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4 Universality of Human Rights

From: Human Rights: Between Idealism and Realism, Third Edition

Christian Tomuschat

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 28 February 2024

States, equality — Treaties, reservations and declarations — Treaties, observance — Conflicts between — Capital punishment — Gender — Conscientious objection — Regional organizations
The statement in Article 1 UDHR that ‘[a]‌ll human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’ leads unavoidably to the conclusion that human rights must be universal, belonging to the natural assets of everyone, independently of any personal characteristics. Thus the UDHR may be deemed to constitute a manifesto advocating the universality of human rights.1 Only recently did the GA affirm once again: ‘The universal nature of [all human rights and fundamental freedom] is beyond question.’2 Questions do nonetheless arise. Can there really be a common...
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