Human Rights in the Third World

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights begins by asserting that "recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. . .." The image of "the human family" is perhaps a rhetorical flourish, but it suggests that human rights are seen as the legal ordering of the common good. Human rights are not merely the claims that individuals have against the state or other citizens, but are ways of ordering life in the human family so as to ensure dignity for all its members.

This image of human rights is sometimes lost in the fray of ideological debate. However, it is embraced and articulated by religious leaders who affirm human rights as an expression of their faith. Religious leaders see human rights not only as means of protecting the individual from oppression by the state, but as the way of creating justice within states and peace within the world community.

I will describe briefly the political debate over human rights, between members of the First, Second and Third Worlds and the shift in emphasis that has taken place in the human rights efforts of the United Nations. I will suggest that human rights advocates in the Third World are bringing together diverse notions of human rights into a new synthesis. 

Liberal and Socialist Debate

Hersch Lauterpacht argues that the heart of the doctrine of human rights, as it has developed in the West, is that, "The sovereign was subjected to the higher law conceived as the guarantor of the inalienable rights of man."1 This "first generation" of human rights, using the phrase introduced by French jurist Karel Vasak, is concerned with the civil and political rights of the individual.2 It is concerned with the freedom of the individual from interference by the state, with what are often called "negative rights" for they involve assertions of what the government cannot do.

These rights dominate the text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and are set forth in Articles 2-21, which include:

freedom from racial and equivalent forms of discrimination; the right to life, liberty, and the security of the person; freedom from slavery or involuntary servitude; freedom from torture and from cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention, or exile; the right to a fair and public trial; freedom of movement and residence; the right to asylum from persecution; freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; freedom of opinion and expression; freedom of peaceful assembly and association; and the right to participate in government, directly or through free elections.3

The Universal Declaration also includes the right to own property and the right not to be deprived arbitrarily of property, rights central to the struggle in both the American and French revolutions and to the rise of capitalism.

This expression of the Western liberal view of human rights stresses the rights of the individual over against the state, as necessary conditions for human dignity. Maurice Cranston argues that this view precludes any notion of rights that requires positive action by the state, and so he concludes that social and economic rights are not human rights at all.4 More recently, Jack Donnelly and Adda Bozeman have vigorously asserted that human rights are grounded in a concept of the individual lacking in the cultures of Africa and Asia.5

The history of the development of human rights in the United States suggests that this is not merely an academic debate. James Sellers argues that in America it is the ideas of Hobbes rather than those of Locke that came to predominate — what shaped American political thought most was "not natural law, or the common good, or the humanitarian impulse toward community," but "the absolute right of the individual."6 This impulse has until very recently not only limited American understanding of human rights to civil rights, but to the narrowest reading of civil rights, which stresses the rights of the individual in a society in which the state is conceived as guaranteeing protection only by not intervening in the lives of its citizens.

This is the context in which President Roosevelt in his annual message to Congress on January 6, 1941 affirmed the Four Freedoms that were to receive wide sanction a year later in the Joint Declaration of the United Nations. Roosevelt said:

We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peaceful life for its inhabitants— everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world.7

Freedom of speech and expression and freedom of worship are clearly established in American constitutional law. However, freedom from fear is largely left to an informed public, and freedom from want is traditionally understood as the goal of charity rather than as the responsibility of government.

Arthur Holcombe argues that in the newly formed United States of America in the late eighteenth century:

There were no provisions in any of the state bills of rights for securing a right to work and nothing about the conditions of employment or what is now called social security. The independent farmers and tradesmen who constituted the bulk of the free population in 1776 were more interested in equality of opportunity to subjugate the wilderness and exploit the natural resources of the country than in what we now call social and industrial justice. Instead of a right to work there was a popular demand for the kind of liberty that consists of leveling natural barriers to profitable enterprise rather than organizing the market for labor and regulating the conditions of employment in the interests of a special class of wage earners.8

Even today the struggle for freedom from want in America is an uphill battle against the tradition that identifies rights with individual opportunities, in a society guided more by private economic interests than by public policies to promote the general welfare.9

The history of human rights thought on the continent of Europe is somewhat different. In 1789 the citizens of France were confronted by intractable social and economic forces causing impoverishment and hunger. Hence, the distinctive emphasis on rights more raw and basic than those of individual civic dignity. Economic growth, with more fairness of distribution is the reigning value, and human rights (viewed 'collectively' rather than individualistically) depend upon governmental management, improved for the purpose by ridding itself of archaic involvement with religious preoccupations and institutions.10

The French embraced all of Thomas Paine's Rights of Man and not merely the sections that the Americans had taken to heart.11 Thus, the French Constitution of 1791 provides for public relief for the poor and free public education, rights that were not protected in early American constitutions and in international law today are described as "economic and social rights."

