It has often been argued that the concept of human rights is an artefact of modern Western civilisation, that human rights in the South are privileges conferred. These approaches have taken little cognisance of the place accorded to the societal rights held in such esteem as complementary to individual rights in traditional African society. In contrast, this study argues that human rights in Africa are as much about the dignity of Africans as about the commitments of others towards them. It argues for a critical defence of universal human rights within a multicultural framework. From historical perspectives, it illustrates how the slave trade, and then colonialism undermined the traditional balance of individual and societal rights.
The work further traces the rise and fall and rise again of the human rights agenda in the post-independence period. It discusses the achievements of the African Commission and the African Union, and suggests ways of strengthening the human rights framework on the continent. The book came out of a conference that took place in Uppsala, Sweden in 2004 involving practitioners, scholars and activists in the field of human tights in Africa.
Lennart Wohlgemuth, Ebrima Sall
The other contributors include Hassan Bubcar Jallow, Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, Jibrin Ibrahim, Frans Viljoen and Ibrahima Kane.
ISBN : 2-86978-192-x
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