Truths about human rights have, indeed, been discovered in the West, but are not the property of the West and do not apply only in the West. But Trump implied that these were simply local, particular, and culturally-specific “values.”
At Davos on January 17, President Xi Jinping spoke of China’s determination to play a responsible role to “secure peace and reduce poverty.” Xi was applauded. Yet China abuses the fundamental human rights of its people, undermines international human rights institutions, and indeed subverts the very concept of individual human rights.
The over-emphasis on human rights multilateralism, despite its paltry results (not to mention the expanding range of human rights claims), has undermined faith in those standards and, indeed, faith in the idea of human rights itself.
Aaron RhodesOctober 3, 2016
Institute on Religion and Democracy 1023 15th Street NW, Suite 601 Washington, DC 20005