Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

The Universality of the Concept of Human Rights

Louis Henkin
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 506, Human Rights around the World (Nov., 1989), pp. 10-16
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1046650
Page Count: 7
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($40.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Universality of the Concept of Human Rights
Preview not available

Abstract

Debate about the universality of human rights requires definition of "human rights" and even of "universality." The idea of human rights is related but not equivalent to justice, the good, democracy. Strictly, the conception is that every individual has legitimate claims upon his or her society for defined freedoms and benefits; an authoritative catalog of rights is set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The rights of the Universal Declaration are politically and legally universal, having been accepted by virtually all states, incorporated into their own laws, and translated into international legal obligations. Assuring respect for rights in fact, however, will require the continued development of stable political societies and of the commitment to constitutionalism. Virtually all societies are also culturally receptive to those basic rights and human needs included in the Universal Declaration that reflect common contemporary moral intuitions. Other rights, however - notably, freedom of expression, religious and ethnic equality, and the equality of women - continue to meet deep resistance.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
10
    10
  • Thumbnail: Page 
11
    11
  • Thumbnail: Page 
12
    12
  • Thumbnail: Page 
13
    13
  • Thumbnail: Page 
14
    14
  • Thumbnail: Page 
15
    15
  • Thumbnail: Page 
16
    16