Presentation on theme: "The human rights defined in international treaties: are "culturally relative," that is, merely reflect the cultural views of those states powerful enough."— Presentation transcript:
The human rights defined in international treaties: are "culturally relative," that is, merely reflect the cultural views of those states powerful enough to force them into international law, 4% are "universal," that is, reflect rules for the treatment of people that should apply regardless of culture or nationality, 33% involve a mix of truly "universal" human rights and some "culturally relative" human rights.62% Human rights treaties should require states to protect: political rights, such as the rights of free speech, assembly, and voting,10% economic rights, such as the right to food, shelter, and clothing,7% both of the above.82% International treaties should ban abuses of human rights committed by: government policy,25% government policy and cultural tradition,6% government policy, cultural tradition, and individual actions.67% International law should require governments to provide women with equal rights: in all countries, regardless of their religious or cultural traditions,82% only in non-Muslim countries,3% should not require this in any countries.13% International law should require gov’ts to provide women with equal pay for equal work: in all countries, regardless of their religious or cultural traditions,80% only in non-Muslim countries,0% undefined20%
All governments should be required to provide all their citizens with at least minimal levels of food, shelter and housing: regardless of how much it costs,30% only if it can be provided within existing government budgets,23% developed countries should be required to do so out of their own revenues but developing countries should be financed by developed states to do so, 30% governments should not be required to provide these rights.16% It seems morally appropriate to me that American views of human rights are the basis for most human rights defined in international treaties: Yes.38% No.61% The human rights defined in international treaties should include: only those accepted by all nations in the world,11% those accepted by the majority of the nations in the world on a one-country one-vote basis,56% those accepted by the majority of the nations in the world on a one-person one-vote basis (with countries with large populations having more votes), 27% those accepted by the most powerful nations in the world.4% If a government commits an extreme violation of its citizens human rights, the United States should respond by: doing nothing,2% using diplomacy only,21% using diplomacy and economic sanctions,45% using diplomacy, economic sanctions, and military force.31% If the people of a country have a cultural tradition that violates some citizens' human rights, the United States should respond by: doing nothing,8% using diplomacy only,53% using diplomacy and economic sanctions,30% using diplomacy, economic sanctions, and military force.7%
Criteria for “violation” of human rights ◦ "Who" commits it? Government, culture, "the economy"? ◦ Views of those whose rights are being violated? If oppressed say they accept their lot in an oppressive system, should we accept that as evidence that they are not oppressed? ◦ Other criteria you think are important? Take action or not? If so, which action? ◦ Type of action? ◦ Magnitude of action? ◦ Cost of action to us? ◦ Other criteria you think are important?
Numerous conventions on wide range of human rights Civil, political rights: negative rights; “governments shall not…“ ◦ Life and liberty, no slavery ◦ No arbitrary arrest, presumed innocent, cruel and unusual punishment, ◦ Right to assembly, freedom of expression, and participation in government with equal suffrage ◦ Freedom of movement within states and freedom to leave own state Economic, social rights: distributive justice; positive rights; governments must …." ◦ Marry and form family ◦ Education, work, and leisure ◦ Social security ◦ Adequate standard of living
Fundamental contradiction of realist expectations (to extent they have influence) What they do ◦ Press for creation of NEW international institutions and strengthen EXISTING regimes ◦ Monitor performance ◦ Mobilize public opinion and sympathetic governments to oppose violations ◦ Improve victims' capacity to defend themselves
How they do it ◦ Broaden scope of conflict ◦ Shift terms of debate ◦ Make principled but pragmatic demands
Capacities that NGOs have but states lack ◦ Focus on single issue: keep "clean" / "pure" ◦ Collect information within other countries borders in ways considered legitimate ◦ More willing than states to criticize other governments ◦ Work transnationally to develop support
Tension between sovereignty norm and human rights norms Universal human rights but conditioned by societies How should we define human rights? Once define them, how should we respond when they are violated?