Human Rights

Download Displacement, Asylum, Migration: The Oxford Amnesty Lectures by Kate E. Tunstall PDF

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By Kate E. Tunstall

There are few concerns extra urgently wanting clever research than these in relation to displacement, asylum, and migration. during this quantity, in keeping with the 2004 Oxford Amnesty Lectures, significant figures in philosophy, political technological know-how, legislations, psychoanalysis, sociology, and literature deal with the demanding situations that displacement, asylum, and migration pose to our notions of human rights. each one lecture is followed through a serious reaction from one other best philosopher within the box.

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Additional info for Displacement, Asylum, Migration: The Oxford Amnesty Lectures 2004

Example text

They do all this out of love for their children. In the absence of love and the general sense of parental duty, many of the things they do simply would not be possible. Children do, of course, have a right to be cared for, but this is not the reason why parents care or should care for them. We invoke the right only in relation to those who show a complete lack of parental concern and duty, and who therefore have to be morally and even legally coerced into doing what they ought to do. The appeal to rights is an 31 bhikhu parekh indispensable safety-net for situations where the normally constitutive motivations of parent–child relationship have dried up, but it cannot be its basis.

The question as to how best to respond to asylum-seekers and the displaced persons in general is a good example of this. We, at any rate many of us, wish to help these unfortunate people in all ways we can, and predictably endow them with an appropriate right, which in such cases has to be a human right. Much debate has taken place on how this right is derived. Calling it a cosmopolitan right to hospitality, Kant, for example, argued that since the earth was originally a common possession, and since the national boundaries were contingent and arbitrary, every human being retained the right to move freely to other parts of the world, especially in times of need.

It is notoriously difficult to reach agreement around the normative constituents of the term ‘human’. This is particularly 44 response to bhikhu parekh the case in an age when the moral vision of the human embedded in religious and cosmological traditions has been cognitively challenged and no longer garners widespread assent and when all attempts to define human nature, beyond the bare minimums, have been eviscerated by postmodernist scepticism. Accompanying these philosophical difficulties, and closely related to them, is the question of what exactly is the scope of human rights: which rights are ‘basic’ or ‘fundamental’?

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