WORLDWIDE HUMAN RIGHTS OBSERVATION Essay Example
Topic: FREE AND FAIR WORLD
Human rights have become the standard household excuse for anything done wrong. Everyone will have an issue with their rights being violated every time they are put to task about their conduct. In this regard, it shows how people are sensitive to human rights, yet most of them do not even understand them. In other situations, human rights are used as a disguise for the wrongs done to people on the wrong side always argue about their rights being violated when they are brought to justice for their wrongs. Therefore it would be prudent first to understand what human rights are before indulging into a discussion. Human rights are the fundamental rights and freedom that every human being is entitled to having (Ayton, 2015). The events of world war two came as a wake-up call for leaders at the time that everyone in the world was not fundamentally enjoying these rights, and therefore there was an urgent need for action. This led to the signing of the first Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. There were 30 rights and freedoms which were enshrined in the declaration although the numbers of human rights have grown immensely over the years. These rights are classified into various categories such as economic, social and political. They have based three major principles which are universal, inalienable and indivisibility and interdependence. Some of the human rights are right to life, the right to education, freedom of speech, freedom of association among many others (Assembly, 1948). A lot has happened since the signing of the Declaration, and all the countries which joined the United Nations later are a signatory and are expected to combine efforts with the UN in ensuring that human rights are observed to the fullest. This is betters said than done due a lot of factors that are used as excuses. In this paper, we discuss the various factors which affect human rights observation. Such factors include war, drought, national security, etc. Despite the widespread call for human rights observation by international human rights observers and other organizations, there is a question which needs to be answered. The discussion will be answering the question if it is possible to have the world where all people’s human rights are met or should we dismiss such ideas as unrealistic idealism?
Human rights are major pillar that has made the United Nations stand out since it advocacy of their observation has been outright (Ayton, 2015). These concerted efforts have born fruits in most cases, but in other situations, their calls have not been heeded which have often resulted in gross violation of human rights. The organization advances the observation through the various organizations has a human rights high commissioner for human rights whose office partners with other stakeholders whose sole agenda is human rights. Other countries have also become a major player in this drive towards total human rights observation. Despite these efforts, there is needed to look at some factors which could determine if there is the possibility of having the world where all human rights are fully observed.
The first factor is the rise of the urgency of national security. In recent years, there has been growing concerns about security in many parts of the world. This has to lead many countries to put strategies and measures which are aimed at protecting themselves and enhancing their internal security. A recent example of such a move is the ban on immigration imposed by the Trump administration against certain Muslim countries. This has been controversial although since it violates the freedom of religion and discriminates people based on religion and origin (Brysk , 2012). Such an act is a prove the extent to which countries are willing to violate human rights just provided they are on the safe side.
The rise of globalization is another significant development which has been affecting the observation of human rights. Globalization involves broadening and deepening of transboundary exchanges which are a result of advancement in technology media and communications (Brsyk, 2012). Theses exchanges have led to interactions at all levels of governance and among stakeholders who are non-state. Globalization has been on for a long time but has since changed due to the advancement in technology. In today’s world, It is mostly associated with deregulation, economic interdependence, and dominance in the marketplace. Globalization has been marked by increased influence from international institutions such as financial institutions (Mitchell, 2012). This has led to a feeling that countries are losing their sovereignty and has since then come up with measures to regain their independence. These actions have included economic sabotage where countries try to sabotage the economies of their competitors through cheap imports. Other activities have included imposing trade barriers where goods from a given region are restricted from entering the country. Some measure has been very drastic such as the total ban of the products from a particular country or region. Some countries have also used trade sanctions to advance their interests. These measures have a common characteristic which is bringing poverty in the affected country or region. Some countries reduce their prices for products from a given area and after small processing sell them back to the countries at high costs thus amounting to economic exploitation which is a gross violation of human rights of the said country (Mitchell, 2012).
The rise of political dictators which has led to the denial of the right of universal suffrage (Evans, 2005). Every citizen is entitled to vote in a free and fair election to choose the leaders of their choice. However, the rise of dictators especially in most African countries has grossly violated this right. IN these countries, vote rigging to favor the dictators who want to cling to power is the order of the day. Political rights in such countries are thrown out of the window anyone who goes against the wishes of the dictator is met with blatant force (Evans, 2005). Examples of such leader are Sudan’s Omar Al-Bashir who is wanted by the international court of justice for crimes against humanity and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni. These leaders are among the many dictators in the African continent who have been oppressing their citizens politically. They do this by the use of state machinery to brutally quell any protests against them and have been on record for detaining their political competitors. Others such as Syria’s president have clung to power despite the widespread atrocities meted by the government on the people. Despite widespread calls from the international community to step down, they have refused to heed the calls.
