The Need for Global Justice

The headline of the talkboard post from BBC news website asked: “Should homosexuals face execution?” We would have to agree that it was not the most appropriate headline, but when contextualized it certainly calls attention to a major problem in the realm of human rights. The article from The Guardian can be read here.
The goal was to promote an open discussion about the anti-homosexuality bill under debate by the Ugandan parliament. Apparently some Ugandans believe that certain homosexual offences are punishable by death. We would immediately think this is an absurd stance, yet even in one of the most liberal states of the most liberal country anti-homosexual regulations have been approved. I am referring to Proposition 8, in California.
The approval of Proposition 8 was a step back in the battle for a world in which human rights are fully respected. Now the anti-homosexual bill under debate in Uganda is a major affront to even a minimum of respect for human rights.
This problem calls our attention to the need of an international agreement about justice principles and of international organizations actually capable of endorsing these principles in every country. Some legislation should be internationally forbidden if we are ever to live in a world where human rights have actual meaning.

Related Article:

$1.99 - small Are Human Rights Essentially Triggers for Intervention?
By John Tasioulas , University of Oxford
(Vol. 4, December 2009)
Philosophy Compass

Virtual Conference Report: Day Two (20 Oct, 2009)

by paulabowles

Conference_clappingThe second day of the conference has been filled with three more interesting and innovative papers. David Crystal’s (University of Bangor) keynote lecture entitled ‘Language Death: A Problem for All’ highlights the troubling statistics that ‘96% of the world’s languages are spoken by just 4% of the people’. Given the interdisciplinary nature, and the methodology of this virtual conference, Crystal’s paper draws attention to the use of language as a way to ‘break down barriers’.

The two other papers presented today relate to disability, albeit with very different approaches. The first was given by Wendy Turner (Augusta State University) and is entitled:  ‘Human Rights, Royal Rights and the Mentally Disabled in Late Medieval England.’ In her paper Turner suggests that modern preconceptions of medieval disability are not generally supported by the empirical evidence. The second paper ‘The Status of the Learning Disabled in Philosophy of Mind and Disability Studies’ by Maeve M. O’Donovan (College of Notre Dame of Maryland), approaches the subject of learning disability through personal and academic experience and research.

As well, as the ongoing ‘battle of the bands’ competition – plenty of time still to vote! – today also saw the first ‘winning comment’ prize awarded to Rebecca Wheeler.