P. C. Chang's Concept of Human Dignity for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Author:Pinghua Sun
Position:Professor at China University of Political Science and Law. MA (Warwick), Ph.D. (CUPL). ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1470-9542. Much gratitude is extended to John Nicholson, a senior copy editor with CHINA DAILY, for his careful revision, insightful comments and warm-hearted assistance in the proofreading. The author may be contacted at:...
Pages:91-106
SUMMARY

In the early days of the UN, human rights was one of the most pressing issues. After the UN Commission on Human Rights was established, the international community began to draft the UDHR. By exploring UN archives, this paper finds that during that process, Pengchun Chang (P. C. Chang), the Chinese representative, drew heavily on his view that human dignity was the raison d’être of human rights,... (see full summary)

 
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Pinghua Sun
∗∗
In the early days of the UN, human rights was one of the most pressing issues. After
the UN Commission on Human Rights was established, the international community
 
process, Pengchun Chang (P. C. Chang), the Chinese representative, drew heavily
on his view that human dignity was the raison d’être of human rights, and as a
consequence recognition of the importance of human dignity was a key element in the
UDHR eventually adopted. I conclude that Chang was skilled in his advocacy of the
recognition of human dignity as he persuaded people to reach a consensus on human
rights standards, providing a common standard for all peoples and all nations. This
paper will mainly ask: What was the role of human dignity in P. C. Changs idea on
human rights? What role can we say human dignity played? How did the UDHR treat
the issue of human dignity?
Keywords
Human Dignity, Human Rights, P. C. Chang, UDHR, Traditional Chinese
Culture
P. C. Chang
s Concept
of Human Dignity for the
Universal Declaration
of Human Rights
The earlier version of this article was presented at Christ Church College, Oxford on August 3, 2018.
** Professor at China University of Political Science and Law. MA (Warwick), Ph.D. (CUPL). ORCID: https://orcid.
org/0000-0002-1470-9542. Much gratitude is extended to John Nicholson, a senior copy editor with CHINA DAILY, for
his careful revision, insightful comments and warm-hearted assistance in the proofreading. The author may be contacted
at: fadaphsun@aliyun.com/Address: China University of Political Science and Law, 25, Xitucheng Road, Haidian
District, Beijing 100088 P. R. China.
J. EAST ASIA & INTL L. Vol. 12/No.1 (2019); 91-106
Publication type : Research Article
Section : Notes & Comments
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.14330/jeail.2019.12.1.05
92 Pinghua Sun
1. Introduction
For the past eight years I have devoted much time to human rights studies. The
following four books are main publications of my research: 1) THE STUD Y OF THE
UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS [<󱉽󰑴󲜱>󱕅󱞧] (Peking University
Press 2012); 2) HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION SYSTEM IN CHINA (Springer 2014); 3) PENGCHUN
CHANG: A CRUCIAL ARCHITECT OF THE INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS SYSTEM [󰍖:
󱉽󰑴󱨬󱎵󲻾󲚲󲣯 󲣒] (Social Sciences Academic Press 2017); and 4) HISTORI C
ACHIEVEMENT OF A COMMON STANDARD: PENGCHUN CHANG AND THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION
OF HUMAN RIGHTS (Springer 2018). These works have attracted scholars attention in
 

foundations and the uses of human dignity. At the conference I delivered a keynote
speech titled     s thought about human
rights.
1
       
aforementioned works a question occurred to me: What was the role of human
 s idea on human rights? This research will try to answer this
fundamental question. It will be further subdivided into the following questions:
         
        
of human rights?; and 4) How did the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948
(UDHR) treat the issue of human dignity?
2. Who is Pengchun Chang?
   󲴡
   
   
UDHR.
2
1 See Human Dignity for Everyone Everywhere: Founding Figures, Foundations, and the Uses of Human Dignity,
available at https://www.iclrs.org/content/blurb/files/Oxford%20HD%20Conference.Schedule.2018.07.31.pdf (last
visited on Apr. 26, 2019).
2 Pinghua Sun, Peng-Chun Chang: A world-renowned human rights activist. 6 HUM. RTS. 40-5 (2011).

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