Human Rights in Public Administration

Benjamin Dave. Rethinking nonintervention

Authors explore the concept of human rights from different perspectives to illustrate its significance. One of the most vocal scholars to discuss the topic is Benjamin Dave. In his article ‘Rethinking nonintervention,’ he analyzes UN’s doctrine of neutrality and its failure to protect human rights in some communities (Benjamin, 2010). The persistence of crimes against humanity in some communities shows the level of inadequacy of the policy of nonintervention in protecting human rights. As a champion of human rights, the UN should do everything to preserve and protect human rights. The policy of nonintervention has made it difficult for the United Nations to intervene in cases of genocide and blatant abuse of human rights. Similarly, The UN Security Council’s inability to intervene in situations of manmade disasters is also a major failure. Benjamin notes that human rights have to be at the heart of all activities of United Nations (Benjamin, 2010). Consequently, there is need to reinterpret the policy of nonintervention to put more emphasis on the security and rights of the powerless civilians.

Schutter Oliver. The Role Human Rights in Influencing International Laws

De Schutter Oliver, on the other hand, examines the role human rights in influencing international laws. Current structures of global governance do not help the fight to promote human rights. Global governance today is fragmented into different localized regimes that have their legal frameworks, which may conflict at times (De Schutter, 2012). Consequently, the obligations of some countries to uphold human rights are often compromised since most of the local regimes are based on cultural beliefs. This system of international governance restricts the amount of space countries have to focus on implementing human rights legislation. As a result, in order to protect human rights globally, there is need to restructure global governance systems. There should be more focus towards promoting universal human rights issues as opposed to differentiated cultural interpretations of morality.

Twiss Summer. International Ethic and the Concept of Human Rights

Similarly, Twiss Summer discusses the issues of international ethic and the concept of human rights. He states that with ongoing global challenges such as economic, environmental, social, and systematic abuses, there is need to focus on a global system of ethics (Twiss, 2011). There are concerted efforts to integrate various aspects of international law and politics. In the same respect, issues of morality, ethics and human rights can be integrated. Therefore, each community has a role to play in redefining global values and creating a new global dimension for understanding human rights.

Sarah Glazers. The Role UN in Human Rights

Sarah Glazer’s article published in ‘Congressional Quarterly’ also alludes to the fact that the UN has to do more to prevent abuse of human rights. In the article, she pressurizes the UN to act with urgency in resolving the conflict in Sudan. The ethnic violence in the Sudanese Civil War resulted in massive abuse of human rights. However, in a fashion similar to the reaction towards the Rwandan Genocide, The UN remained silent. Most observers attribute the failure of the UN to intervene in the Sudanese Conflict to political differences among some of its influential members (Glazer, 2004). Nevertheless, the UN has the responsibility to promote human rights and should act steadfastly to resolve the long-standing conflict.

Another important piece of literature is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This document has become a core element of the human rights doctrine across the world. In fact, it is the basis upon which all human rights legislation are established. The document recognizes human rights as universal and applicable to all societies. Therefore, every nation or community should act in a manner that promotes human rights.

The issues raised in the different literatures explored above are very significant for public administrators. For instance, public officials must be aware that they are bound by international law to promote human rights. However, human rights issues encompass several matters, some of which may be interpreted subjectively depending on one’s community. Nevertheless, the information is relevant to all public administrators because it informs them on how to relate to the people they serve.

On a personal level, the readings discussed above mean a lot to me. I can relate or identify with most of the issues expressed by the different authors because of my passion to global governance. Personally, I believe that human rights should be at the core of leadership at any level of governance. These readings have elevated my knowledge on human rights and governance. I am confident of applying the values the authors suggested for public management.

These readings also have a lot of implications for public administrators. For instance, public administrators need to be aware of a multiplicity of factors related to culture and human rights. This will inform their leadership strategies and governance styles. They also need to evaluate the local and global understandings of governance and morality in order to strike a perfect balance for maintaining human rights.


Finally, as a public administrator, I have learned a lot from these readings. I was perplexed by some of the revelations such as the differences in perspectives of human rights globally. sHowever, after reading these texts, I was able to comprehend the finer details of different aspects of human rights issues. I can relate human rights to governance at local, national, and international levels.


Benjamin, O. D. (2010). Rethinking nonintervention: The challenge of the UN charter and protecting the dispossessed. Public Integrity, 12(3), 201-218.

De Schutter, O. (2012). The role of human rights in shaping international regulatory regimes. Social Research, 79(4), 785-818.

Glazer, S. (2004). Stopping genocide. Congressional Quarterly, 14(29), 685-708.

Twiss, B. S. (2011). Global ethics and human rights: A reflection. Journal of Religious Ethics Inc., 39(2), 204-222.

United Nations (n.d) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. United Nations Website. 2013. Web.

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