Dezember Most people think that the international human rights system is a liberal creation fostered by the United States and its allies. There are good grounds for such views.
The European Convention on Human Rights remains, to this day, the strongest regional pronouncement and the European Union, despite all its problems, the strongest regional enforcer of human rights. US President Jimmy Carter famously declared in the s that human rights would govern the country's foreign policy. All through the s, s, and s, UN committees negotiated the language of the two covenants that, in , finally brought into international law the principles laid out in the UDHR.
The drafters had imagined that the covenants and an international court would follow quickly on the heels of the UDHR. Instead, the Cold War assured that they would have to wait twenty years for the covenants and half a century until the International Criminal Court came to life. In these long, wearying negotiations, the US and many of its allies proved not to be great advocates of human rights. Instead, they fought resolutely against two provisions that would become bedrocks of the international human rights system: self-determination and social and economic rights.
In the still-colonial world of the s, Britain, France, Portugal, Belgium, and many others feared that the concept of self-determination would undermine their empires.
Rightfully so. For the US especially, any mention of social and economic rights smacked of socialism and communism. The US would only countenance political rights as articulated in the French, American, and Latin American revolutions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and agreed to the social rights provisions of the UDHR only with great reluctance. In contrast, the Soviet Union allied with countries from what we now call the Global South to create a much more expansive human rights system. That allowed over six million of them to starve to death in during the collectivization of agriculture campaign?
That continued to be highly authoritarian under Stalin's successors? Yes, we can talk, in one and the same breath, about rights in the Soviet Union while also recognizing the deeply repressive and murderous character of the system. No country has a pristine record on human rights, and certainly not the USSR.
Soviet history does, though, add many new angles and panes to the multistoried, fragile glass house of human rights. Greenhouse makes companies great at hiring, improving the process for everyone involved — from hiring managers and recruiters to candidates themselves. Greenhouse and General Assembly hosted a workshop and lively discussion focused on diversity and inclusion with talent leaders from Culture Amp, Oscar Health, and Greenhouse. Discover How.
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