The most significant achievement of 20th century is, probably, the importance ascribed to the idea of human rights. And perhaps the most significant endeavour of the world community in the second half of this century is its attempt to codify these ethical demands in declarations, covenants and similar instruments expected to have universal validity. Yet besides the unscrupulous violence, torture and social injustice, which continue to prevail in our world, we also see gaining more and more ground tendencies to promote demands and practices which constitute unnoticed obstacles to the protection of human rights. Is it not the so-called herd immunity, as a way to fight against a pandemic, a violation of the right to life? What are our shortcomings? The present volume is an attempt to bring into focus one of these shortcomings: the lack of clear knowledge of what human rights are.
Ioanna Kuçuradi is the founder and chair (1969-2003) of the Department of Philosophy and founder and Director (1997-2005) of the Centre for Research and Application of the Philosophy of Human Rights at Hacettepe University (Ankara). Since 2006 she is member of the Department of Philosophy and director of the Human Rights Centre at Maltepe University (Istanbul). She holds a UNESCO Chair in Philosophy and Human Rights since 1998.