Infringement, Dignity and Human Rights


  • Luis González Placencia


Affirmative action, human rights, vulnerability, human dignity


In order to establish the relationship between affirmative actions and human rights as problematic, this article is aimed to discuss how the construction of vulnerability as a natural fatality was a resource to justify individual differences and, for that reason, the dominance of some identities over others. Under the context of scientific positivism and social welfarism, any discussion about human dignity were displaced because of the certainty of a natural inequality. Nevertheless, the emergence of the concept of human dignity in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the subsequent Covenants on political and civil rights and social economic and cultural rights and later in many of worlds countries constitutions allows to think of human dignity as the hard core of human rights and thus as a solid legal tool for the emancipation of subjugated identities. This makes it possible to abandon the idea of vulnerability in order to focus attention on the contexts and the violating agents and to give a strong character to the violation of rights. Under these arguments, it is proposed in this article that the only way to justify affirmative action is to consider it as an obligation and not, as some authors claim, as a right.