The rise of militias has also been another major issue in observance of human rights. In the recent years, there has been an increase in the number of militia groups. These have been as a result of economic and religious factors as well as social factors. Some of these groups according to data from the US Ministry of Defense are Boko Haram in West Africa, Al Shabaab in Easter Africa and the Islamic States in Iraq and Afghanistan. These militia groups have on a human rights violation spree. They have been committing crimes against humanity such a trafficking of people, raping women and children, mass murders and beheading of Christians (Witte, 2010). These are crimes which grossly violate most if all of the human rights. They use the shield of religion to advance their radicalized ideas and have claimed responsibility for several bombing that has been happening around the world. They seem to have no clue or sense of human life in their agendas and have since made their primary goal as killing and maiming people who they deem as infidels (Witte, 2010). This has been a major blow to the efforts that have been put in place to ensure that all citizens are protected and live freely without fear of harassment.
The advent of technology came as a gift but has as well been a curse to the human rights (Metzl, 2013). Technology advancement has been on the verge of collapsing human rights observation in many occasions. One of the most remarkable of these occasions is the introduction of surveillance in movement and tapping of conversations and emails by the governments. This has been a major concern for most citizens as no one would want to find out that another unauthorized party has been listening to their conversation. Despite the public outcry, states have continued to monitor and tap the communications of their citizens without their consent. For instance, the US has been in the lead of this act by promoting greater use electronic surveillance and by weakening banking secrecy laws. The FBI director is on record of publicly advocating for wiretapping and globetrotting to promote the same in other countries. It is not America only on this list, in Singapore, Internet Service Providers are operated by organizations which are controlled by the government, and they are reported to regular information to government agencies. This has also seen growth in videos surveillance which uses the closed circuit television(CCTV) to monitor their subjects. These have been installed in many public places, parking areas as well as private properties. These have seriously breached the right to privacy since the subjects are not asked for permission to be observed. This trend has spread into the corporate world where now there is surveillance at the workplace. Managers have taken the opportunity to install CCTV’s at the workstations of their employees without their consent. This act of monitoring has been taken a notch higher where washrooms and restrooms have been put under surveillance indicating how serious this threat and far deep rooted it is (Metzl, 2013).
The rise in disputes around the world has been on the increase with each passing day. Countries are rebuilding their stockpile of weapons ready to unleash them on innocent civilians when they deem their interest in an individual have been put to the test (Zhou, 2016). A Recent example of such includes the boundary dispute between Israel and Palestine, the South China Sea and most recently Russia and Ukraine. This shows that despite these countries claiming to respect human rights, they are ready to abandon them and grossly violate them. There have also been conflicts between the militants and the government which has led to the rise in refugees in most of the world. Conflicts such as in Ukraine and Syria have shown that government though tasked with the responsibility of protecting human rights for their citizens can turn and violate these rights.
Technology has been having a lot of issues with human rights, and many are the times they seem to cross paths in the wrong ways. Rise and growth of the internet have been an important factor in the growth of human rights observance, but despite its good side, it has been accompanied by a lot of negatives side thanks to the growth of social media (Metzl,2013). Social media has significantly increased the interaction between people from around the world. It has also been widely used as a tool for reporting rights violation and calling for those culpable to be brought to justice. These have been very fruitful in making sure that those who violate human rights will not go unnoticed and will eventually be apprehended and brought to justice. ON the others side social media has been used as a platform where all human rights are broken left right and center. To begin with, criminals have used social media to pass wrong information which is meant to create fear among the citizens. For instance, militia groups such as the Islamic States use social media to post pictures, videos, and warnings after they commit their atrocities. They post horrifying videos of beheadings which violate the rights of the deceased family, and the message is usually offensive to the larger population. Hate speech has also been on the rise in social media. People exchange abuses in social media without fear of being apprehended which is a perfect cover for them. Some have even come to brag about the heinous crimes they have committed such as murder. An example of such acts is a German young man who bragged on the Facebook page about killing a young girl. Although he was apprehended later, it shows how social media has been an instrument in promoting the violation of rights and freedoms. Social media has been used by criminals to plan their criminals activities such as murder, robbery and most recently terror groups are using social media to plan their activities (Metzl, 2013). Despite the stringent control measures that are implemented, there is always a loophole that allows it to be used a destructive tool rather than constructive.