Therefore, even within the framework of Western liberal thought, there is diversity as to how the conditions of human dignity are to be realized. Rights are seen to arise in response to particular situations, expressing demands on institutions that certain deprivations be ended. "Hence there can be a recognition of universal rights at the very time there is disagreement on the philosophical foundations of those rights."12

Jean-Bernard Marie suggests that human rights "are, quite simply, a way of living together in a society that values human dignity."13 As all societies fall short of such a vision, one might well conclude: "The movement for human rights is really a movement for world reform."14 In the West the American and French revolutions stimulated social reforms with different emphases. In the American tradition, liberty or freedom clearly dominated over equality, and thus equality came to mean only equality of opportunity.15 In the French tradition, equality was as important as liberty, and thus social and economic rights were more readily embraced.16

Socialists were quick to point out that Western liberal notions of rights had developed in the particular economic and political circumstances of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. As these circumstances changed in the nineteenth century, liberal theory was unable to respond to the need for state action to secure fundamental human rights and freedoms for citizens. Socialist theories of rights, often described as the "second generation" of human rights, emphasize economic, social, and cultural rights. The socialist human rights position was in large part:

a response to the abuses and misuses of capitalist development and its underlying, essentially uncritical, conception of individual liberty that tolerated, even legitimated, the exploitation of working classes and colonial peoples. Historically, it is counterpoint to the first generation of civil and political rights, with human rights conceived more in positive ("rights to") than negative ("freedom from") terms, requiring the intervention, not the abstention, of the state for the purpose of assuring equitable participation in the production and distribution of the values involved.17

Those who affirmed liberal notions of natural rights resisted this development. In the words of Gregorio Peces-Barba, professor of law at the University of Madrid,

at this very stage of the historical origin of fundamental rights, there is a barrier in positive law to the reception of the philosophy of economic, social and cultural rights when they appear historically, because they presuppose a major factor — one of positive action by the State — which is foreign to that historic origin and to that concept of law.18

In the socialist perspective, this historical analysis explains "the assertion of doctrinaire liberalism that equality is incompatible with freedom" and allows for "attempts to correct the discriminatory character" which fundamental rights "have in the liberal conception. . .."19

Peces-Barba speaks of this approach as the "integral reformulation of the concept of fundamental rights" and sees in it great hope for humankind.

The incorporation into the concept of fundamental rights of the economic, social and cultural rights that assume the egalitarian component which harmonizes, completes and makes freedom more real, also creates a new dimension which is that of solidarity, synonymous in my opinion with the fraternity of the trilogy of the French Revolution. If this is confirmed, the fundamental rights will be the means by which men truly put into practice the banner of liberty, equality and fraternity, which will thus be the patrimony of all and not just of the liberals, and give impulse to historical progress and the liberation of men and their integral development. This is the utopia for which one must struggle as if it were possible to obtain immediately, because the utopia also forms a part of reality, though it be a premature reality anticipated by the dreams of men who have their eyes on a different light.20

In a slightly different way than Jean-Bernard Marie, Peces-Barba also sees fundamental rights as central to "the historical development of democratic society," which has as its goal the strengthening of "the freedom of individuals and of the groups they form."21

Irving Louis Horowitz is correct in asserting that the present debate on human rights:

can be conceptualized in part as a struggle between eighteenth century libertarian persuasions and nineteenth century egalitarian beliefs — that is, from a vision of human rights having to do with the right of individual justice before the law to a recognition of the rights of individuals to social security and equitable conditions of work and standards of living.22

This struggle may be seen as an attempt to correct the overemphasis, in liberal notions of civil and political rights, on the rights of the individual over against the welfare of groups and peoples. Yugoslavian scholar Katarina Tomasevski writes: "The second generation (social, economic and cultural rights) emerged as a counter-balance to the dominantly Western concepts, [and was] advocated primarily by the newly founded socialist states."23

It is important to recall at this point that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in Articles 22-27, affirms:

the right to social security, the right to work and to protection against unemployment; the right to rest and leisure, including periodic holidays with pay; the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of self and family; the right to education; and the right to the protection of one's scientific, literary, and artistic production.24

As noted earlier, these are at least in part an effort to express what President Roosevelt described as "freedom from want." Thus, the concept of social and economic rights advanced within the socialist tradition is included in the Universal Declaration and not entirely absent from the liberal tradition.

