TED Conversations

Joanne Donovan


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What are human rights? How do we decide and are they universal?

Are human rights the starting point we begin with when looking at how our societies function, or are there more important issues? How true is this statement; 'when people focus on being ethical without being pragmatic they end up being neither.'


Closing Statement from Joanne Donovan

Thanks to everyone who participated in this conversation. Some excellent threads. All the best to you and your families for the new year 2012. Peace.

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  • Dec 15 2011: I think the broad nature of the current system of human rights reflects the ideals encompassed in them not so much the legal enforcement. If every human being could say they are being afforded the basic human rights we would be living in a very different world to the one we have now and, as the idea entails, a much better world.

    To call them rights is a bit lack luster, how can something be a 'right' when more people don't have them than those who do?

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