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Emory Bouffard

Period A3 English
Instructor Perkins
05-14-2019

Describe a topic, idea or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time.,
Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

Human Rights in International Law

In the world there are so many unclear perimeters for what is morally right and wrong.

Values come into question, religion is considered, society is observed, politics are scrutinized,

the very borders of countries are reconnoitered before moral values are put into laws for all to

follow. With long and difficult processes of creating these policies, I find it fascinating that the

UN (United Nations) has created a list of articles for the entire world, and I think that that the

rules created for human rights is truly an incredible accomplishment. Human rights are defined

by the UN as rights given to all humans regardless of ​race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language,

religion, or any other status. These rights were recordedーsome would say createdーto protect all

human beings and hold countries, major world leaders and political figures accountable for

violations of them.

Human Rights laws in the UN are incredible to me because they apply to the world. The

United States of America is a Republic, governed by the United States Constitution which gives

outlines, standards and rules that are to be adhered to in the country. Unfortunately, it is not

unusual for these rights and laws to lack acknowledgement. Ideally the Constitution applies to

“sea to shining sea,” yet there are still numerous instances that human rights have been violated,

going blatantly against the Constitution. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is no

exception to major legal documents being undermined. Ideally its power would reach every
corner of the world, and no world leader, no amount of money and no country would be exempt

from the standards set for the human race. But the countries making up the UN are no stranger to

corruption and laws are not enforced at all times.

Major world leaders who have violated human rights (Saudi Arabia, Russia, China,

Israel, Venezuela, United States, etc.) are able to act with impunity due to the silence of officials

who have the job of preventing such violations. Reading the news and seeing all the violations of

human rights without repercussions to those who commit them makes me lose track of time. The

UN Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 makes it decidedly difficult to enforce their written

rules given that it is technically not a law, it is a declaration. Although they are so difficult to

enforce, I still find it captivating and comforting to know they are given to all human beings at

birth.

I am a part of an organization affiliated with Planned Parenthood called Teen Council.

This organization is indirectly dedicated to Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human

Rights, stating that everyone has the right to education. Teen Council is dedicated to giving

accurate and unbiased information about sexual health, contraceptives and healthy relationships

to their peers. Living in the state of Utah, where stigmatizing language about these subjects is

rampant in curriculums, it is even more important to emphasize on the right of education when

educating peers. This just emphasizes further that human rights apply in all aspects of life,

whether it be class curriculums or cases of torture and flaws in the legal system.

The subject of human rights in international law is fascinating to me because they are

unavoidable in a world of changing values, countless immoral acts against humans, and shifting

power. In times I look to find more information on these subjects, I look to the news and a
printed document of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and exercise my human right of

education, as stated in Article 26 that education shall “promote understanding, tolerance and

friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the

United Nations for the maintenance of peace.”