Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, June 21st, 2018

Standing for Human Rights

All the human beings, just because of the fact that they are human, have certain rights. These rights are to make sure that human beings have secure life, favorable circumstances to live and have the basic requirements that can ensure a dignified life within a human society. One of the most remarkable achievements for the promotion and preservation of human rights was the adoption of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 1948. The day was 10th of December; therefore, today, December 10th is being celebrated as the International Human Rights Day. This year, the day is going to kick off a year-long campaign to mark the 70th anniversary of the Declaration. It was the same document which for the first time proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.
Though the Declaration has been widely shared and disseminated, practical steps to safeguard the rights of human beings in different parts of the world have not gained strong support. Therefore, there are millions of people in the world, whose rights are violated in some way or the other. 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.
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 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.