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Dignity as a Traditional Value: International Legal Analysis


  • Department of International Law, Law Institute, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Moscow, Russia


Background/Objectives: The term "dignity" is widely used in the texts of the international legal instruments, but international law has not developed its agreed definition. This concept of dignity is reflected in the first international human rights instruments. Methods/Statistical analysis: Analysis of international instruments on human rights shows that in the 20th century, the concept of dignity became the basis of human rights law. This is confirmed by the fact that, firstly, dignity is inherent to all members of the human family. Secondly, all human beings are free and equal in dignity and rights. And thirdly, these rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person. That is why the better understanding of human dignity as a traditional value can boost promotion and fulfillment of human rights. Findings: The article deals with the concept of dignity from the standpoint of philosophy, Western Christianity and Russian Orthodoxy that contributed to the formulation of the concept of dignity, its definition and elements, and international law. Applications/Improvements: The centrality of human dignity in universal human rights texts can be explained by its core nature. It is fundamental and at the same time it seems uncontroversial enough to attract the entirety of the world community notwithstanding the diversity of morals, cultures, ethnicities, and religions that exist within the broad range of nations.


Human Rights Council, International Legal Analysis, The Russian Orthodox Church

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