The atrocities committed against individuals in events such as slavery, the two World Wars, the Holocaust, and the apartheid in South Africa caused the issue of human rights to become a major concern for all nations across the globe, particularly for the western nations. The issue of human rights, however, has its roots in natural law theories of the 17th and 18th centuries and was more firmly established contemporarily in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other covenants, conventions and declarations that were derived from it. At the core of this issue, is the controversy as to whether human rights are universal or culturally relative. Another area of disputation is the efficiency of the international community in the face of cultural practices that serve to discriminate against individuals, such as female genital mutilation, for example. The use of secondary data was applied in carrying out this research to address the above-mentioned issues.
In this essay, I will attempt to find out how can universal human rights exist in a culturally diverse world. As the international community becomes increasingly integrated, how can cultural diversity and integrity are respected? Is the African Union Security Culture effective?