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Article 30, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The reason why Human Rights exist, is because of the following process: A citizen gives its freedoms to government in exchange for protection. However, to prevent the government abusing its people, since the government has the citizens' rights, Human Rights were created. Human Rights protect people from their government. However, in many human right declarations - particularly in the UDHR - there are reserves by many countries, which are merely interpretations. Article 30 seems to work, but when it comes to certain cases, where fighting to human rights actually violates another right. The worst thing about this, is these aren't interpretations; these are merely exactly what the right states.
Let me pose examples so these blurred lines for human rights are more evident. i know to expose the sole concept may be confusing, so I remit myself to the follwing examples.
Indigenous groups are considered as vulnerated peoples by the UN. Their lifestyle is not sometimes always respected and socially they are usually segregated. According to Human Rights, they should be included in daily life as any person should be. However, let us consider the following issues:
They have the right to have thier cultures preserved. This is a responsibility of the government and a right for the indigenous peoples. But now, conisdering that the government will ensure their lenguage is preserved, it forces them to be bilingual to exist in society. If indigenous peoples have the right to receive education in their lenguage, they will also have to learn the official language of the country. Let me put the example of Mexico, where there are 64 ethnic groups. Giving them education in their native language is easier said than done. And, in the end, reforcing their language obliges them to learn spanish too, the spoken language in Mexico. Of course, this is not a violation to their rights, but makes their lives increasingly more challenging. Some indigenous peoples even admit it is easier to just learn spanish. This turns out to be counterproductive, if the goal is to make indigenous peoples no longer a vulnerable group.
Now, let's consider traditions. Taking the same example of Mexico, for some cultures, mostly the southern ones, it is okay to exchange women for livestock. It is perfectly normal to arrange marriages between a 13 year-old girl in exchange for a cow. If government banned this, in the name of human rights, wouldn't it go against their traditions? This is when the point of view of the global world and the one of the indigenous peoples clash. If we pre-assume that our point of view should prevail over theirs, we would just mimic the idea that leads to discrimination
Freedom of Speech has always been one of the trickiest concepts humanity has had to deal with. There have been many postures: from total liberty to complete censorhip. The midpoint is respect. However, in the internet, when anonymity is a tacit principle respect is not what it takes to ensure rights are always respected.
The fact that anyone can login to the internet without giving any identity credentials opens to many risks. I call your attention not to the expression of ideas, but rather the publishing of content that might be offensive to people. Let's consider pornography. Of course, there are sites special for this contnet, but what if these sites were censored, as India did a months ago? Haven't both the watchers and producers their rights violated? Of course, it is illegal for any minor-age watch pornography, but if an adult - fully concious of what he or she is doing - desires to watch porn? Isn't this violation to the freedom of speech in the name of protecting the audience in general? What about paedophilia? This completely illegal activity, in my opinion, must be censored and banned. But isn't the same reasoning to ban websites and regular pornography?
Of course, all this censorship is made to protect the population. I have gave you examples of material that should be banned under the ethical logic. But what about someone else, who thinks that censorship is for the better of the many, bans something that, under ethical thinking, shouldn't be banned? Let me put the following example: In china, it is imposible to web search "To take [name of chinese city]", as reported in an Amnesty International report on the "Enemies of the Internet". In this case, censorship is not acceptable, is it?
So where is it acceptable and where not?
This was discussed in the MUN I organized last summer. And what it appeared to be evident is that most delegates - and many people I've discussed the issue with, are unable to define religious extremism. How to know to what point a religion is extremist? When it kills? Many indigenous traditions, as in the case of the mayas, included sacrifices in the past. Of course, it is a practice that is decreasing, but in the time it wasn't considered religious extremism. I am not trying to justify the killing of extremists. I'm calling your attention on how to empathize with them, how to understand them. No religion supports murder, but indeed, man can justify murder through religion. If your religion says "protect those who need it", should you kill someone who is trying to harm a child?
With this logic, religous extremists can argue they are doing right - in the end, who can tell what is the absolute good? Again, I'm not justifying extremism, but how to erradicate it without violating article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Changing religious education? Under which standard? Who will determine which form of the religion is the correct one? The same species that created religious extremism?
Special Cases: The same action, in different situations, either protects or violates human rights.
Ethics: Who is a moral authority to determine right from wrong absolutely?
-While researching for the Religious Extremism, I found the endorsed idea of banning religion. Of course, I think this is almost impossible, but believable. Two years ago I begun writing a novel about this... perhaps it not so far from reality.