ERIC Number: ED392737
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
The Human Rights Challenge.
Branson, Margaret Stimmann
World reaction to the 1995 release from house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi, leader and founder of the major opposition party in Burma (now Myanmar), indicates significant change in international relations, specifically in the international political system. The total sovereign states today (249) have increased, as have system "rules" relating to human rights. The concept of human rights was introduced in the 17th century; until World War II, citizens' liberties were considered the bailiwick only of their respective nations; no nation was to interfere with another's administration of rights. The United Nations (UN), created in 1945, was the first manifestation of the idea that a nation's treatment of its citizens should concern the rest of the world. The original member states agreed that "human rights and fundamental freedoms" should be a high priority. The UN, regional human rights regimes, and nongovernmental organizations primarily have been responsible for monitoring and administering human rights in the international community. Many critics have expressed disappointment with the UN's attempts to establish and enforce human rights. Regional rights organizations in Western Europe, however, have enjoyed several successes in this realm; African, Asian, and Middle Eastern regimes have seen limited success. It is generally agreed that nongovernmental organizations have achieved the most. Despite accomplishments in human rights, no proclamation, international court, or commission can guarantee that human rights will be upheld. This prompts the question: do bills or declarations of rights really matter? The question should be at the core of civic education for democracy and liberty. Contains 34 references. (LAP)
Descriptors: Civil Law, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights Legislation, Freedom, Global Approach, Human Dignity, Humanism, Humanization, International Cooperation, International Law, International Relations, Nongovernmental Organizations, World Affairs, World Problems
Council for Citizenship Education, Russell Sage College, Troy, NY 12180.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Civic Education, Calabasas, CA.
Identifiers: International Bill of Rights; United Nations
Note: Paper presented at the International Conference on Making Democracy Work (Bonn, Germany, October 1-6, 1995).