Impact of Globalization on Issues of Human Rights
Globalization is one of the most articulated and experienced phenomenon which
has resulted from the increasing interdependence and interpenetration of nations
communications and flow of ideas across the borders is one of the conspicuous
dimensions of the current world. International standards and actors for the
protection of human rights are ever more advanced and practically active than
ever in human history.
But violation and encroachment on basic human dignity continues and the rise of
international actors that generated the development of human rights globally may
also be the cause of new ways and means of negation of human rights .In
globalized world human rights are no more a question of national actors but more
dependent on the international and global actors and institutions as
multinational companies media and others. Human rights have become a
multidimensional term as it encompasses social but political and economic
aspects as well.
In definitional context globalization is the trend to a single interdependent
and integrated world. Globalization in the20th century emerged with the linking
of nations and people around the world through transportation. Fast and
efficient global transportation made possible bringing exotic fruits from warm
countries to colder countries and producing goods in one country using raw
materials imported from thousands of miles away.
It brought cars and electronics from Asia to Europe and the Americas. It also
sent American software films and music to Asia Europe and Latin America.
Globalization can also be thought of as a process of integration and
In the twenty-first century the speed of communications by telephone and the
Internet has accelerated the process of globalization. Another definition of
globalization calls it an ensemble of developments that make the world a single
place changing the meaning and importance of distance and national identity in
This means that the positive and negative effects of bad news spread almost
instantaneously. As the planes hit the World Trade Center towers on September 11
2001 American stock exchanges dropped and closed causing tremors that resounded
in European and Asian stock exchanges as soon as they opened a few hours later.
Globalization has created a situation where the role and importance of
nation-state is becoming irrelevant.
Globalization, Development and Human RightsThe relation between globalization, development and human rights raises policy
and legal questions. One such question is whether globalization of
market-oriented economic system is essential for development and protection of
human rights? While searching for an answer to this question we should analyze
how we perceive the concept of development and human rights, especially in the
context of developing countries.
Human rights have become an integral part of the process of globalization in
many ways. The Western countries are increasingly using their view of human
rights concept as a yardstick to judge developing countries and to deal with
economic and trade relations to extend development assistance. At the same time
globalization intensifies impoverishment by increasing the poverty, insecurity,
fragmentation of society and thus violates human rights and human dignity of
millions of people.
Development or economic development is widely perceived as a historical process
that takes place in almost all societies characterized by economic growth and
increased production and consumption of goods and services. Development is also
often used in a normative sense as a multi-valued social goal covering such
diverse spheres as better material well-being, living standards, education,
health care, wider opportunities for work and leisure, and in essence the whole
gamut of desirable social and material welfare. But, in today's globalization,
the concept of development itself is interpreted differently and the concept of
right to development is not taken seriously.
The Preamble of the Declaration of the Right to Development, adopted by the UN
General Assembly in 1986, describes "development as a comprehensive economic,
social, cultural and political process that aims at the constant improvement of
the well-being of the entire population and of all individuals on the basis of
their active, free and meaningful participation in development and in the fair
distribution of resulting benefits".
The 1990 UN Global Consultation on the Right to Development as a Human Right,
stated that the right to development is an inalienable human right with the
human being as the central subject to the right and that all the aspects of the
right to development set forth in the Declaration of the Right to Development
are indivisible and interdependent, and these include civil, political,
economic, social, and cultural rights.
It was further maintained that the right to development is the right of
individuals, groups and peoples to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy
continuous economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all
human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized. A development
strategy that disregards or interferes with human rights is the very negation of
Development Aid and Human RightsIt has long been accepted by the United Nations and in most international forums
that "developed" countries should provide aid in the form of grants and loans to
the developing countries. The General Assembly has, by consensus resolutions,
called for such development aid to reach 0.7 per cent of the GNP of developed
countries. Actually less than half of that target has been attained. For
example, the United States gives only less than 0.2 per cent, instead of 0.7 per
Overseas Development Aid (ODA) presents debatable issues from the perspective of
human rights. For example, it raises the question whether aid should be directed
mainly to reducing poverty and providing social services to the needy or whether
priority should be given to economic growth and strengthening infrastructure.
Another key question of a legal political characteristic is whether the
recipient government or the donor state should have a decisive voice.
The developing states emphasize their primary responsibility for development of
the country and their right to self-determination in respect of the economy and
resources. Donor countries tend to emphasize their narrow concepts of human
rights as a prerequisite to sanction development assistance.
They also emphasize the pragmatic political fact that aid is not likely to be
provided if the beneficiary states violated basic human rights. According to
Mikhail Assize, human rights have become another arsenal of Western countries in
their bid to bring recalcitrant Third World nations to heel in their New World
Social GlobalizationSocial globalization is the process of creating a globalised environment that is
driven by social factors rather than economic models and it produces
international norms which provide states and politicians a catalyst to work
better. So, due to the globalized atmosphere, there is a great influx of people
from different nations for reasons other than economic gains also.
Now, for tourism industries even though social globalization attracts tourists
to locations but at the same time, they run the risk of negative reactions from
the tourists (For Example – The Kandhamal riots of Odisha in 2008 created a lot
of negative publicity and hampered tourism in the state).
Impact of Globalization on Human RightsGlobalization has its winners and losers. With the expansion of trade, market,
foreign investment, developing countries have seen the gaps among themselves
widen. The imperative to liberalize has demanded a shrinking of state
involvement in national life, producing a wave of privatization, cutting jobs,
slashing health, education and food subsidies, etc. affecting the poor people in
society. In many cases, liberalization has been accompanied by greater
inequality and people are left trapped in utter poverty.
Meanwhile, in many industrialized countries unemployment has soared to levels
not seen for many years and income disparity to levels not recorded since last
century. The collapse of the economies of the Asian Tigers are examples of this.
The Human Development Report of 1997 revealed that poor countries and poor
people too often find their interests neglected as a result of globalization.
Although globalization of the economy has been characterized as the locomotive
for productivity, opportunity, technological progress, and uniting the world, it
ultimately causes increased impoverishment, social disparities and violations of
human rights. That is what we see today.
Globalization has had many effects and it is difficult to completely side
against or even towards it. The liberalization has had many benefits and it was
the process that practically became the world order and profit maximization
helping various countries resolve its internal problems. It also led to the
creation of few classes of people who were monetarily sound due to the neoteric
transition and such classes have been strengthening the nation economically Even
amidst all the bonus points, globalization when it comes to its relationship
with human rights, falters.
There have been many statistics put forward above in context of the above and
this intrinsic relationship between human rights and globalization has been
affecting people in large scale. At the base of it, globalization is that
process which started off as a measure to foster relations among states and
individuals not connected before. But this process, ultimately has resulted
into various indirect and direct ways of causing human rights violations and
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