Similarly, not all second generation rights can properly be described as "positive rights." For instance, the right to free choice of employment, the right to form and to join trade unions, and the right to participate freely in the cultural life of the community do not require action by the state to secure their enjoyment. However, certainly the emphasis of second generation rights is on claims to social equality; and so state intervention is essential in the allocation of resources required to enforce these rights. 

Shift at the UN

Antonio Cassese, professor of international law and director of the Post-Graduate School of International Affairs of the University of Florence, describes the years 1960-1973 as the "second phase" in the life of the United Nations.25 In this phase the socialist countries joined forces with Third World countries to champion the right of peoples to self-determination and to economic and social rights. Rather than resisting the development of human rights instruments, socialists now saw in international law the possibilities of promoting the very concerns for economic and social justice that had prompted their original opposition.

It is no accident that both the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights begin with the same first article: "All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development."26

Cassese asserts that this right has become "the linchpin of the United Nations strategy toward human rights."27 He notes that until the middle of the 1970s the struggle in the United Nations was still largely between the Eastern and Western countries, with the developing countries frequently supporting the socialist position. However, since 1974 the Third World countries have come to dominate debate at the UN. Together, the Third World countries have shifted the agenda away from the liberal-socialist controversy to an explicit concern for changing international economic conditions.

The challenge to realize a "third generation of human rights" was first articulated in the 1974 Charter on Economic Rights and Duties of States.28 It was reiterated in Resolution 32/130, which was proposed by Argentina, Cuba, Iran, the Philippines, and Yugoslavia and adopted by the General Assembly in 1977.29

This resolution established two priorities for the future work of the UN Commission on Human Rights. The first priority is to combat violation of the human rights of peoples, with apartheid, racial discrimination and colonialism named as primary concerns. The second priority is the realization of a new international economic order. W. A. Whitehouse comments: "It is fair to observe that the language of human rights has been taken over from the worlds of liberal capitalism and of Marxist socialism and adapted to contend with the collective emergencies of Third World societies."30

Resolution 32/130 also affirms that all human rights and fundamental freedoms are indivisible and interdependent and that the realization of civil and political rights is therefore impossible without the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights. In addition, all human rights are seen as inalienable and their promotion globally is understood to involve different emphases in different parts of the world. Finally, realization of the new international economic order is identified as essential for the effective protection of human rights.31

Third World Crucible

George Shepherd argues that the Third World is the crucible in which a "global consciousness" is being forged, "because it is the center of the anticolonial and development process in which the two streams of individualistic and social human rights flowing from the first two worlds have met."32 He suggests that the Third World is developing a conception of human rights that goes beyond both individual and social notions:

This global view sees rights as both inherent in the individual and socially derived by development. Political freedoms are not possible without primary social development and conflicts are resolved in terms of the welfare of society as a whole.33

The basic rights to survival and food are asserted both as qualifying civil and political rights and as depending upon them.

In the Third World human rights are understood to embrace political and religious concepts as well as indigenous traditional values.34 Human rights are conceived as elements of the right to self-determination, which protects the rights of peoples to their cultural traditions and language, as well as their right to development.

Although socialist concepts may seem to predominate in the Third World, human rights advocates argue that civil and political rights are not subordinated to economic and social rights.35 For example, the late José W. Diokno of the Philippines, former senator and presidential candidate, argues against the notion that governments in the Third World are inevitably authoritarian either because of the need for rapid economic development or because of indigenous traditions. He characterizes the second justification for authoritarianism as "racist" and the first as "a lie" that perpetuates an unjust status quo:

Development is not just providing people with adequate food, clothing, and shelter; many prisons do as much. Development is also people deciding what food, clothing and shelter are adequate, and how they are to be provided.36

This is utterly consistent with the assertion by the Sengalese Kéba Mbaye that the right to development is a "fundamental human right, without which life in a society is not worth living."37

In the Third World the right to self-determination, which "is an internationally recognized right of long and dubious standing,"38 is being given a new shape. This is reflected in the Algiers Declaration of Third World Peoples, adopted on 4 July 1976, which attributes violations of human rights directly to the structures of the international economic system.39

Richard Falk argues that the Algiers Declaration is important for at least two reasons. First, as a nongovernmental document it cannot be dismissed as a statement representing only the interests of ruling elites in the Third World. Second, it is an assertion of the principle of popular sovereignty—"that it is the peoples of the world that are the fundamental source of authority."

