Cultural Relativism: The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights

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Universal Human Rights mean the rights which are equally acceptable in all the socities when The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is the unique and an important document which is translated into different languages all over world. It is based upon idea of promoting freedom, justice and peace and it provides a set of uniform standards that were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly with the support of forty-eight countries. This doctrine consists of universal international values, but indigenous societies are not in favour of universal implementation of this kind of law because it interferes with the social fabric of the society which in turn consists of the traditional beliefs, values and norms. These beliefs, norms and…show more content…
Each culture is uniquely worthy of respect. The distinctiveness among cultures should not be blurred or mitigated. They should not be compared favorably or unfavorably with one another, they should be respected. On the other hand in cultural relativism, all points of view are equally valid, and any truth is relative. The truth belongs to the individual or her or his culture. All ethical, religious, and political beliefs are truths related to the cultural identity of the individual or society. The United Nations Department of Public Information defines cultural relativism as, “the assertion that human values, far from being universal, vary a great deal according to different cultural perspectives. Some would apply this relativism to the promotion, protection, interpretation and application of human rights which could be interpreted differently within different cultural, ethnic and religious traditions`` (Diana, 1995).…show more content…
Although there is strong international condemnation of practices that are harmful to children, many rites continue to hold significant meaning among indigenous populations. These cultural customs like ritual circumcision, symbolic cuts to the body, tests of endurance, child marriage are viewed as ritual steps in the process of transition from childhood to adulthood in many traditional societies. Among these cultural practices the most brutal and horrifying practice is female genital mutilation (FGM). The practice of removing the external female genitalia for cultural, traditional or religious reasons is particularly a big blow to human rights advocates. According to the World Health Organization, one hundred million women have undergone the practice of circumcision, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. It has been described by the organization as “a torture that must be stamped out.” Based on the UDHR and the Declaration on the Rights of the Child, humanitarians argue that both male and female circumcision directly violates such provisions of international law (Smith 1998). It is important to note that generally children do not have any say in these matter, they have no choice but have to tolerate such kind of torture. Such social pressures to confirm to traditional rituals, particularly ones that demonstrate a transition into adulthood and indicate

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