70 Years after the UDHR: A Provocative Reflection Shaped by African Experiences

Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal/Potchefstroomse Elektroniese Regsblad

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Title 70 Years after the UDHR: A Provocative Reflection Shaped by African Experiences
Creator Agbor, Avitus A
Subject Cultural relativism
slavery and the slave trade
African perception and understanding of human rights
western hypocrisy and human rights
Description The 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights presents an opportunity for critical reflections from the Global South on why the dream of universalising the rights contained in this ground-breaking document is still just a dream. Shaped by a rigorous interrogation of African experiences as narrated by practitioners and scholars, this paper revisits some of the leading contentious issues which, undoubtedly, have impacted on the realisation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the African continent. The paper revisits the issue of meaning, and how uncertainties surrounding it have triggered controversial perceptions and constructions of the notion of human rights, aggravated by adjectival calibrations. Capturing the views of scholars and practitioners, this paper takes an evidence-based approach to the matter as it identifies and discusses some of the common, recurrent challenges that have compromised the aspiration of universalising the ideals articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These include, amongst other things, the impact of slavery and the slave trade, colonialism and neo-colonialism, the nature and impact of western hypocrisy, double-standards, bias and inconsistency – factors that not only dilute the recognition of human rights but further deepen the mistrust and misgivings Africans have about human rights. Lastly, the paper appraises the adverse impact of corruption on the realisation of human rights on the African continent. It is argued that all these factors, cumulatively, adversely impact on the perception and realisation of human rights on the African continent.
Publisher Faculty of Law, North-West University, South Africa
Date 2020-08-28
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Format application/pdf
Identifier https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/per/article/view/8782
Source Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal; Vol 23 (2020); 1-24
Language eng
Relation https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/per/article/view/8782/10418
Rights Copyright (c) 2020 Agbor Avitus

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