Somehow statist tendencies have distorted this situation, making it appear as if governments are the ultimate, if not the only source of authority with respect to human rights. The Algiers Declaration, drawing inspiration from the Magna Carta tradition, is a framework of rights asserted by and for the peoples of the world over and against the claims and activities of government, multinational corporations, and international institutions.40

In this declaration of human rights it is every people, not every individual nor every state, that is said to have the right to existence, respect and self-determination.

The Algiers Declaration was authored largely by "non-Marxist communalists," as David Forsythe describes them, who are convinced that "effective respect for human rights necessarily implies respect for the rights of peoples. . .."41 Forsythe suggests that non-Marxist communalists, such as Tanzania's Julius Nyerere, are able to combine liberal and socialist notions of human rights. In 1968 Nyerere asserted:

For what do we mean when we talk of freedom? First, there is national freedom; that is, the ability of the citizens of Tanzania to determine their own future, and to govern themselves without interference from non-Tanzanians. Second, there is freedom from hunger, disease, and poverty. And third, there is personal freedom for the individual; that is, his right to live in dignity and equality with all others, his right to freedom of speech, freedom to participate in the making of all decisions which affect his life, and freedom from arbitrary arrest because he happens to annoy someone in authority — and so on. All these things are aspects of freedom, and the citizens of Tanzania cannot be said to be truly free until all of them are assured.42

Forsythe argues that on numerous occasions Nyerere defended individual rights, even as he asserted communal and economic rights as expressions of "working together for the common good instead of competitively for individual private gain."43

Louis Henkin agrees that although many of the states of the Third World describe themselves as socialist, most are not essentially Marxist and are only pragmatically socialist in that they stress economic and social development. He argues that while there are many cultural and historical differences:

Almost all Third World states have constitutions including bills of rights, most of which were drafted after World War II on the model of the U. S. Bill of Rights, the French Declaration, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or the European Convention on Human Rights.44

For instance, the Constitution of the kingdom of Burundi, which had been part of the Belgian Trust Territory of Ruanda-Urundi until 1962,

affirms in the Preamble the King's belief in God and his faith in the high dignity of the human person and his decision to guarantee fundamental human rights, and records that he takes his inspiration from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and from the Charter of the United Nations.45

However, as Henkin readily acknowledges, almost all African constitutions also contain provisions for the suspension or derogation of rights in times of emergency. Therefore, these constitutions do not effectively limit the power of the state.

Affirmations of human rights in the Third World clearly reflect a convergence of Western liberal and socialist traditions and by no means the victory of one over the other.46 What is also clear is that these reactants are being catalyzed by the cultural values of Third World peoples. In the crucible of the Third World there is not merely a reformulation of liberal and socialist doctrines of human rights—the first and second generations of human rights—but at the same time a reassertion of traditional values. The right to self-determination is seen as the right to shape the future in a way that protects as well as reforms the past.

If diverse cultural contexts in the Third World make the traditional distinctions between individual and group rights less clear, the oppressive character of many governments renders the debate between liberals and socialists a luxury. Patricia Weiss Fagen argues in a study of human rights literature in Latin America that, "the human rights movement has begun to function in Latin America as a means of keeping politics alive."47 Against the claims of the ruling elites of Latin America that individual rights must be subordinate to the state, those working for human rights insist "that individual human beings have rights which take precedence over the state's and must be recognized by the state."48

Fagen identifies the largest body of this literature as the product of Catholic and Protestant groups working for human rights.

In general, the writing from religious perspectives begins with the assertion that the rights advanced in the UN and inter-American human rights declarations and covenants correspond to accepted religious ethics. Catholic clergy equate human rights principles with the spirit of major theological statements since Pacem in Terris (Pope John XXIII).49

Therefore, in Latin America it is understood as natural and necessary for church leaders to defend human rights and for many church programs to be devoted entirely to human rights advocacy.

Fagen concludes that where political systems are open it is not necessary

to appeal exclusively to concepts of human rights in order to struggle, as people always have, for bread, freedom, land, a greater voice in the decisions that direct their lives, and overall human dignity. For the present, the very fact that there are suddenly thousands of people proclaiming and writing about human rights indicates that political systems in most countries are far from open.50

In Latin America, as in Africa and Asia, human rights claims are a means of affirming basic moral values in the face of severe oppression.

The breadth of the concept of human rights is an asset in this respect, for it encompasses different social, political and ideological perspectives and "is therefore useful to the political left, right and center, to religious and secular humanitarian associations and to victims of the many forms of repression."51 The ambiguity of human rights language, as well as its association with established legal and religious institutions, allows a certain amount of protection for those seeking redress for their grievances, as they would be more vulnerable using ideological or political language. 

