August 19, 2012
Does Universal Human Rights Mean Anything Anymore?
The United Nations' top human rights official has acknowledged that the U.N. human rights system is failing due to bureaucratic overload. Yet the Office of the High Commissioner is supporting promulgation of a duplicative international treaty that will further constipate the system, obscure its fundamental animating principle of universal human rights, and dilute attention from grotesque violations of fundamental freedoms with another treaty that mainly mandates more government services. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay's report documents the exponential growth of U.N. human rights instruments and associated procedures. Since 2004, the size of the U.N. human rights treaty system has doubled. As a result, member-states complain of too many often overlapping reporting requirements; compliance with obligations is low. The report reassures that the system needs to be strengthened (read: more funds), not reformed, as "the approach of absorbing new...(Read Full Article)