Human Dignity

A Lawyer's Prayers

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948.  Its drafters appealed to the “common intuition that every person, regardless of circumstances, challenges, privileges, or merits, has an inherent value, equal to that of all other persons” [1A].

The document was, however, a product of consensus.  It represented an attempt to reconcile wildly divergent worldviews by using ambiguous language [1B].

“It is not surprising that much of the fight over human rights concerns our core physical and existential needs…Freedom, understood as the absence of any limitations, represents the pinnacle of our modern ambitions, and anything that stands in the way is branded an illegitimate shackling of the person and denial of human rights.  ‘Sexual rights’, abortion, the elimination of parental rights, and radical sexuality education for children thus constitute the prevalent social issues in dispute at the UN today” [1C].

–Elyssa Koren, UN Counsel…

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