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University of Toronto St. George
Eleanor Pontoriero

REVIEW TEST #2 STUDY NOTES TERMS *MISSING TERMS - John Rawls, universalism, proselytism, justice, dignity, Lakshmi Puri* Asma Jahangir is a Pakistani human rights advocate who worked to prevent the persecutions of religious minorities. Jahangir and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs addressed on the current relevance and importance of the future role of the 1981 Declaration, both to her work as a Special Rapporteur as well as the international community and the human rights movement as a whole and the solemn proclamation of the Prague Declaration on freedom of religion or belief as promulgated by Mr. Pier de Klerk, Netherlands Ambassador for Human Rights. Everyone has the right to freedom of religion or belief; all acts of discrimination based on religion or belief should be condemned; all states need to take active steps to promote religious tolerance and to eradicate religious intolerance and discrimination. Significance: The UN Special Rapporteur contributes to the progressive development of the international standard pertaining to freedom of religion or belief-linked to law. Contribute to a maximisation of the level of freedom of religion or belief world wide Article 1, UN Charter Found in the United Nations Declaration on Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief. The main issue is the word whatever before the word belief yielding whatever belief. Religious rights include individual rights, collective rights and rights of the religious group or community. In the United Nations law and in modern human rights law the term religion usually followed by the word belief means theistic convictions. The UN system for protection of religious human rights does not include any specific obligatory treaty regarding religious human rights. The discussion on the need and or convenience of mandatory treaty on religious rights and freedom is inconclusive. The 1981 Declaration of the elimination of all forms of intolerance and discrimination based on religious belief was incorporated of the principle enunciated in the seminal study by Arcot Krishnaswami which includes a comprehensive and detailed catalog of rights related to freedom conscience, religion and belief and their exercise in practice. Complicated problems, like opting out, conversion from some religious community. The need to protect religious, ethnic and cultural groups because of the shocking ethical cleansing in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Significance: Article 1 is responsible for the collective of rights of individuals Separate but equal doctrine Major religions operate with asymmetric accounts of manhood and womanhood. This is rationalized not as inequality as such but based on a type of separate but equal doctrine. Women may have similar moral and spiritual worth to men but their life work is fundamentally different. Significance: This is why the Catholic Church has found the issue of women ordination so difficult. Priesthood is simple not within the province of womanhood similarly in orthodox Judaism, women are disqualified from being female rabbis and performing public functions. Legal Legal means permissible by law. Law forms the basis for all human beings to interact in normal society. There is both a moral and a legal perspective to the HR discourse, the beauty of law making and human institutions is the fact that they can be changed in accordance with these moral values. Whereas religious and spiritual values are the foundation for moral values, the legal sphere is the arena in which rights are compromised and create the conditions for which human dignity can be respected. The freedom of religious associations to form legal entities in order to manifest their religious beliefs is an important issue. The dressing of religious associations as a legal entity is essential for such associations for issues of financial assistance, relations with the state, other groups and the media. There must be more pressure on states to accept such legal entities and obstacles be overcome many obstacles. The Charter provisions impose a legal duty on member states to observe human rights. Overlapping consensus (John Rawls introduced the idea of an overlapping consensus. In his book The Idea of An Overlapping Consensus he defines it as a consensus in which it is affirmed by the opposing religions, philosophical and moral doctrines likely to thrive over generation in a more or less just constitutional democracy, where the criterion of justice is that political conception itself THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS - are based on an overlapping consensus. They are not simply commandments, they are moral values. These values have been decided by all the nations who have contributed to the declaration. Cultural relativism -is about reinterpretation of religious texts, peoples values and their application and how to understand their cultural identity in this time and place in history, this challenge focuses on the tension between human rights and communitarian unity universalism-cultural relativism debate explores the relation between rights and duties; how do certain religious perspectives, spiritual perspectives engage the UN discourse? The tension that this creates is part of the universalism, cultural relativism debate...are these human rights universal? or are they are specific to a particular culture, how do we address human rights in our community? in a community that is high marketized and unequal and with weaker sentiments of human solidarity, it is not an economic problem but a moral problem, Those who resort to arguments such as cultural relativism to disregard democratic and human rights values are in fact tyrannical reactionaries, who seek to cover their dictatorial faces by resorting to acts of violence and aggression against their own people, in the name of national or religious culture. Shirin Ebadi attributes to cultural relativism as well stating that it is important human rights laws and principles should protect and work towards peace, Aung San Suu Kyi challenges cultural relativism and says that human rights are universal, Says that often when you have abusive government, it is often to mask abusive power and to oppress people, Pg 106 an son su chi- challenges cultural relativism, Totalitarian governments use this excuse. We will deal with issues in a Burmese fashion. UN documents have nothing to do with Burmese history (paraphrase). The West which implies more of a statement than a geographical location was born as a reaction against cultural relativism 1981 Declaration - Articles 1 & 8 - adopted by UN general assembly, not legally bind because not legal convention - Piet de klerk- assessed contemporary relevance of 1981 declaration - Felice Gaer- gave answers and insights into drafting of 1981 declaration - Professor Van Boven: analyzed aspects of drafting history of 1981 declaration to see whether convention on religious tolerance was needed - both theistic and non-theistic protected by declaration - huge gap between declaration and reality on domestic level -> a push for dialogue - academic gathering in Czech Republic on Declaration and to discuss everyones right to freedom of religion and beliefs worldwide - 1981 declaration to created framework for Ms. Asma Jahangir who claims freedoms of religion and belief are not achieved yet for many - Many Kirshnaswami rules were incorporated in 1981 Declarations Article 1 - created to eliminate all forms of hatred, discrimination and intolerance based on religion or belief - everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion no matter what religion of his choice and whether individually or collectively, whether private or public, or manifest in worship, practice or teaching - prohibition of coercion in religious affairs - limitations with respect to freedom of religion and belief that would interfere with peoples safety, morals or freedoms of rights of others Article 8 - to guarantee 1981 declaration not to be interpreted as lowering standards provided by UN convenants dealing with the matter (the others that also try to give instructions on ex: ICCPR, not make less of them or their lessons on human rights of religion and belief) - nothing in present declaration shall be construed as restricting or derogating from any right defined in universal declaration of human rights and international convenants on human rights Rights [Lerner, Mahoney]: -trace back to ancient Roman and Greek times, not found in religious holy texts -rights of thought, conscious and freedom -Positive human rights laws now finding ways to protect human rights 1) Individual should be placed as centre of protection recognized by the right to freedom of religion and belief 2) collective rights - specifically for religious minorities - Mahoney: Legal, social and ethical freedom or entitlement - Concept of rights began with civilization. Rights have evolved over time to meet different needs. There are three generations of rights, the first that emphasizes the individuals right to life and individuality. The second, the rights to flourish in society and third the security and rights for specific groups or communities. Creating a universal declaration of right is a challenge because peoples idea of rights varies when other external factors plays a part in distinguishing what is a right and how much can one have in what context. Mahoney distinguishes a variety of rights. He compares legal rights to moral rights, moral rights that exist without legislation and legal rights that varies from country to country. Aim is to transform moral rights into concrete legal rights. The next is human rights as liberties and human rights as claims, human rights as liberty is seen as a negative right as it allows the individual to act upon what he/she wishes within a legal frame but most often abuse the rights given
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