Define 'Humanitarian Intervention' and Explain How It Is Used to Justify Interference in Another State's Affairs

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Define ‘humanitarian intervention’ and explain how it is used to justify interference in another state’s affairs.

Throughout history, governments of countries or ‘states’ have found cause to interfere in other states’ affairs. ‘Humanitarian intervention’ is a means by which several states have justified this interference. The Iraq War in 2003 was caused by an unjustified intervention, and as a result, bore severe repercussions. Defining humanitarian intervention shows that even though the process is flawed, it is still a necessity. An understanding of human rights and how they have been violated in the past also shows the reason why the world requires governing committees, such as the United Nations.

Discussions of human rights place at its foundations, an emphasis on individual human rights. Although this may be due to the fact that the early literature was influenced by early literature was influenced by western libertarians; it is taken for granted by many authors. (Howard, 1992 p.82) The international community has a moral obligation to protect these rights, and that is why relevant international law and policies are implemented. Human rights laws are a controversial issue for both democratic and authoritarian governments because of the impact they could have on cultural values. These laws do not take into account the rights of the majority; they mainly pertain to the protection of individuals or minorities. Some ‘non-western’ countries consider that the monitoring of human rights by committees could interfere with their cultural and national sovereignty. In 1997, the Malayan Prime Minister suggested the Universal Declaration of Human Rights be redrafted because he did not agree with being told how to run his country by the people. In particular, he was concerned about the reinstating of colonial rule. (Charlesworth, 2002 p.46)

Humanitarian intervention is also a highly debated issue. The justification of this intervention into other states’

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