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Human Rights and
Humanitarian
Intervention
Human Rights ­ Rights given to which people are entitled by virtue of
being human ­ Modern & Secular

Four types ­ Absolute, Indivisible, Fundamental and Universal

Nature and Types of Rights

Civil and Political Rights ­ RIGHT TO LIFE, FREEDOM FROM
DISCRIMINATION, Freedom OF…

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Realist and Liberal Arguments

Realism Liberalism

View human rights as a Centre of western liberal
soft issue on the theory
international stage ­ hard
issues concern security and
prosperity ­ e.g. terror
threat

Believe that it is impossible Social contract liberalists
to view international argue that central role of
politics…

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Protecting Human Rights

1993 UN High commissioner for Human Rights, established to place
a greater emphasis on the implementations of human rights norms.



















2006 UN's 47 member Human Rights Council replaced the Human
Rights Commission















NGOs and Protecting human rights

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Examples : Oxfam, Human Rights Watch and Red Cross

Registered international NGOS: 37,000 by 2000

Aim: Work directly in the field to relieve suffering but also campaign
on behalf of those they treat to promote humanitarian law

How they Operate: 1. Exert pressure by gaining media coverage, on
the high…

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Key dilemma of human rights protection is that states are the only
actors powerful enough to advance human rights whilst also being the
biggest human rights abusers, e.g. China and North Korea.
China

Since the Tiananmen Square protests (1989), China has been a
frequent target of human rights criticism from…

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Asian Critique of Human Rights

Attempts to highlight the cultural bias that is highlighted in the
universal human rights is prominent in the Asian World.

Asian values emphasize on social harmony and respect for authority
and a belief in family.

These challenge human rights as they favour the community than…

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Humanitarian Intervention
1978 ­ Vietnamese forces invaded in Cambodia to overthrow Khmer
Rhouge regime, which had caused deaths to 3 million people due to
famine, civil war and executions.

Vietnam justified its intervention as a national interest and solely to
restore regional stability

Humanitarian Intervention and the `new world order'…

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Social backwardness



Factors why governments intervened in the 1990s

1. Self Interest ­ Realists argue that motives for humanitarian
intervention are mixed and complex, e.g. Haiti in 1994 US
intervention was motivated by the desire to stem the flow of
Haitian refugees to the USA. Secondly Kosovo 1999 NATO
intervened…

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in Rwanda and Bosnia, served as a stain to the international
community.

Since then, there has been the perception that there has been too
many humanitarian interventions, notably the USA led ones in Iraq
and Afghanistan.

The Afghan and Iraq war were not examples of humanitarian
interventions as they were…

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not universally applicable, it is difficult to see how consistent
standards can be established for interventions that have a
humanitarian or moral basis.
Such problems such as deepening the tensions between the
Islamic world and the West and using the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan as a windowdressing have made…

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