The Challenge of Human Rights

The Challenge of Human Rights

Past, Present and Future

Edited by David Keane and Yvonne McDermott

The Challenge of Human Rights takes a detailed and exploratory approach to topics across the field of human rights, and seeks to map a path for future research and policy development.


Joshua Castellino

Subjects: law - academic, human rights, law and society, politics and public policy, human rights


Joshua Castellino It gives me great pleasure to write the Foreword for this important volume, which addresses a range of human rights issues which are likely to be of enduring interest. It is clear that the world in which we find ourselves in the twenty-first century is significantly different from that which confronted the drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights post-World War Two. Their challenge was to design a system that would be truly universal in coverage, and create the foundations for the prevention of the kinds of atrocities that have regularly occurred in the past. The track record of the Universal Declaration has been mixed; it has generated an important legacy in the creation of an entire system of international human rights law, but with inconsistent results, not only failing to prevent large-scale human rights violations but proving inconsistent in tackling the slower drip of discriminatory treatment of individuals and communities. In the context of these failures it is significant to note that they are often underpinned by lost opportunities in engaging the entire range of the vision of the drafters of rights. At various points in the history of human rights, sets of norms seeking the emancipation of individuals and communities have been realized. However only a selection of the potential range of human rights has been implemented, usually based on the self-interest of those that have chosen to engage. In addition many of the models derived have emanated from western ideas of law and beliefs...