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Critique of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Essay

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, came as a reaction to the dreadful damages of the Second World War. This declaration was built according to the fundamentals of equality. It lists us all of our rights, all of our freedoms and how we can express them freely. It was constructed on the basic fact of it being just, equal to all, and right. However, are all articles applicable on all of mankind? Or can some of these be questioned? Generally, all of these articles should be applicable for the majority of humans, but not all of them. There is always an exception to the rule.

There is always an outlier that doesn’t follow the rules. Many countries have rejected or not signed this declaration, therefore this declaration isn’t pertinent everywhere. One can find a lot of exceptions for many articles. Article 1 states that all human beings are free and equal in dignity and rights, that they are endowed with reason and conscience and should act toward one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Nonetheless, not all human beings are reasonable and conscious of everything they do. Take serial killers for example. Their acts prove of inhumanity. A man with reason and/or conscience would never do such a thing.

Also, should we give unreasonable people the same rights as the ones reasonable people have? Should they have the same privilege as others even if they have no sense of reason or conscience? The United Nations General Assembly also mentioned the fact that people should act in a spirit of brotherhood. Look around you, what brotherhood? Is killing each other brotherhood? Is fighting and starting wars brotherhood? Is forgetting every moral and correct way of acting just to get to power brotherhood? A definite no is the correct answer to these questions. There are no signs of brotherhood around us.

On the contrary, if one takes a close look to our surroundings and everything around us, humans, one will only notice nothing but signs of rivalry and opposition. Article 2 raises the issue of the fact that we’re all equal in terms of rights and freedoms without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Despite that, distinctions according to race, color, sex, religion, etc still exist in our modern society. Movements of racism, sexism, and religions distinctions still exist, but of course, lesser than before.

People are still fighting and battling to erase these distinctions completely. This is a process every person looking for an equal and just world should follow. Article 5 states that no one shall be subjected to torture or to be cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment. What about those who commit inhuman acts, those who torture other humans for the fun of it, don’t they deserve to have a taste of their own medicine? One should be treated the way one treats others. So if one tortures one another, that one shall be tortured or punished. Part 2 of article 15 articulates the fact that no one shall be deprived of his nationality.

Well, what if that individual was involved in acts of high treason? What if that person turned his back on his country and denied his own nationality. That person definitely does not deserve to hold his nationality and shall be deprived from it immediately. Articles 18 and 19 talk about the fact that everyone is free to express their thoughts, opinions, religions. Some thoughts and opinions might actually harm others. Physically or mentally. In that way, it will refrain article 1. An example of such opinions/thoughts/religion would be Satanism and the Ku Klux Klan. These associations actions can damage others and hurt them.

Therefore, these associations do not have the right to fully express themselves, but partially. They can only express the opinions/thoughts that do no harm to others. To sum things up, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is inconsistent; its articles are not always suitable. This declaration is not functional in all countries as some countries did not sign it. This declaration fails in its goal of it being universal; Exceptions can be found to some articles. Pieces of this declaration can be questioned for some precise individuals. It is not always applicable and it is not always a reliable document.


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