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Human Rights: Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - Essay Example

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he horrors of the two succeeding world wars (I and II) within the span of 30 years only that had dehumanized human civilizations, had shown how dreadful humans can be. Committed never to let such inhumanity happen again, world leaders of the United Nations (UN) had agreed to uphold human rights…
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Human Rights: Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
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Download file to see previous pages Cognizant of the vital role education plays in uplifting human rights and freedom and in developing human resources, Article 26 of the UDHR guarantees the inherent right to education of every person, regardless of sex, race, creed, and wealth, anywhere at all times. I. UDHR Article 26: The Right to Education A. Historical Context The UDHR, in which the right to education had been formally recognized, is an historic document, manifesting the UN’s consensual understanding of human dignity and value (Gleeson, par. 8). It had been an offshoot of the world leaders’ realization for the need to guarantee human rights anywhere at all times in order to prevent the recurrence of the abhorrent atrocities the two succeeding World Wars had inflicted against humanity (Bailey, par. 2-4). In fact, the formulation of Article 26 had gone through lengthy debates because the CHR was concerned how the educational system was used during WWII for Nazi indoctrination (Arajarvi 553). The UDHR was then meant specifically to define the human rights and fundamental freedoms referred to in the UN Charter (Oswald, Durham & Bates 72). CHR’s first draft of the UDHR, later known as the Geneva draft, was completed for less than two years of composing its entire text. This was then presented to the UN in September 1948 for final drafting, participated in by 50 member-states. Finally, on the evening of December 10, 19481 at Palais de Chaillot, Paris, the UN’s General Assembly (GA) in its resolution 217 A (III) approved the UDHR, as it is, without opposition, but with eight abstentions (six communist states, Saudi Arabia and South Africa) (Bailey, par. 23; UN, par. 6). In 1950, to propagate the declaration worldwide, the UN GA (UN, par. 1) – based on its Resolution 217 D– had called on all member-states including the UN Secretary General, the UN Specialized Agencies and international NGOs to make the widest possible publicity with clear explanation of the UDHR, which made the UDHR available in 300 languages (Claude 214). Today, the UDHR has become the cornerstone of international and domestic human rights laws (Gleeson, par. 1), but finalizing it into its current form had not gone without much debate and numerous revisions, as what had happened to Article 26. B. Structures, Processes, and Legislations From the UNESCO’s account, the writing and approval of Article 26 had gone through a series of amendments and revisions before it had been approved in its final form. Drafting of the UDHR was tasked by the UN’s General Assembly (GA) on the UN’s Commission on Human Rights (CHR),2 which to the approval of ECOSOC in March 1947, set-up its nine-member drafting committee (DC) composed of William Hodgson of Australia; John Humphrey of Canada – the UN Human Rights Division Director, who prepared the UDHR blueprint; Hernan Santa Cruz of Chile; Peng Chung Chang of China – the elected Vice-Chairman of the committee; Rene Cassin of France – the composer of the first draft; Charles Malik of Lebanon – the elected Committee Rapporteur; Charles Dukes of the United Kingdom, Alexandre Bogomolov of the USSR, and Eleanor Roosevelt, widow of the US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who on April 1946 was elected the committee chair. (93-94) Writing of the UDHR was based on three basic documents– the Secretariat’s draft outline of an International Bill of Human Rights (IBHR), the UK’s prepared IBHR draft plus a draft Resolution, and the US’s set of proposals for the rewording the Secretariat’s draft outline. Confronted with the formidable task of uniting these three ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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