Past, Present and Future
Edited by David Keane and Yvonne McDermott
Chapter 1: The Right to a Social and International Order for the Realisation of Human Rights: Article 28 of the Universal Declaration and International Cooperation
1. The right to a social and international order for the realization of human rights: Article 28 of the Universal Declaration and international cooperation Josh Curtis and Shane Darcy The United Nations declared in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights that ‘everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realised’. It is an intriguing provision, in that Article 28 seems to straddle the line between the substantive rights of the Declaration and the last few articles, which do not speak of rights themselves, but rather of duties and limitations. It was important that this foundational document recognized the entitlement of every individual to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms of the Declaration could be fully realized, for it shows an understanding of how context, both nationally and internationally, impacts on the enjoyment of human rights. The emerging globalization of the post-war world is now a fully fledged reality, and it is clear that the realization of human rights is challenged not just by national set-ups but also by developments at the regional or global level, notably regarding trade, investment and finance, not to mention environmental changes attributable to climate change. Since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of 1948, we have seen the construction of significant human rights machinery at the international, regional and national levels. Colonialism, the great antithesis of human rights, has formally ended, by and large....
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