Global climatic changes have been in the news most recently due to drastic changes in the climate. These changes have overly contributed by the release of toxic gasses into the atmosphere from industries in the developed countries. These have had effect in the weather patterns of regions as well as global warming which has caused drying up of rivers and decrease in the productive lands. There has also been spread of desertification in many parts of the world. In other regions, there has been a rise in water level which has caused some island to be submerged rendering the residents of these islands homeless. These climatic changes have caused spread in drought and have made many countries which depended on agriculture be poverty stricken (Mitchell, 2012). The effects have spread to a point where people start dying for lack of food and water. Despite the commitment by some of the developed countries to conserving the environment, some of them have remained non-committal. Despite the late rush to save a situation they created, human life has already been lost, and much more people are in grave danger. This, therefore, has seen human rights being violated through pollution since each is entitled to a clean environment.
If there is anything that has stood the test of time in the world is religion. Religion started a long time ago even before coming of civilization and has since then been among us up to date. In early days, religion was marked by persecution as each religion fought for dominance and the intolerance among the believers caused animosity which often culminated to killings (Soyinka,2014). As it evolved after civilization, religion still did not lose its characteristics. It continued to dominate the minds of many people and were willing to go to any level to protect their religion. It marked by believes and norms which were to be strictly observed, and any failure was treated severely. Such standards and believes have crossed over to this century has continued to deny people some important rights( Soyinka, 2014). An example of such rights is abortion due to medical conditions. In some countries, it is illegal due to religion to carry out abortion regardless if it is medical abortion and is deemed as not a sacred deed. In some faith , children born out of wedlock and from rape cases are supposed to be aborted. If not , the child is regarded as of low social status and is denied most rights in the society such right to own property. Besides these pitfalls, religion has also been used to commit crime against humanity. Up to date religious persecutions still exists where members of one religion target and kill members of another religion (Soyinka, 2014). An example of countries where such profound acts have been recently carried includes Egypt where the minority Christian have been bombed and killed in churches by members of the Muslim faith. Christians are not the only target since in country like Philippine where Christians are the majority have been persecuting the Muslims who are the minority. These forms of violence have always resulted in the loss of lives, property, displacement and at most have been used to discriminate people.
As discussed there has been significant steps towards achieving total human rights observation as countries and organizations have put a concerted effort towards this goal. However, the situation keeps on occurring that draw back these efforts to achieve that purpose. Some of them as discussed have been in existence since the signing of the Universal declaration and have since then been persistent up to date. Some others have emerged as a result of changes in religion, economy, political and social aspects. All these combined have been a force to reckon with in the journey of total rights for every individual in the world. Although some such as the rise the of militia can be dealt with and removed the list, others such as those related to technology cannot be scrapped since technology will stop developing only when the world has come to an end which might not be short. It can also conclude that the upcoming fight for economic and political dominance in the world is a problem started a long time ago even before world war one, and therefore it might not be ending anytime soon. Therefore all forms of rights violation associated with these factors will therefore stick around for an extended period in the foreseeable future hence limit the hopes that there will be a reprieve to human rights violation. Religion has been in existence for long since time immemorial and has survived the test of time. Though there have been changes in the modern church, it can be concluded that those rights violation driven by religion will be staying around longer. Therefore it can be concluded that the idea of having everyone’s right observed in the world is just but mere idealism which is unrealistic and should just be abandoned.
Assembly, U. G. (1948). Universal declaration of human rights. UN General Assembly.
Ayton-Shenker, D. (2015). The challenge of human rights and cultural diversity. Geneva: United Nations Department of Public Information.
Mitchell, N. J., & McCormick, J. M. (2012). Economic and political explanations of human rights violations. World Politics, 40(04), 476-498.
Soyinka, W. (2014). Religion and human rights. Index on Censorship, 17(5), 82-85.
Witte Jr, J. (2010). Law, Religion, and Human Rights. Colum. Hum. Rts. L. Rev., 28, 1.
Brysk, A. (2012). Globalization and human rights. University of California Press.
Metzl, J. F. (2013). Information technology and human rights. Human Rights Quarterly, 18(4), 705-746.
Evans, T. (2005). The politics of human rights: A global perspective. Pluto Press.
Zhou, Q. (2016). Conflicts over Human Rights between China and the US. Human Rights Quarterly, 27(1), 105-124.A
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