The 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) 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 UDHR.
This symposium, co-organized with the Department of International History of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, brings together jurists and historians to discuss these issues and topics.
Presentations will provide insights based on recent and ongoing research, with historians and jurists debating and confronting their critical approaches and views.
The conference is open to anyone wishing to know more about the state of knowledge on the UDHR.
It will be followed, in the evening, by a public lecture by Philippe Sands.
You need to register to attend this event by filling the form on the website of the Graduate Institute.
Tram 15, Direction Nations - tram stop Maison de la Paix
Maison de la paix is accessible to people with disabilities. If you have a disability or any additional needs and require assistance in order to fully participate do not hesitate to contact us info[a]geneva-academy.ch
In the framework of the Geneva Human Rights Platform, the Geneva Academy co-hosted with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights a consultation between the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Clément Voule, and delegates from civil society organizations and NGOs.
Our two research projects on the right to food, funded by the Research for Development Programme (r4d) of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, have been renewed for three years.
This public lecture by Philippe Sands QC, Professor of Law, University College London, will close the public symposium on ‘The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Seventy: Historical and Juridical Perspectives’.
UN Photo/Pierre Albouy
This short course focuses on the functioning and the mechanisms of the United Nations Human Rights Council, as well as on the dynamics at play in this major human rights body.
This short course focuses on the specific issues that arise in times of armed conflict regarding the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights. It addresses key issues like the applicability of human rights in times of armed conflict; the possibilities of restricting human rights under systems of limitations and derogations; and the extraterritorial application of human rights law.
Sandra Pointet / Geneva Academy
The digital age offers unique opportunities to strengthen human rights implementation and monitoring and has transformed the means through which human rights are exercised. Equally, the digital age poses unique challenges in ensuring that states and businesses respect and protect our rights in the digital forum. The full extent of the human rights implications of the digital age remain unknown.
© ILO/ Joydeep Mukherjee
This project aims to support the UN working group’s consultation process and thus contribute the promotion and protection of human rights and gender equality in relation to the business sector via research on international human rights law and policy related to gender equality guarantees and their application to business activities, and the organization of a global conference in Geneva.