Universal Human Rights?
Which rights do you think should be
– Some?
– All?
– None?
What happens when “universal human rights”
are violated?
What happens when there is a genocide (种族
大屠杀) occurring somewhere else in the
Do countries have the right to intervene in
other countries’ domestic affairs?
Do they have the responsibility to?
Humanitarian Intervention
Definition of Humanitarian
The threat of use of force across state
borders by a state (or group of states) to
prevent or end widespread and grave
violations of the fundamental human rights
of individuals other than its own citizens,
without the permission of the state within
whose territory force is applied.
Brief Historical Overview
• Grotius (格劳秀斯) (1583
- 1645)
– War was permissible to
assist people who were
resisting extreme tyranny
– Used as justification
throughout the 1800s by
Europe to protect
Christians under Ottoman
(奥托曼) rule
Post World War II
• United Nations charter signed 1945
• Universal Declaration of Human Rights
signed in 1948
Post-Cold War
• End of Cold War in 1989 - the rise in power and
importance of the UN Security Council
• Increased concern for human rights and the need to
intervene to stop genocide
Example: Somalia
• 1992: the UN authorized a US-led
intervention in Somalia (索马里)
• Civil War had led to widespread
famine and starvation
• Intervention was partly successful
Example: Rwanda
• In Rwanda (卢旺达) in 1994 a brutal civil conflict
broke out between two ethnic groups: the Hutus and
• The UN authorized France to lead an intervention,
but only after 800,000 Tutsis were already killed
Example: Yugoslavia
• In 1998 there were fears that the president
Milosevic of Yugoslavia (南斯拉夫) would
begin a genocide against the Albanians
• The UN Security Council failed to authorize
force because two countries disagreed
• NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)
went in anyway - mission was successful
Other Examples
Does the United Nations
authorize humanitarian
It’s a matter of interpretation.
Read selections from the UN Charter and
think about whether the language says
that humanitarian intervention is OK.
• Article 2(4) states "shall refrain in their
international relations from the threat or
use of force against the territorial
integrity or political independence of any
state, or in any other manner
inconsistent with the Purposes of the
United Nations."
Questions for Discussion
What are other forms of international
intervention and assistance?
How is “humanitarian intervention”
What are the pros and cons of
humanitarian intervention?
Make a list of the reasons why it may be
beneficial and why it may be harmful.
Under what conditions do you think
humanitarian intervention is permissible?
What kinds and degrees of threats to a
population justify an international response?
What other criteria apply?
A country seeks authorization from the
United Nations, and the United Nations
says No.
Should the country still intervene if they
feel it’s the right thing to do?
What does this do to the power of the UN?
• What are other possible criticisms of
humanitarian intervention?
– Do you think states would have other
motives when intervening?
The International Community
A.K.A. The United Nations
What gives the international community
moral authority?
Read about the current crisis in Darfur,
Sudan (苏丹).
Write a response (one page or under)
addressing some of these issues:
• Should the UN intervene in Sudan?
• What do you think is more important:
protecting state sovereignty or protecting
human rights?
• Do you believe in universal rights?
• Do you think the UN should have the ultimate
power? Some power? No power?
• Do you believe in humanitarian intervention?

2) PPT-Humanitarian Intervention