Abstract: The goal of universal human rights is to create a common set of rules for all the people in the world community. The task is exceptionally challenging in view of the diversity that exists in the world. In human rights debate, the universality of rights has often been contested on the grounds that they are a product of western culture, and cannot therefore be applied universally. My argument in this paper is that the culture concept and western origin of human rights are both in many ways problematic notions in challenging the universality of human rights. In the context of human rights the very notion of culture can be called into question. Human rights may have their roots in the European political and philosophical tradition but they are the result of a process with very different underlying ideas and tensions.
Keywords: human rights, universality, culture, relativism, western origin, Islam.
Abstract: The right to health - with a particular emphasis on the HIV/AIDS pandemic and access to medication: Medical practice and human rights work are often seen as separate realms. The fear of the courtroom, and the perception that human rights could not contribute to the development of the medical profession may explain this view. The growing emphasis on public health and the enormous challenges raised by the HIV/AIDS pandemic have challenged tradition. The article describes the recent policies of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the UN Human Rights Commission, the World Health Organization and UNAIDS. These forums show growing awareness of the crucial issue of access to medication. Some human rights challenges and aspects of the national legal response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic are also presented, with a particular emphasis on South African constitutional jurisprudence.
Keywords: Right to health, HIV/AIDS, Commission on Human Rights, Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, South Africa.
Abstract: Video surveillance and human rights: Video surveillance in public places is marketed as a highly effective tool of crime deterrence and detection, and is thereby seen as a justifiable interference with the right to respect for private life for the prevention of disorder or crime. Few have challenged this assumption legally or empirically. Based on a decision by the European Court of Human Rights in January 2003, this article discusses the claimed effectiveness of video surveillance in general, and the disclosure of surveillance images as a crime prevention measure in particular.
Keywords: Video surveillance, CCTV, human rights, privacy, private life, crime prevention, media
Abstract: Human rights obligations comprise a hybrid set of moral and legal duties and a political commitment to achieve an idealistic goal. After five years work the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights adopted standards addressing States and business' human rights obligations. This article discusses the location of these “Norms of the responsibility of transnational corporations and other business enterprises with regard to human rights” between existing principles and standards in international law, human rights protection mechanisms and voluntary initiatives of corporate social responsibility.
Keywords: Human rights obligations; corporate social responsibilities; human rights protection mechanisms; globalization; international Law