THE MOBILIZATION OF SHAME: A World View of Human Rights

Robert F. Drinan, Author THE MOBILIZATION OF SHAME: A World View of Human Rights

These musings on the state of international human rights from an insider provide insights into the gains, struggles and contradictions of the movement. A lawyer turned priest turned congressman turned law professor (at Georgetown), Drinan is proud of the accomplishments the world has made in human rights since the United Nations was formed in the wake of WWII. Most notably, he highlights how human rights have played an increasing role in international law, with the creation of a U.N. commission for refugees and of regional courts in both Europe and Latin America. But what ultimately distinguishes this book is its balance. Drinan praises the United States for being a leader in human rights, but at the same time criticizes it for not recognizing economic rights and for refusing to sign onto the International Criminal Court. He acknowledges complaints from the developing world about the biases of the human rights movement, but, at the same time, does not let these countries off the hook on issues such as slavery and genital mutilation: "It seems self-evident that the future of human rights in the world depends upon what transpires in China and Africa." Despite these criticisms, Drinan remains an optimist. Specifically, he points to a wide-ranging 1993 accord on human rights which he says "gave a new and elevated acceptance to human rights as a product of international or world law." That many Americans will not have heard of this accord might leave some readers more skeptical than Father Drinan. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/26/2001
Release date: 03/01/2001
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-300-09319-3
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