Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, October 23rd, 2017

Flagrant Violation of Human Rights Continues

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Flagrant Violation of Human Rights Continues

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on December 10, 1948 as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected.
Human Rights are “the recognition of the inalienable dignity of human beings”; free of discrimination, inequality, or distinction of any kind, human dignity is universal, equal and inalienable. After the horrors of the Second World War, which inflicted heavy casualties and indescribable destructions upon human societies, the international community decided to draw up an international charter of rights that would affirm the values put forward in the struggle against fascism.
The Human Rights Law was adopted to alleviate the pains and sufferings of mankind and put an end to war and violence. Men’s natural rights to life, liberty and estate are recognized in the UDHR and it aptly states, “disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people”.
Despite the claims made by the UDHR “to promote respect for these rights and freedoms”, the rights and liberty of the people are violated flagrantly around the globe and violence and militancy continue unabated. The blood of women and children is spilt in the worst possible way and a large number of the individuals are killed on the grounds of their race, color and creed.
In addition, terrorism is a serious threat to the men’s rights and dignity and scores of individuals fall victim to the radical ideology of warring parties – which make no bone about shedding the blood of innocent people or dishonoring them. They pay no heed to national or international laws and sacrifice moral standards and religious tenets for satiating their carnal desire and megalomania. In other words, the terrorist networks resort to war and violence to break the lump in their throats made by deprivations and poverty. Despite religious emphasis on respecting rights and dignity, they trample upon their rights in the worst possible way.
Similarly, humanitarian law is not considered at all by warring parties, mainly by the Taliban and the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Women and children bear the brunt of violence in in every corner of the world. For instance, Yazidi girls and women are arrested and raped on the basis of their race and belief and the wounded and arrested soldiers are beheaded mercilessly. “Syria is the worst war, the worst humanitarian crisis, the worst displacement crisis, the worst refugee crisis in a generation.” It is really shocking to hear that more 250,000 people, half of whom are believed to be civilians, have lost their lives in Syria’s war. Moreover, in the first nine months of 2016, UNAMA documented 2,461 child casualties, a 15 percent increase on the same period in 2015. The militancy is estimated to have caused 70,000 civilian casualties, including over 25,000 deaths since 2009.
Besides terrorism, the high graph of domestic and social violence against women is a blatant violation of women’s human rights. They fall victim to (gang) rapes and their freedoms are curtailed not only in Afghanistan but in many parts of the world. Cultural restrictions are serious barrier before their progress and since the hegemony of democracy is not digestible in villages, crossing the red line in tribal areas by women – though their acts will not be in conflict with religious tenets – will be followed by torture and punishment. Forced marriages and selling girls for economic reasons are practiced widely in our society. Hence, do you think that UDHR has mitigated the sufferings of mankind?
In fact, there is a great sensitivity towards Human Rights Law and human rights discourse in traditional cultures. I remember vividly when I was working as a civic educator to conduct awareness about women’s rights in some villages; the people pursed their lips with hearing the subject and believed that it would lead to conflict between men and women in their area. It is believed that the main reason behind their negative reaction was misunderstanding human rights. They believe that human rights are a western gift preached to westernize our culture and may affect the minds of our youths negatively.
The Afghan Government with the help of the international community will have to spread true awareness about human rights and condemn the violation of human rights committed by anyone. Furthermore, a strong sanction by international community is lacking and many violators of human rights are not prosecuted by international court. Hence, only writing the rights and dignity of mankind on a piece of paper will not alleviate the anguishes and sufferings of human societies and will not put an end to violence and bloodshed.

Hujjattullah Zia is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at zia_hujjat@yahoo.com

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