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autores > THAROOR Shashi


Shashi Tharoor is the author of five books of fiction and non-fiction, including The Great Indian Novel and, most recently, India: From Midnight to the Millennium. He is a senior UN official in the Office of Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Are Human Rights Universal?

> New Internationalist 332, March 2001 (...)

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is half a century old, but critics are still asking whether anything in our multicultural, diverse world can be truly universal. Some ask, isn’t human rights an essentially Western concept, ignoring the very different cultural, economic and political realities of the South? Can the values of the consumer society be applied to societies that have nothing to consume? Isn’t talking about universal rights rather like saying that the rich and the poor both have the same right to fly first-class and to sleep under bridges? At the risk of sounding frivolous: when you stop a man in traditional dress beating his wife, are you upholding her human rights or violating his? The fact is that there are serious objections to the concept of universal human rights which its defenders need to acknowledge honestly, the better to refute them.  read

date of on-line publication : 17 November 2005

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