Perhaps noted Chinese scholar Wm. Theodore de Bary offers wise counsel in how to interpret changes in the Third World. He argues that human rights are being translated and adapted into Chinese thought in the same way that Buddhist concepts were assimilated in the early Middle Ages.52 Therefore, he resists the argument that human rights are intelligible only within Western culture:

In my own view nothing is to be gained by arguing for the distinctively Western character of human rights. If you win the argument, you lose the battle. That is, if you claim some special distinction for the West in this respect, or assert some inherent lack on the part of Asians, you are probably defining human rights in such narrow terms as to render them unrecognizable or inoperable for others. If, however, you view "human rights" as an evolving conception, expressing imperfectly the aspirations of many peoples, East and West, it may be that, learning from the experience of others, one can arrive at a deeper understanding of human rights problems in different cultural settings.53

The synthesis of human rights concepts in the Third World is to be embraced rather than resisted, for it means that the possibility of a truly global standard for human dignity is becoming a reality.54

Despite the obvious violations of human rights there is hope. R. N. Trivedi, director of the Human Rights Institute in Lucknow, India, affirms that

the indomitable spirit of man, phoenix like, has risen from the ashes of despair to refurbish the bastions of hope, to give new meaning to life and make it worth living. . . . Want he has sought to banish by unending toil but the lurking fear that the fruits of his toil and labor may be snatched away from him has to be dispelled by faith. Faith in the form of awareness of his rights as a human being, individually or in a group, to enjoy life together or alone and to share the bounties of nature beyond the man made barriers—social, economic, political and geographic.55

In the Third World, faith in human rights is a way of living, in the face of renewed barbarism and systematic oppression, with hope for the future of the human family.

Revised from a chapter on "The Common Good" in Faith in Human Rights: Support in Religious Traditions for a Global Struggle (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 1991).


1 Hersch Lauterpacht, An International Bill of the Rights of Man (New York: Columbia University Press, 1945), 24. Eight pages earlier he asserts: "With isolated, though important exceptions, the idea of the inherent rights of man is the continuous thread in the pattern of history in the matter of that weighty issue of the relation of man and State."

2 See Karel Vasak, The International Dimensions of Human Rights (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1982).

The New Encyclopedia Britannica 20, "Macropaedia: Knowledge in Depth" (1985), s.v. "Human Rights," by Burns H. Weston, 715. First published as "Human Rights," Human Rights Quarterly 6, no. 3 (August 1984):257-83. See also Human Rights in the World Community: Issues and Action, ed. Weston and Richard P. Claude (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989).

4 Maurice Cranston, What are Human Rights? (New York: Basic Books, 1964)

5 Jack Donnelly, "What are Human Rights?: An Historical and Conceptual Analysis" (Ph.D. diss., University of California at Berkeley, 1981), subsequently published as The Concept of Human Rights (London: Croom Helm, 1985); Adda B. Bozeman, "The Roots of the American Commitment to the Rights of Man" in Rights and Responsibilities: International, Social, and Individual Dimensions (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1980), 51-102. See also Adamantia Pollis and Peter Schwab, "Human Rights: A Western Construct with Limited Applicability," in Human Rights: Cultural and Ideological Perspectives, ed. Pollis and Schwab (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1979); and Clifford Orwin and Thomas Pangle, "The Philosophical Foundation of Human Rights," in Human Rights in Our Time: Essays in Memory of Victor Baras, ed. Marc F. Plattner (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1984). Bruno V. Bitker argues to the contrary that "recognition of human rights is as old as man himself." Bitker, "Applications of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights within the United States," De Paul Law Review 21, no. 1 (1971):337.

6 James Sellers, "Human Rights and the American Tradition of Justice," Soundings 62, no. 3 (Fall, 1979):242. Richard Hofstadter was one of the first to suggest that Hobbes and not Locke was the true guiding spirit of the founding fathers. Hofstadter, The American Political Tradition (New York: Vintage Books, 1948), 16. Thomas Paine said, "We have it in our power to begin the world anew." John Locke said, "In the beginning all the world was America. . .." Perhaps thinking of both of these statements, President Jimmy Carter was later to say, "Human rights invented America." Thomas Paine, Common Sense (Penguin Books, 1976), 120; John Locke, Two Treatises of Government, ed. Peter Laslett (New York: Mentor Books, 1965), 343. Quoted in Arpad Kadarkay, Human Rights in American and Russian Political Thought (Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1982), 1 and v.

