This article critically looks at the human rights project as a damning three-dimensional metaphor that exposes multiple complexes. It argues that the grand narrative of human rights contains a subtext which depicts an epochal contest pitting savages, on the one hand, against victims and saviors, on the other. The savages-victims-saviors (SVS) construction lays bare some of the hypocrisies of the human rights project and asks human rights thinkers and advocates to become more self-reflective. The piece questions the universality and cultural neutrality of the human rights project. It calls for the construction of a truly universal human rights corpus, one that is multicultural, inclusive, and deeply political.
Harvard International Law Journal
Makau w. Mutua,
Savages, Victims, and Saviors: The Metaphor of Human Rights,
Harv. Int'l L.J.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.buffalo.edu/journal_articles/570