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  5. Globalizing Human Rights

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FOCUS June 2000 Volume 20

Globalizing Human Rights


One feature of globalization is the faster and freer circulation of ideas and information on almost anything courtesy of new communication technologies. Sadly, the idea of human rights has not been popular in this global process. Much less is its practice in a globalized sense.

It must be admitted however that new communication technologies greatly help human rights work worldwide.

Business and trade lead the way in the globalization process. They are partly responsible for promoting ideas on good governance, rule of law, transparency, and accountability. Nowadays, protests against excesses of hyper/cyber capitalism are putting into the global business agenda the need for proper balance between profit and people's welfare, between infrastructural development and environmental protection and preservation, between big business conglomerates and small entrepreneurs, among other concerns.

The fruits of globalization escape human rights to a large extent. In fact, many people complain that business-oriented globalization processes are resulting in human rights violations instead of human rights realization.

Many will question the capability of the current globalization process to bring about more democratic distribution of economic benefits. Many more will ask how far can globalization contribute to universal/global practice and realization of human rights. But since globalization is here to stay, these questions need to find some answers.