Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
If you are born as a human, you have been endowed with certain rights in order to actuate your full human potential vide the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.
The said declaration encompasses:
- Right to life, liberty and security
- Right against slavery
- Right against cruelty and torture
- Right to equality before the law
- Right against arbitrary arrest, detention or exile
- Right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty
- Right against arbitrary interference with one’s privacy, family, home or correspondence; and against attacks upon one’s honor and reputation
- Right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state
- Right to leave any country, including one’s own, and to return to one’s country
- Right to seek and to enjoy asylum from political persecution in other countries
- Right to have and to change one’s nationality
- Right to marry and to found a family as an adult
- Right to own property
- Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion as well as freedom to change religion
- Right to freedom of opinion and expression
- Right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association
- Right to take part in the government of one’s country
- Right to social security
- Right to work
- Right to equal pay for equal work
- Right to form and to join trade unions
- Right to rest and leisure
- Right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of oneself and of one’s family
- Right to education
- Right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community
- Right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which one is the author
It appears from this declaration that everything has turned good and all humans on the planet have started living a dignified life.
But the reality is far from what the declaration states as it is only a desired guideline and not a mandatory binding on any government.
Everyday hundreds if not thousands of serious human rights violations are taking place in every part of the world.
Human Rights Violations:
Here are a few examples of shameful major violations of human rights reported in various different parts of the world…
Violations of Right to Life, Liberty and Security:
“Vietnamese authorities forced at least 75,000 drug addicts and prostitutes into 71 overpopulated “rehab” camps, labeling the detainees at “high risk” of contracting HIV/AIDS but providing no treatment.“
Violations of Right against Slavery:
“The US State Department estimates 600,000 to 820,000 men, women and children are trafficked across international borders each year, half of whom are minors, including record numbers of women and girls fleeing from Iraq. In nearly all countries, including Canada, the US and the UK, deportation or harassment are the usual governmental responses, with no assistance services for the victims.“
Violations of Right against Cruelty and Torture:
“In 2008, US authorities continued to hold 270 prisoners in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, without charge or trial, subjecting them to “water-boarding,” torture that simulates drowning. Former-President George W. Bush authorized the CIA to continue secret detention and interrogation, despite its violation of international law.“
Violations of Right to Seek and to Enjoy Asylum in Other Countries:
“In Kenya, authorities violated international refugee law when they closed the border to thousands of people fleeing armed conflict in Somalia. Asylum-seekers were illegally detained at the Kenyan border without charge or trial and forcibly returned to Somalia.“
Violations of Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion:
“In China, Falun Gong practitioners were singled out for torture and other abuses while in detention. Christians were persecuted for practicing their religion outside state-sanctioned channels.“
Violations of Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression:
“Russia repressed political dissent, pressured or shut down independent media and harassed nongovernmental organizations. Peaceful public demonstrations were dispersed with force, and lawyers, human rights defenders and journalists were threatened and attacked. Since 2000, the murders of seventeen journalists, all critical of government policies and actions, remain unsolved.“
Violations of Right to Take Part in the Government of One’s Country:
“In Pakistan, thousands of lawyers, journalists, human rights defenders and political activists were arrested for demanding democracy, the rule of law and an independent judiciary.“
Looks like we are still living in barbarian ages! Nothing has changed in reality. Universal Declaration of Human Rights has merely offered a lip service just to dream of a world that will be conducive to enhancing our human potential to its optimum.
But then, perhaps, even a dream is better than no dream at all!
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