2. The mania for victimization. There has been a growing solicitude for the suffering of rights holders whose interests have been adversely affected by others—individuals, enterprises, social or religious communities, or the state. That solicitude reflects a general social trend in many developed states, that emphasizes the suffering causes by deprivations of the protections of rights at the hands of others. That trend has given rise to a curious recasting of the rights holder—who are all of us—into the victim, who represent only those rights holders who have suffered loss (and sometimes who have alleged such loss), at the hands of others. Perhaps this is designed to refocus the business of the protection of rights more towards those who suffer loss. Perhaps it is a means toward a political project of reform of the policy emphasis or on the modalities of approaching issues of remediation or prevention of such loss, in law and policy. The result is the recasting of law and legal instruments, on the one hand, and the re-focus of policy, on the other, away from the rights holder to the victim. Human rights has shifted its focus from elaboration to accountability, and from rights to remediation.
3. A Re-Focus on the obligations, of states, other collectives and even individuals may be necessary. I have spoken of the core value of the Universal Declaration as sign post for the important development of the concept of rights in individuals. And I have suggested how some trends, especially that of solicitude for victims, can pose a threat to that development. I have suggested the primal importance of agency as against other actors as being at the core of the principles in the Universal Declaration. Yet the Universal Declaration also includes limiting or at least balancing principles that have been overlooked as well. These limiting and balancing principles arise from the notion inherent in the Universal Declaration that rights are relational; they are relational in the sense of acknowledging a connection between those in whom rights reside, those whose actions may interfere with the enjoyment of those rights, and those (including the rights holder) with the obligation to prevent or remedy the consequences of such interference. To that end, it might be better to speak not of the centering of remedy in relation to human rights, but rather to speak to centering of the obligations of states, other collective and individual actors with respect to human rights.