Emerging Human Rights: The African Political Economy Context

By Mark O. C. Anikpo; George W. Shepherd Jr. | Go to book overview

the exploitative systems in place and show up the contradictions between what is postulated and actual reality. In the end these limited rights serve primarily to moderate intraruling class conflicts.

The record of violations of human rights in Africa remains very discouraging. Some progress might have been made since independence, but the increasing impoverishment of the African peoples, together with the growing reach of imperialism in the African countries with the active collaboration of the local ruling classes which has increasingly undermined the capacity of these classes to take the initiative and to make autonomous decisions in matters of national development, leaves little room for consolation. If the African masses are to gain from the national and world movements in the field of human rights they must be at the center of development. They must participate in that process on the basis of self-reliance. They must also be in the forefront of national liberation which can only be achieved on the basis of anti-imperialist struggle. In effect, what is needed is a socialist transformation of African countries which alone will ensure that the majority decree laws are protective and promotional of their human rights and not violative of them. This, in our view, is the central problem of human rights protection or violation.


NOTES
1.
Olawoyin v. Attorney General, Northern Nigeria ( 1966) ALL NLR 296, Chibee Tyough v. Attorney General, Benue State and 4 others ( 1982), 3 NCLR, p. 734.
2.
I. Shivji, "From the Analysis of Forms to the Exposition of Substance: The Tasks of a Lawyer Intellectual," Eastern African Law Review 5, nos. 1 and 2 ( 1972), pp. 6-7. Osita C. Eze, "Human Rights, Legal Rights or Social Rights," Human Rights Education in Nigeria, in L. A. Jinadu and U. M.O. Ivowi , eds. ( Lagos, Nigeria: Nigeria National Commission for Unesco, 1982). pp. 96-99.
4.
F. Baran, "The Commitment of the Intellectual," in F. Baran, ed., The Longer View ( New York: Monthly Review Press, 1966), p. 8; Osita C. Eze , "Human Rights, Legal Rights or Social Rights."
5.
T. E. McCarthy, J. B. Marie, S. P. Marks, and L. Sirois, Human Rights Studies in Universities, under the supervision of Karel Vasak ( Paris: Unesco, 1978), p. 82.
6.
"The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State," in Marx/ Engels , Selected Works ( Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1982), pp. 461-556; Lenin, "The State and Revolution," Collected Works, vol. 25; Patrick F. Wilmot , Sociology, a New Introduction ( London: Collins International Text Books, 1985), Chapter 4; Osita C. Eze, ed., Society and the Rule of Law ( Owerri, Nigeria: Totan Publishers, 1987, p. 21.

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