Re: Human rights/children's rights values



I have been following this discussion with great interest over the past
weeks. All of the views expressed and/or comments made are most valuable
and that they complete one another in an interesting way.

All I can add is that human rights education is and should be seen as one
of the most critical instruments to avoid the adversities of negative
cultures that damage human well being and perpetuate social, economic,
psychological and political exclusion. Education in general and human
rights education in particular, should be designed or restructured
therefore in a manner that it encompasses all knowledge and substantive
and operational ammunition to fight against and challenge such cultural
and tradition-based legitimization and human rights violations. Tradition
based honour killings and female circumcision are simply perpetuations of
feudal and tribal community norms and have normally no place in the formal
and rational society. Yet, they continue and its victims are always the
poor and the most vulnerable women and girls. Religious fundamentalism
making its inroads at an unprecedented pace in many countries in the world
since the last two decades are outright violations of basic human rights
-- girls as against boys being prevented from having equal access to their
most basic and the most critical "capability formation" right to
education.

Cultures are learned. They are not static entities of some sort. They
change and should be changing especially when they begin to become
oppressive. This change, as Patrick Karanja suggests, can only be
meaningfully achieved through continuing cultural dialogues, sharing of
experiences and through the evaluative processes which should be in place
and fully functioning at all levels of the society, including the
educational system, policymaking processes, government, public and private
and civil society organizations. HRE practitioners and thinkers, more so
than others, will need to maintain a holistic view on the impact of
cultural processes and monitor the way in which they support and/or impede
the formation of people's capabilities at both individual and collective
societal levels. HRE, with this concern at its heart, can be more relevant
in the framework of human rights and children's rights values and
contribute better to the improvements in enlarging human rights.

Seyhan Aydinligil 
METU, Sociology 
Ankara, Turkey 





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