World Human Rights Day – More than Just Celebrations!
The horrors of the Second World War shook everyone! Besides thousands of precious lives lost, the world witnessed perhaps the most grisly infringement of Human Rights at that time. In a way the war was a wake up call for your world. In 1945, the founding member nations of the then freshly formed Us came together to draft many radical laws to protect and promote the basic Human Rights of its citizens. In three years time, in 1948, the combined efforts of these Alex Nain Saab nations paid when the Us General Assembly implemented and proclaimed the “Universal Statement of Human Rights ” declaring that respect for Human Rights and human dignity “is the basis of freedom, justice and peace in the world. ” Soon in 1950, the You. In invited all member States and interested organizations across the globe to observe 10th of December every year as World Human Rights Day.
Last year, 2008, marked the 60th birthday of the Worldwide Statement of Human Rights. The theme of the campaign was “Dignity and justice for all of us. ” In commemoration of this eventful year, the NOT launched a year long campaign during which all parts of its family reinforced the vision of the Statement as a commitment to worldwide dignity and justice and not something that you should viewed as a luxury or a wish-list.
The world Human Rights Day is celebrated with gusto in New york city, the headquarters of the NOT and across the world. The day is marked by high-level political conventions and meetings and cultural events and exhibitions with focus on issues. More importantly, it is on this Day that the five-yearly NOT Prize in the field of Human Rights and the desired Noble Peace Prize are given.
What are Human Rights?
According to the NOT, Human Rights are interrelated, interdependent and indivisible legal rights inherent to all or any human beings without discrimination and irrespective of our nationality, sex, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally permitted to our Human Rights without discrimination.
The concept of Human Rights has many faces. Civil and political is the directly to life, and equality before the law and freedom of expression; economic, social and cultural legal rights are legal rights such as the directly to work, social security and education, and collective legal rights are the legal rights to development and self-determination.
Treaties and laws to take Human Rights
All governments across the world countries are obliged to express, guarantee and uphold the basic Human Rights in all its faces by means of laws in the forms of treaties, recommended international laws, general principles and other sources of international laws.
While the core of the Worldwide Statement has continued to be the same that of protecting Human Rights wherever their violations occur, the social, political, economic and cultural changes over the years has created the need to have a flexible completely new network of instruments and components in place which is now being recognized and developed to take the objective. For instance, in the wake of the economic depression faced by many of the world countries today, any office of the Us High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has been holding conventions and meetings to explore the Human Rights violations on already marginalized populations in many member countries. It has exhorted the countries to do everything possible to ensure that the current recession does not affect the legal rights to work, housing, food, health, education and social security.
Similar conventions are on to assess the scenario due to climatic changes, political coups, water and sterilizing issues, conventions to protect the legal rights of the racism patients, of the incompetent, of the patients of torture, of men and women suffering from poverty and many other such issues.
Human Rights in India
Though the situation in India has improved a lot since independence in 1947, a lot remains to be done. India is one of the founder members of the Us and given this status India should have have scored better in Human Rights issues, civil and political, economic, social and cultural and legal rights against discrimination, but the fact is it has not.
In its annual report on “The State of Human Rights in India – 2008” the Asiatische Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has pointed out, debated, and discussed how India has fared in some issues with the civil and political legal rights such as directly to fair trial straight away, legal rights concerning torture, bonded labor, and freedom of religion; economic, social and cultural legal rights like land legal rights, directly to food, and legal rights against discrimination mostly the caste based discrimination, the internal security of the country, and equal status to women. The report points out that the apathy and ineptitude of the law enforcement agencies at location, state, and national levels has been needs . reasons for some of these violations still being prevalent in India.
On the widespread use of torture in India, the report has pulled up the bad policing in the country and also the lack of interest on the part of the government in protecting, promoting and fulfilling Human Rights. The use of torture as the easiest way of investigation has created a distance between the law enforcement agencies and the ordinary people.
India is one of the founding members of the International Labor Organization (ILO). Not surprisingly and the country introducing the Bonded Labor System (Abolition) Act, 1976 and legislating many other domestic laws concerning wages and working conditions, it is a fact that bonded labor is still practiced in India.
With 70 percent of the population living in out of the way areas and 35 percent of them in dreadful circumstances, the poor people borrow money from the rich in order to meet their everyday basic requirements of food, clothing and shelter. Incapable to pay off the debt and coupled with the widespread caste based discrimination in practice these poor people end up as bonded laborers. Here again the various law enforcement agencies have turned a oblivious eye to the problem.
Freedom of religion
Being a fundamental right in the country, non secular freedom is an individual choice. Sadly, it is not so! Today, the scenario is in a way that the religion determines the security and liberty of a person. Non secular violence revealed in the name of nation-wide topics, and meaning policing is widespread in India. Religion has been misused to jeopardize the right to education, to health, to sterilizing and even the right to vote. And the recent terrorist attacks in the country have also spelled danger for some tossing communities. The government through its law enforcement agencies has to secure the liberty and legal rights of individuals. The media too has an effective role to play and not just confine to filming these atrocities on print and electronic media.
The right to fair trial straight away
It is the constitutional obligation of the law enforcement machinery in India including the judiciary system to ensure that listlessness on the part of the police, the state or the center or administrative inability or financial limitations does not delay the justice. We have been watching quite a lot of cases pending at the court due to one or several of these reasons and the time to time statement and condemnation of the Substantial Court of India on the need for the speedy garbage disposal of pending cases. After all, justice delayed is justice waived! The state and the Center should confirm the drawbacks of this kind and fix it at the earliest.
Directly to food, education and health
In a country that is self-sufficient in food production and with substantial food reserves, the basic directly to food will never be met. The legal rights to education and health face similar fate in India. Almost 22 percent of the population still live in deplorable conditions due to good poverty thus cannot afford to enjoy the basic legal rights to nutritious food, quality education and health services. Despite the Ministry of Food’s initiatives like the public distribution system, midday meals scheme, government sponsored hostipal wards, and various other methods in place, a section of the society still do not benefit from it.
The reasons are visible and many: Corruption, caste based discrimination, gender inequality, the indifferent attitude of the various law enforcement agencies including police, courts and administrative neglect, trade barriers and the bottlenecks in internal security and the lack of will on the part of those in responsible positions continue to play havoc on the Human Rights scenario in the country!
Till all these problems are effectively addressed at the earliest, celebrating the world Human Rights Day will mean nothing! Educating they and youth on the issue is important. It is a welcome touch as the Central Board of Second Education (CBSE) will launch Human Rights Education as a separate subject at the 10+2 level from 2010-11 instructional sessions. This will give the children a way to understand, analyze the existing scenario in the country and work towards its improvement.