or more cases on human
tracking during that year.51 Even though, the Turkey government is anti-trafficking and is trying to improvements in its efforts to convict and smugglers there is still gaps in their system. Human rights violation still continues throughout the international communities even though, the Universal Declaration Human Rights has been adopted. The reason this
document was created was to prevent the next generation from devastation of international conflict. The document has no legally binding effect because it is not a legal treaty. Therefore, the document can only be recognized by the states that had voted for the document. However, those counties that had voted for the Universal Declaration Human Rights have violated those rights. The United Kingdom, Turkey and France have demonstrated different types of violations against the document. As a result of these countries not supporting certain articles in the document, this demonstrates that the United Nations has not been successful at enforcing UDHR.
Cite this The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Essay
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Essay. (2016, Jun 27). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-universal-declaration-of-human-rights/