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Human rights and international humanitarian law as it affects armed conflicts since 1945: An appraisal

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  • Osakwe, Chukwuma
  • Udeagbala, Lawrence Okechukwu

Abstract

Although the idea of human rights has been as old as man depending on the culture and traditions of different peoples of the world, however it was the colossal damages of the World War II that made it imperative to institute and affect these inalienable rights and make these rights universal. While it can be said that to a very large extent, the victorious powers through the United Nations achieved their aims of making the basic rights of human beings have universal status. In practice, the purported universality has not yet been achieved. Many peoples of the world still view the universal declaration of human rights as the views and interpretations of the West European countries and therefore they may not be applicable outside Europe. The paper argues that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights may not perfectly represent the views of all the people of the world owing to differences in culture, sex, religion, to mention but a few. Thus it is not a binding rule to all the countries of the world. Nevertheless, it has become a point of reference whenever there is violation of human rights in any part of the world despite the culture and tradition of the people concerned. The paper concludes that despite its non-binding status, the admittance of its existence by states and enshrining human rights issues in their constitutions, the universal declaration of human rights does not only exist but in practice, makes humanitarian human rights law superior to national law and even as it affects armed conflict.

Suggested Citation

  • Osakwe, Chukwuma & Udeagbala, Lawrence Okechukwu, 2013. "Human rights and international humanitarian law as it affects armed conflicts since 1945: An appraisal," International Journal of Development and Conflict, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, vol. 3(2), pages 67-77.
  • Handle: RePEc:gok:ijdcv1:v:3:y:2013:i:2:p:67-77
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    Keywords

    Human rights; Humanitarian Law; Armed Conflicts; Africa; Europe;

    JEL classification:

    • Z19 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Other

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