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Sur International Journal on Human Rights: Issue 9 - Sixty years of Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro et al.
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Sur International Journal on Human Rights
This issue of the Sur Journal on International Human Rights presents a number of papers which critically revisit two issues initially raised 60 years ago by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: the indivisibility and the universality of human rights.
The issue of indivisibility is analysed in two main papers. One of them adopts a pragmatic perspective: how can economic and social rights not only be recognised as human rights, but also be effectively implemented? The second paper approaches the issue from a conceptual perspective, discussing the possible connections between human rights and poverty.
This issue of the journal also includes an analysis of the UN human rights system from an internal perspective: the perspective of Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar.
Among the other papers, three deal with some important aspects of human rights. The first one defends an idealistic view of human rights organisations, a view that is not content with mere normative achievements in the field.
The second paper examines the historical development of African prisons from colonial to modern times, raising two issues: first, African prisons' current conditions are in great part a legacy of colonialism; second, overcrowding and violence are a widespread problem in prisons all over the world.
The third paper criticizes the system of transitional justice established in South Africa after Apartheid. In the author’s own words, the paper addresses “what is gained and lost when expressions of human suffering are translated into a standardized language of human rights.”