Universal Declaration of Human Rights

To what extent is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights(UDHR) a useful source for understanding peace. 

 

Despite the fact that the issue of war and peace has occupied a focal position since very long, in all historical periods and among all nations, the international community fully realized the supreme significance and extreme need of the virtue of peace against the evil of war only after having suffered the most unfortunate and highly destructive two World Wars in the first half of the 20th century (Barash et al., 2017). The blood-soaked shreds of humanity in different parts of the globe and particularly on the soils of Hiroshima and Nagasaki cried for peace, peace, and peace on the earth. The human consciousness and demand of harmony, then rallied in the Charter of the United Nations to affirm- "We the people of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to humankind…. and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security….. Have resolved to combine our efforts to accomplish these aims.”  
As a lesson from the devastation and sufferings due to World War II, UDHR was drafted looking beyond the world of war and accepting the right of all individual to live in peaceful environment and, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights brought human rights into the realm of international law (Sriram et al., 2017).
 
UDHR Believes:
UDHR firmly believes that every human has the right to freedom of speech, belief and their right to live in a peaceful environment. Adoption of UDHR became a common concern for all citizens and became a matter of legitimate international concern that was no more confined as a domestic issue. The Universal Declaration begins by recognizing that ‘the inherent dignity of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world'. It declares that human rights are universal – to be enjoyed by all people, no matter who they are or where they live (Bennett et al., 2015). It is an expression of the fundamental values which are shared by all members of the international community (Donnelly et al., 2017). The 30 articles that comprise UDHR, address a wide range of rights that fall into a few different categories. The first two articles provide a foundation stone or the very base and state that everyone is born free and equal regardless of their identity and nationality. These words are an expression of what it means (or should mean) to be human.

The rest of the articles establish:
•    The basic rights of the individual against things like slavery, torture, and disenfranchisement.
•    Political rights, such as guaranteeing that everyone has the right to be a citizen of a country.
•    Freedom of thought, expression, and religion. 
•    The right to work and economic security.
•    The responsibility people have to create societies where they can exercise their rights.

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To have a look, few of the rights are mentioned below-
Article 1- All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Article 6- Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law
Article 18- Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; 
Article 19- Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression;
Article 22- Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality (Brown et al., 2016).
Article 26- (1) everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance, and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
Article 30- Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein. Thus, it covers the various aspects of human life and his state of living (Malik et al., 2015).
 
Primary source (about equality between colored and white people) 
Now, talking of the primary source (Eleanor Roosevelt's Four Basic Rights), it talks about the rights that are essential for people anywhere in the world. Though it does not advocate social equality between colored and white people (which I believe must exist), it points out to right to education, justice, employment and lawmaking which are necessary for the well-being of the individual and to promote democracy in general. It relates to peace on general terms and does not go against the sections of UDHR. 

To conclude, UDHR was proclaimed as important document closely linked with peace, a landmark for protecting the rights and dignity of people and beginning of a system. Man’s desire for peace lies behind this Declaration. The document today inspires many countries, individuals and stakeholders to create a better place to live a place where human rights values are respected where peace is an inspiration to all. 
 
The Universal Declaration includes civil and political rights, like the right to life, liberty, free speech and privacy. It also includes various economic, social and cultural rights, like the right to social security, health and education.
 
References 
Barash, D.P., and Webel, C.P., 2017. Peace and conflict studies. Sage Publications.
Sriram, C.L., Martin-Ortega, O., and Herman, J., 2017. War, conflict and human rights: theory and practice. Routledge.
Donnelly, J. and Whelan, D.J., 2017. International human rights. Hachette UK.
Bennett, M., and O'Malley, S., 2015. Introduction: Radical Teaching about Human Rights. Radical Teacher, 103, pp.1-4.
Brown, G., 2016. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the 21st Century. Open Book Publishers.
Malik, C., Bogomolov, A., Chang, P.C., Cassin, R., Roosevelt, E., Dukes, C. and Humphrey, J.P., 2015. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UDHR, Declaration of Human Rights. Human Rights Declaration, Human Rights Charter, the UN and Human Rights. UN News Center. UN, and Web, 4.
 

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