Chapter

The Colonial Argument

Arvind Sharma

in Are Human Rights Western?

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780195679489
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081714 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195679489.003.0026
The Colonial Argument

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This chapter examines the colonial argument for the claim that human rights are Western. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been labelled or at least treated by some as Western on account of it being implicated in some forms of colonialism. Based on a speech by Carlos Romulo — a member of the working group involved in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — during the International Conference of African and Asian Nations at Bandung in 1955, it is suggested that the colonial argument is not without substance if one recalls that much of the world's population was not represented in the UN in 1948: large parts of Africa and some Asian countries remained under colonial rule; and the defeated axis powers — Japan, Germany, Italy, and their allies — were excluded as well.

Keywords: human rights; Western idea; colonialism; Universal Declaration of Human Rights; International Conference of African and Asian Nations at Bandung, 1955

Chapter.  1382 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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