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12 Intercultural Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 71 (2017)
Integrating Human Rights with Local Norms: Ebola, Burial Practices, and the Right to Health in West Africa

handle is hein.journals/ichuman12 and id is 81 raw text is: 



       While  international rights are intended to apply universally,
their interpretation is culturally dependent and  implementation
contextually defined. Scholars have therefore advocated culturally
sensitive approaches to human  rights that include local norms in
programs  for effective implementation. This paper examines such
approaches by scholars including Celestine Nyamu-Musembi  (2000),
Erika George  (2008), and  Tom  Zwart  (2012), and explores their
application in a case study on the right to health, Ebola, and burial
practices in West Africa. As these approaches aim to integrate local
norms  with universal human rights, their application in a case study
enables  a critical assessment of  whether  the  coexistence and
interaction of  different normative  orders may   help  to  more
effectively implement human rights standards in a given context.


       While the issue of human rights universalism and relativism
has  existed for several decades, a more   sophisticated and less
dichotomous  debate has slowly emerged.' Rather than debating the
origin of particular norms or the global foundations of human rights,
it is now generally accepted that the universality of rights does not

Julie Fraser (B.A., LL.B., LL.M.), Ph.D. Candidate at SIM, Utrecht University,
The  Netherlands; and Henrike Prudon (B.A., LL.B.), M.Sc. Cultural
Anthropology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands. The authors would like to
thank Professor Dr. Tom Zwart, Dr. Michael Odhiambo, Dr. Marc Simon Thomas,
and Dr. Katrien Klep for their valuable input. We would also like to thank
Professor Dr. Cheikh Niang, an expert in the field, for introducing us to this
subject-matter. All errors remain with the authors.
    1 See Marie-B6ndicte Dembour, Following the Movement of a Pendulum:
Between  Universalism and  Relativism, in CULTURE   AND   RIGHTS:
ANTHROPOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES 56, 56 (Jane K. Cowan et al. eds., 2001).

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