- Perspectives on “Human Rights and the Well-Being of the Humanity”
- Human Rights: A Product of the History of Oppression and Struggle
- Human Rights: Towards New Challenges and Broader Definition
- Human Rights: Basis for Further Steps towards Peace and Harmony
- Human Rights: Insufficient and Insecure in Presence of Human Ignorance
- Human Rights: A Success Story will Depend on Linkage to Constructive Ethics
- Synopsis Buddhist Approach on Laws: Principle for Practice
Human Rights: A Product of the History of Oppression and Struggle
However, it should be noted that the UDHR came into existence against the background of the evolution of the world or of the humankind, the evolution through violations, struggles and oppression. The UDHR was attained through struggles. Though it is said that the United Nations was the one who initiated the UDHR, it was the Western people with history of grave institutionalized and systematized violations and oppressions, who were the moral leader for laying down rules and regulations on human rights to appear as the UDHR.
History of the West, to a large extent and through lengthy period, involves fighting and killings. It involves violations both between human beings within the same society and between societies. Not to mention the Inquisition, one simple example of violation within the same society can be seen between rulers and the ruled in Europe including in England; if the ruler upheld any particular religion, any sect, the masses were obliged to accept that religion, that sect as theirs as well, or else they could not live. Serious fighting had occurred as a result of differences in beliefs and religions and, consequently, many had to seek refuge abroad. The American history also involves human beings who fled from threat of warfare or violations, both in politics and in religion, or persecution.
For violations between human beings belonging to different societies, it can be clearly seen in past Western colonization. Those citizens of the colonized territories were oppressed or to say in the modern-day language “deprived of their human rights.”
The history of the West was as such. The West had long experienced violations and struggles to overcome them, which oftentimes, had caused conflicts. As a result, they felt the need to design and to define clear frameworks for rules and regulations so that violations be avoided and be prevented.
Even in the US, a country which was born from the struggle and the fight for freedom and which at present is often seen as leader and beholder of human rights, dating back only 100 years ago, Social Darwinism was the mainstream belief.
Darwinism upholds that nature has its own selection process; the stronger, the able, and the fittest, would survive, while the weaker, the unable would die and fade away. Darwinism was applied for social function and, especially in the US, the influence of Darwinism was deeply rooted to even a greater extent than in Europe where Social Darwinism was born. In the US, Darwinism became a main business approach which encouraged competition especially in trading and commerce. Though, at present, Darwinism seems unaccepted in politics, at least as a reference, but in terms of economics and business, Darwinism still maintains its profound influences.
It was against this background of violations and struggles that human beings came together to lay down rules and regulations on human rights. The Westerners have quite a mastery and skills in designing rules and regulations as they need to protect their own rights and to prevent them from being violated by others.
To prevent violations of rights was one main factor which gave birth to the UDHR. It is important to understand this background so that one can act accordingly. With the UDHR in place, it is hoped to serve as a tool to prevent people from violating one another and to ensure that people will not deprive others of a chance to survive or to have the best possible existence, and to have access to benefits and all kinds of virtue existing in society or in this world.
Nevertheless, the matter of human rights probably will not end as such, it probably will be developed further.