This is less a review of The International Bill of Human Rights, by Paul D. Williams, and more a bit about my feelings on the matter of Human rights, I guess. After all, what is there to review in a document that, while it possesses beautiful language in some areas, is mostly a legal document about one of the most important issues throughout human history. The Bill is actually a series of documents written by various U.N. committees to spell out what the universally accepted human rights are, their legal recourse, and how to achieve that legal recourse within the framework the U.N. Charters will allow. It was split into many documents partly as a way to ensure the thing actually got written over the objections of people with varying governments and political philosophies. As of this moment, the United States hasn't ratified all of it. We have ratified the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, but not the Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, mostly because people think it will interfere with our capitalist system and make us think of the needs of the have-nots as well as the needs of the haves.
As I was reading the book, I was struck by some of the things written down. I think I feel as though it's almost an insult for them to have to have been written down, vetted, argued, and agreed upon. So much of what was listed is just simple stuff that I was raised to believe in. I guess my family did a good job making sure I grew up with the healthy respect for (most) people that seems to be embodied in the Declaration of Human Rights. A more eloquent person could wax poetical about it, I'm sure, but I'm not that poet. I'll simply say I'm glad the book was on the table with other free books for me to take. I wish I had read it sooner. Also, I'll be looking into other provisions on human rights that the U.N. has taken.