7 Quoted in Arthur N. Holcombe, Human Rights in the Modern World (New York: New York University Press, 1948), 5. See Douglas Lurton, Roosevelt's Foreign Policy, 1933-1941: Franklin D. Roosevelt's Unedited Speeches(Toronto: Longmans, Green, 1942), 324.

8 Ibid., 32.

9 See Barbara Jordan, "Individual Rights, Social Responsibility," in Rights and Responsibilities: International, Social, and Individual Dimensions, 9-17.

10 W. A. Whitehouse, "A Theological Perspective," in Human Rights: Problems, Perspectives and Texts, ed. F. E. Dowrick (England: Saxon House, 1979), 43. Louis Henkin writes that the "Americans declared what they had; the French declared what they desired." Henkin, "Economic-Social Rights as 'Rights': A United States Perspective," Human Rights Law Journal 2, nos. 3-4 (1981):233.

11 Ibid. Thomas Paine not only argued for democracy and independence, but for economic growth and social security. More recently, Bruce L. Rockwood has argued that American affluence and the myth of limitless resources has prevented Americans from perceiving "the legitimacy of demands for global economic rights as part of the human rights conception. . .." Rockwood, "Human Right and Wrong: The United States and the I.L.O.—A Modern Morality Play," Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law 10, no. 2 (Spring 1978):407.

12 David P. Forsythe, Human Rights and World Politics (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983), 158.

13 Jean-Bernard Marie, Human Rights or a Way of Life in a Democracy (Strasbourg, France: Council of Europe, Directorate of Human Rights, 1985), 61.

14 David P. Forsythe, Human Rights and World Politics, 202. He argues that this is perhaps clearest in the "intertwined emphasis on socioeconomic and civil-political rights" which are set forth in the two 1966 human rights covenants.

15 However, by 1943 David Riesman, Jr. would affirm: "I think it is now generally realized that men who lack productive work under tolerable conditions are not free to speak or otherwise to participate in the community's decisions, not only because they fear for their security, but also because their way of life permits no opportunity for self-development. Thus, the question arises whether or not the rights we cherish are not all parts of a piece, and whether with marginal exceptions, each does not depend upon the other, particularly so as our society becomes more interdependent and more complicated." Riesman, "Report to the Members at the Annual Meeting on the Discussion of the International Bill of Rights Project," ed. William Draper Lewis, American Law Institute (12 May 1943), 7.

16 See Joachim Kondziela, "Citoyen Freedom and Bourgeois Freedom: Religion and the Dialectics of Human Rights," Soundings 67, no. 2 (Summer 1984):174-76.

17 The New Encyclopedia Britannica 20, "Macropaedia: Knowledge in Depth" (1985), s.v. "Human Rights," by Burns H. Weston, 715.

18 Gregorio Peces-Barba, "Reflections on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights," Human Rights Law Journal 2, nos.3-4 (1981):282.

19 Ibid., 282-83.

20 Ibid., 292-93. V. N. Kudryavtsev asserts that "The minimum elementary democratic human rights essential for all contemporary civilized societies are affirmed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and in the international Covenants on Civil, Political, Social, Economic and Cultural Rights (1966), the recognition and ratification of which are obviously vital. All these rights and freedoms are of equal importance." Kudryavtsev, "Human Rights and the Soviet Constitution," in Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights (Paris: UNESCO, 1986), 89.

21 Ibid., 294.

22 Irving Louis Horowitz, "Foreword—On Human Rights and Social Obligations," Human Rights and World Order, ed. Abdul Aziz Said (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1978), viii.

23 Katarina Tomasevski, "Approaches to Human Rights in the Socio-Economic and Cultural Context of Eastern Europe," in Frontiers of Human Rights Education, ed. Asbjírn Eide and Marek Thee (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983), 97.

24 The New Encyclopedia Britannica 20, "Macropaedia: Knowledge in Depth" (1985), s.v. "Human Rights," by Burns H. Weston, 716.

25 Antonio Cassese, "The Approach of the Helsinki Declaration to Human Rights," Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 13 (Spring-Summer 1980):277.

26 Human Rights in International Law: Basic Texts (Strasbourg: Directorate of Human Rights, 1985), 14 and 27.

27 Antonio Cassese, "The Approach of the Helsinki Declaration to Human Rights," Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 13 (Spring-Summer 1980):278.

28 G.A. Res. 3281, 29 U.N. GAOR, U.N. Doc. A/9946 (1974).

29 G.A. Res. 32/130, 32 U.N. GAOR, U.N. Doc. A/32/45 (1978). For the debates preceding the adoption of the resolution, see UN Doc. A/C.3/32/SR. 42-44, 49-52 (1977).

