The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Seventy: Historical and Juridical Perspectives

The 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights comes at a time of great turbulence for international human rights law. The universality of human rights has traditionally been contested as a product of the West, unable to take into account cultural and religious diversity. More recently, the relevance of certain rights previously considered as essential and inalienable in vast areas of the world has become an issue. These older and more recent challenges grow alongside visions of a world order based upon the law of force rather than the force of the law. Historian Eric Weitz, referring to the work of Samuel Moyn, qualified human rights as "the last ideology left standing". This last ideology is now wavering. For this reason, it is timely and appropriate to look carefully at the origins, context, debates, and personalities that, in 1947 and 1948, shaped and eventually endorsed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The scientific symposium organized on December 5, 2018, by the Department of International History of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and the Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights brings together jurists and historians to discuss these issues and topics. Presentations will provide insights based on recent and ongoing research; historians and jurists will debate and confront their critical approaches and views. The conference is open to anyone wishing to know more about the state of knowledge on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Dates

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2a
1211 Geneva
Switzerland

  • International History Department, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
  • Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
  • Swiss National Science Foundation
  • United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Geneva Canton