Friday, September 4, 2020

FAMINE AS A HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION: THE CASE OF ETHIOPIA AND THE GREAT FAMINE OF THE 1980s

Interdisciplinary Journal of Human Rights Law [Vol. I: I]

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Kristin A. Urbach[*]

In this paper, I will ultimately prove that the quest for power led the Dergue military regime to intentionally create and sustain the Great Famine of the I98os, that their actions were intended to bring about the inevitable suffering of the Ethiopian community, and that their calculated military strategies deprived human beings of their fundamental natural rights. This paper will be broken down into four sections that I believe are necessary to classify famine in Ethiopia as an abuse to humanity that warrants attention and recognition. The first section of this paper will draw heavily from factual information and political science. I will start with a historical background of Ethiopia, emphasizing the social distinctions, ideological conflicts, and cultural divisions that spurred a political revolution. The second section will assess the chronological timeline of events leading up to the famine, and I will provide the necessary evidence to confirm my hypothesis that the Ethiopian government bears a substantial amount of responsibility for the major famine of the I98OS. The third section of this paper will draw heavily upon philosophical inquiry and ethical perspectives. I will discuss why I think the Ethiopian famine constitutes a human rights violation by looking specifically at the nature and value of objective human rights, free will, and responsibility. The fourth and final section of this paper will be a mixture of philosophy, politics, and personal opinion. I will propose a number of possible ways for individuals in the international community to become involved in Ethiopia, remedy the aftermath of war, and address the underlying causes of famine to resolve the effects.

 



[*] KRISTIN A. URBACH is a recent graduate of James Madison University.

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