30 W. A. Whitehouse, "A Theological Perspective," in Human Rights: Problems, Perspectives and Texts, 43.

31 Adolfo Perez Esquivel of Argentina, who received the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize, argues that "we must posit as a fundamental human right the right to life in the context of a just economic and social order." Esquivel, "The Human Right to Justice and Peace," Breakthrough 10, nos. 2-3 (Winter/Spring 1989):9. This article, translated from the Spanish by Richard Chartier, is excerpted from a speech to the Forum of Nobel Laureates in Paris in January 1988.

32 George W. Shepherd, Jr., "Transnational Development of Human Rights: The Third World Crucible," in Global Human Rights: Public Policies, Comparative Measures, and NGO Strategies, ed. Ved P. Nanda, James R. Scaritt, and Shepherd (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1981), 215.

33 Ibid. When he was Secretary-General of the UN in the 1950s, Trygve Lie predicted "that the rise of dependent peoples and the human rights movement will, in the long run, have more significance and give rise to greater events in the second half of the twentieth century than will the present ideological struggle." Quoted in The United Nations and Our Religious Heritage (New York: The Church Peace Union, 1953), 44.

34 Former UN ambassador Andrew Young, noting that the "emerging rights revolution" around the world is often being led by the graduates of Christian missionary schools, concludes that "this emerging movement for human rights is directly related to the Judaeo-Christian tradition and opportunities for higher education." Young, "Human Rights or Necessity," in "Symposium: Development as an Emerging Human Right," California Western International Law Journal 15, no. 3 (Summer 1985):441-42.

35 There is, of course, great diversity of opinion. See "Worlds Apart," South African Outlook (December 1987):125-26, reprinted from One World (October 1977).

36 José W. Diokno, untitled lecture, International Council of Amnesty International, Cambridge (21 September 1978), 11-12, mimeo. Quoted in Development, Human Rights and the Rule of Law, Report of a Conference held in the Hague on 27 April-1 May 1981, International Commission of Jurists (Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1981), 54,

37 Kéba Mbaye, "Chairman's Opening Remarks," in Development, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1981), 5. Mbaye defines the right to development as: "The recognized prerogative of every individual and every people to enjoy in just measure the goods and services produced thanks to the effort of solidarity of the members of the community."

38 David P. Forsythe, Human Rights and World Politics, 29. This right can be traced back to Woodrow Wilson and is mentioned twice in the UN Charter.

39 Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples, 4 July 1976 (Paris: François Maspero, 1977).

40 Richard Falk, Human Rights and State Sovereignty (New York: Holmes and Meier Publishers, Inc., 1981), 192.

41 David P. Forsythe, Human Rights and World Politics, 173.

42 Ibid., 175.

43 Ibid.

44 Louis Henkin, The Rights of Man Today (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1978), 78.

45 Egan Schwelb, Human Rights and the International Community: The Roots and Growth of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1964), 51.

46 Carnes Lord asserts: "there is a very large area of agreement between the various international documents on human rights and moral or legal standards that are widely recognized in the religion, traditions, and customs of non-Western societies." Lord, "Human Rights Policy in a Nonliberal World," in Human Rights in Our Time, 131. However, Alwin Diemer believes that in the Third World "the notion of universality expressed in the 1948 Declaration, which used the terms 'human being' and 'human nature', has been abandoned. Each group—however it be defined—is autonomous, 'self-legislating' in and through its culture. Individual cultures and hence the plurality and diversity (!) of cultures are now the basis for determining human rights." Diemer, "The 1948 Declaration: An Analysis of Meanings," in Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights, 102.

47 Patricia Weiss Fagen, "Human Rights in Latin America: Learning from the Literature," Christianity and Crisis 39 (24 December 1979):328.

48 Ibid., 333.

49 Ibid., 330.

50 Ibid. At least one Latin American novelist, Manlio Argueta, has given his characters a consciousness of human rights, as in the following passage: "And when they [the priests] changed, we also began to change. It was nicer that way. Knowing that something called rights existed. The right to health care, to food and to schooling for our children. If it hadn't been for the priests, we wouldn't have found out about these things that are in our interest." Argueta, One Day of Life, trans. Bill Brow (New York: Random House, Vintage Books, 1983), 31. For references to "human rights advocates" and violations of "human rights" see Argueta, Cuzcatlán, trans. Clark Hansen (New York: Random House, Vintage Books, 1987), 211 and 214. See also Majorie Agosin, "So We Will Not Forget: Literature and Human Rights in Latin America," Human Rights Quarterly 10, no. 2 (May 1988):177-92. This article was translated by Janice Molloy.

