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Human rights in Africa: a post - colonial perspective

Ahluwalia, Pal (1998) Human rights in Africa: a post - colonial perspective. Africa Quarterly, 38 (1). pp. 21-37. ISSN 0001-9828

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Both the theory and practice of human rights in sub-Saharan Africa evokes a great deal of controversy. The politics of human rights on the continent has been punctuated by rhetoric and clouded by the political imperatives of both African leaders and Western interests. The polarization of human rights discourse into universalism or cultural specificity has not been beneficial to Africa's citizens, who have had their most basic rights denied by both colonial and postcolonial regimes. Postcolonial theory is instructive in this respect. It recognizes that there are no pure cultures as a result of the postcolonial condition and seeks, therefore, to break down binaries, such as universal and culturally specific or Western and African, which have been produced by the logic of imperialism. By tearing down those elements of colonial discourse which objectify and negate the African subject, postcolonial theory is able to create discursive space for previously oppressed peoples. In this context the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, which seeks to recognize the complexities of the African condition whilst acknowledging the value of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, has some long-term significance for the people of Africa.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Office of the VC
Depositing User: Ms Shalni Sanjana
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2022 23:49
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2022 23:49

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