Cultural idiosyncrasies: harmful cultural practices affecting the rights of women and children

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Silva, Bruna : Matias da
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This thesis approaches the sensitive topic of Harmful Cultural Practices, affecting the rights of women and children. The importance of also discussing women’s rights in these situations lies upon the fact that, most of these practices are directed to girls, which puts them into vulnerable situations. Moreover, it is possible to apprehend that, the International Community’s attention has been rising when referring to these practices. Namely, because there is a possible tension between culture and human rights that on the one hand questions the universality of human rights and the concept of respect, advocated for on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; on the other hand it questions the concept of culture, the understanding of cultural rights and cultural life. The settlement of this tension is only possible, after the understanding of the concepts above mentioned, and others, coupled with the analysis of international and regional laws, in order to gather legal information on the matter and observe the international community’s understanding and position on harmful cultural practices. This thesis is accordingly divided into four main chapters, plus introduction and conclusion, those being: Protecting Universality, Respecting Cultural Values; Legal Framework - International and Regional Legislation; Particular cases of Harmful Practices and Possible Approaches. Therefore, based on findings , it could be perceived that there is in fact, no sufficient clarification on the distinction between injurious and non-injurious practices, just as the existent legislation comes over as non- sufficient to prevent or eradicate such acts. Thereby, the drafting of a document that is fully dedicated to the understanding of harmful and non-harmful cultural practices was suggested, as well as the prevention, or in extreme cases, the eradication of injurious practices that interfere with human rights.
Second semester University: Ca' Foscari University of Venice
women rights, children rights, cultural rights, culture, human rights, anthropology, female circumcision, marriage