51 Ibid. Hector Fernández-Lesdema, professor of law at the Central University of Venezuela, argues that it is necessary both "to affirm a universal conception of human rights and to develop a Latin American approach for the study of human rights." Fernández-Lesdema, "The Studying and Teaching of Human Rights in Latin America," in Frontiers of Human Rights Education, 73-81.

52 Warren Holleman discusses at length the conflict between the individualistic notion of human rights in the liberal Western tradition and the Christian affirmation that, because persons are physical and social as well as spiritual beings, they possess social, economic and cultural rights as well as political rights. Holleman, The Human Rights Movement: Western Values and Theological Perspectives (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1987), chapters 2-5.

53 Mohammed Allal Sinaceur, "Islamic Tradition and Human Rights," in Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights, 198.

54 "Building an Authentic World Community," The Pope Speaks: The Church Documents Quarterly 33, no. 1 (1988):23.

55 Baptist Jimmy Carter would seem to agree: "Our definition of human rights should not be too narrow. People have a right to fill vital economic needs—to be fed, housed, clothed, and educated. Civil and political rights must be protected—freedom of speech, thought, assembly, travel, and participation in government. The rights of personal integrity are the most obvious of all—freedom from arbitrary arrest or imprisonment, torture, or murder by one's own government." Carter, "The State of Human Rights in the World," Human Rights Law Journal 9, no. 1 (1988):110.

56 See Rosemary Haughton, "A Christian Theology of Human Rights," in Understanding Human Rights: An Interdisciplinary and Interfaith Study, ed. Alan D. Falconer (Dublin: Irish School of Ecumenics, 1980), 235; César Jerez, S.J., "Faith, Hope and Love in a Suffering Church," in Human Rights: A Challenge to Theology (Rome: CCIA and IDOC International, 1983), 75; Park Hyung Kyu, "A Letter from a Korean Church Minister," Asia Link 7, no. 3 (May 1985):12; Carolyn Cook Dipboye, "The Roman Catholic Church and the Political Struggle for Human Rights in Latin America, 1968-1980," Journal of Church and State 24 (1982):524; Mortimer Arias, "Ministries of Hope in Latin America," International Review of Mission 71, no. 281 (January 1982):6-9; "Martyrdom in Brazil," in At/One/Ment (Garrison, N.Y.: Graymoor Ecumenical Institute, 1986), 3; and the "Martyr Survey" in Penny Lernoux, Cry of the People: United States Involvement in the Rise of Fascism, Torture and Murder and the Persecution of the Catholic Church in Latin America (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1980), 463-69.

52 Wm. Theodore de Bary, "Human Rites—An Essay on Confucianism and Human Rights," China Notes 23, no. 4 (Fall 1984):307-13. A shortened version of this essay is published as "Neo-Confucians and Human Rights," in Human Rights and the World's Religions, ed. Leroy S. Rouner (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1988), 183-98.

53 Ibid., 308. Raimundo Panikkar argues that human rights are not universal but reflect Western values. However, he asserts: "in the contemporary political arena as defined by socioeconomic and ideological trends, the defense of Human Rights [sic] is a sacred duty." Panikkar, "Is Human Rights a Western Concept? A Hindu/Jain/Buddhist Reflection," Breakthrough 10, nos. 2-3 (Winter/Spring 1989):30-34.

54 Mihailo Markovic argues, in the words of Paul Ricoeur, that the struggles over human rights "have created a real convergence between the systems." Ricoeur, "Introduction," in Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights, 17. See Markovic, "Differing Conceptions of Human Rights in Europe: Towards a Resolution," in Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights, 113-30.

55 R. N. Trivedi, "Human Rights, Right to Development and the New International Order—Perspectives and Proposals," in Development, Human Rights and the Rule of Law, 132. William L. Bradley affirms: "Common to us all . . . is a pluralistic intellectual heritage of perceptive leaders by whom our civilizations came into being. Common to us all is the prospect of a future that demands rededication to that heritage. Today, as never before, the heritage of one can become the heritage of all. Therefore, we know that despite our present inability to find solutions to the problems of universal human rights, we must pursue that quest, searching for ways to fashion out of our cultural and historical diversity a world of equity and justice." Bradley, "The Cultural Factor Reappraised," in The Moral Imperatives of Human Rights: A World Survey, ed. Kenneth W. Thompson (Washington, D.C.: University of America Press, 1980), 235. © Robert Traer 2016