Editor in Chief: Dr. Hussain Yasa Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

‘Stand up for Everyone’s Rights’

Stand up for Everyone’s Rights’ was the theme for this year’s Human Rights Day, which was celebrated on December 10, around the world. The Day called on everyone, particularly the human right activists, to stand up firmly for everyone’s rights as discrimination against the weak, poor and powerless has continued in different forms and extremism, terrorism and violence have also engulfed the world in various ways. Therefore, it is important that the ones who are in better position to perform some sort of role must not hesitate and play his/her part.
Human Rights Day basically commemorates the day on which the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Later in 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe December 10 of each year as Human Rights Day.
Though human rights violations and issues are almost in every part of the world. The underdeveloped and developing countries are suffering the most in this regard. Afghanistan is also a type of country wherein insufficient development and persistent instability, extremism and terrorism have violated the rights of men, women and children to a large extent. These all evils, in addition to violation of human rights have also made the tasks of those individuals and organizations difficult that have been active to safeguard human rights. However, there have been many brave individuals who have proved that they have the will and intention to stand strong and such people should be appreciated as much as possible.
United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), while marking Human Rights Day, spotlighted the crucial work of Afghan human rights defenders and joined the call for all citizens to stand up to protect the rights of vulnerable women, men, and children. At a UNAMA-sponsored event in Kabul, leading human rights defenders described how Afghanistan's armed conflict had made their work more challenging, but all the more essential. "The work of human rights defenders has become ever more crucial amid ongoing human rights abuses and violence across Afghanistan. These abuses can occur during armed conflict, but also in the workplace and in the home," UNAMA said in a statement.
Afghanistan needs to play a tremendous role in the area of human rights because of the basic reason that there have been evident violations of human rights on Afghan soil and they have even continued after so much emphasis and efforts. Even today there are many examples of clear violation of human rights throughout the country and they make the headlines in the national and international media, while there are many that go unrecorded. Looking at the plight of human rights in Afghan society, it is really important that the Afghan authorities must do something more than promises and commitments.
Unfortunately, Afghanistan lacks the basic democratic principles and the requirements of welfare state and therefore fail to provide the citizens their due rights. To be very specific about Afghanistan it can be said that a so-called democratic government has been installed, which has taken oath to provide the people their basic rights, yet there are millions who remain unattended.
For Afghan government and national organizations that want to develop a framework for the protection of human rights the United Nations Charter and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) can play a tremendous role. Article 1 of the UDHR says, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” Its preamble also emphasizes on the recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.
Meanwhile, the preamble of the United Nations Charter reaffirms faith in fundamental human rights, in the equal rights of men and women, while the Article 56 of the charter says, “All members pledge themselves to take joint and separate action in cooperation with the Organization for the achievement of the purposes set forth in Article 55, which suggests for ‘(a) higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social progress and development; b) solutions of international economic, social, health, and related problems; c) international cultural and educational cooperation; d) universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion’.”
The objective for Afghan government to play a tremendous role can be what is set forth in Article 55 of United Nations Charter. To be very much realistic about Afghanistan, one can say that guidelines are many; the only missing factor is practical measure. There is a wide gap between the guidelines/commitments and actions, and this gap becomes wider once the intentions and honesty are doubted; and in case of Afghanistan the gap is wider.   
Meanwhile, the scenario is no better on the individual level. Many individuals are not even sure about how to protect the rights of others. They, in their daily lives, violate the rights of the poor, women and children and do not even feel guilty about it. It is very important that the protection of the rights must start on the individual level as well and everybody must make sure to play his/her part.