Localizing Human Rights in Cities
31 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REVIEW OF LAW AND SOCIAL JUSTICE 68 (2022)
68 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2022
Date Written: March 16, 2022
The recent White House insurrection has brought home the fragility of our norms. We live in a world where norms can all too easily disintegrate, and realities are increasingly splintered with individually tailored social media, news sources, and search engines. International human rights can serve as a needed moral and legal compass, connecting us to global conversations and standards. They further provide the opportunity to contribute lessons and build on the experiences of others.
At the same time, to be meaningful, human rights standards must be interpreted by communities to address local needs. This article posits that international human rights standards provide a useful minimum core on which communities can build. While human rights are embedded in international treaties, which function as contracts between states, their primary beneficiaries are third parties—the states’ inhabitants. There is thus a particular need for local initiatives to implement rights.
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