Human Rights Violations

“We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.”

James Baldwin

What are Human Rights?

We learn social and moral cues from our environment. No one teaches us norms, things that come “naturally” to us. However, the basic freedom that everyone needs can’t be left up to the general public. They need to be written down and strictly monitored. 

Human Rights are basic rights each person deserves and gets, to live, express, study freely, and more.

Towards the end of World War II, the UN and other organizations created the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the Universal Constitution. 

There are 30 Rights given to each individual and they are entitled to them regardless of their sex, age, orientation, colour, or any other differential characteristic.

Why is Human Rights important?

Every person is unique and so is every culture, religion, and nationality. These differences and the human urge to control and dominate makes it hard to maintain human rights for everyone. So a list was of articles were made to ensure:

  • Everyone is treated with respect and given equal opportunities
  • Protects those vulnerable from exploitation
  • Give citizens the opportunity and support to stand against societal corruption and inequality
  • Encourage freedom of speech and expression
  • Provide an opportunity for education
  • Allows everyone to practice their religion or any other practice
  • Allow people to love, marry, and start a family with whomever.
  • Encourages equal work opportunities
  • Protects the environment
  • To protect the world from having another war.

Who governs the Human Rights? How to Protect Human Rights?

The UN has set up a lot of committees that govern Human Rights. 

  • Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
    • The OHCHR is most responsible for promoting and protecting human rights.
    • The High Commissioner of Human Rights regularly comments on Human Rights situations in the world and has the authority to investigate situations and issue reports on them.
  • Human Rights Council
    • Established in 2006, is the key independent UN intergovernmental body responsible for human rights.
  • Human Rights Treaty Bodies
    • Is the committee of independent experts that monitor implementation of the core International Human Rights Treaties.
  • Special Procedures
    • Experts working voluntarily, who examine, monitor and publicly report and advice on Human Rights
  • UNDG-HRM
    • UN Development Group’s Human Rights Mainstreaming Mechanism pushes the mainstreaming efforts within the UN.

Enforcing International Human Rights:

  • The International Bill of Human Rights
    • The first legal document protecting universal rights
  • Democracy
    • Democracy is the ultimate means of achieving the 3 pillars of the UN Charter, international peace and security, economic and social progress, and development. 
  • Security Council
    • Main duties involve dealing with grave human rights violations. 
  • Third Committee of the General Assembly
    • Examines a range of issues including human rights questions.
  • Other Bodies
    • Secretary-General, General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, Member States, The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues are a few other committees that work to maintain the UDHR’s promise of providing each individual all the Human Rights.

Retribution for Violations:    

Violating Human Rights not only weakens a country’s strength, but also affects an individual socially, emotionally, and economically. Human Rights are set in place to protest people, breaking them causes deep psychological trauma for years to come. African-Americans freed from slavery centuries ago, still are restricted and living lives fighting systematic racism each day.

In 1996, the International Criminal Court (ICC) was created to prosecute any human rights violator. “The ICC is authorized to try crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes, slavery, mass rape, torture, and racism.”

The ICC can prosecute any individual, group, or government out of power and sentence them to prison (in their state) or death.

Why hasn’t Human Rights bettered the World?

Countries that are Violating Human Rights:

Almost every country is violating at least 3 human rights. Below is a list of violations from a few countries.

Australia

  • Denying basic rights to Asylum seekers and Refugees
  • Exploiting Indigenous people
  • Unreliable cyber surveillance
  • Lacking support and rights for Disabled citizens
  • Forced labor in the form of the recent Modern Slavery Bill

Brazil

  • Horrifying Prison Conditions
  • Prisoners face torture, assault, and unfair punishments
  • High rates of Juvenile Detainees
  • Reporters being made political prisoners
  • Denying basic rights to Asylum seekers and Refugees

Cuba

  • Illegal detaining
  • Denied freedom of speech and expression
  • An increasing number of political prisoners
  • Horrifying prison conditions
  • Exploiting workers

Democratic Republic of Congo

  • Denied freedom of speech and expression
  • Frequent attacks on civilians
  • Corrupted justice system
  • Women being denied basic rights
  • LGBTQ people denied basic rights
  • Disabled people being denied rights

El Salvador

  • Police Brutality
  • Horrifying Prison Conditions
  • Degrading prisoners and abusing them
  • Increasing gang violence
  • Women being denied basic rights and reproductive rights
  • Attacks on media

France

  • Flawed Asylum and Immigration Laws
  • Denying basic rights to Asylum seekers and Refugees
  • Flawed Child Protection services
  • Increased Sexual Assault and Rapes

Germany

  • Flawed Asylum and Immigration Laws
  • Denying basic rights to Asylum seekers and Refugees
  • Xenophobic culture
  • Illegal detaining
  • Corrupted Criminal Justice System

Haiti

  • Corrupted Criminal Justice System
  • Illiteracy
  • Women being denied basic rights
  • LGBTQ people denied basic rights
  • Disabled people being denied rights
  • Child Labor
  • Illegal detaining
  • Exploiting workers

India

  • Increased violence against Dalits, Tribals, Muslims and other marginalized communities
  • Denied freedom of expression
  • Police brutality
  • Women being denied basic rights
  • LGBTQ people denied basic rights
  • Disabled people being denied rights
  • Targeting political oppositions
  • Denied freedom of speech
  • High rates of Human trafficking
  • Corrupted Criminal Justice System
  • Child Labor
  • Illiteracy
  • Forced Prostitution and Begging
  • Increased Violence against women, LGBTQ and marginalized communities
  • Honour Killings
  • Denying Inter-Caste Marriages
  • Female Foeticide
  • Conservative Abortion Laws
  • Exploiting workers
  • Racist courts, hospitals, educational institutions, work places
  • Corruption
  • Poverty
  • Alarming rise in Sexual Assault and Rapes
  • Broken Healthcare System
  • Pollution
  • inconsistent access to food
  • Inconsistent access to sanitation
  • Regionalism, Casteism
  • Increasing addiction amongst the youth
  • domestic violence
  • Double Burden of Malnutrition

Japan

  • High rates of Death Penalty
  • Denied freedom of speech
  • Women being denied basic rights
  • LGBTQ people denied basic rights
  • Disabled people being denied rights

Kenya

  • Government controlled Media
  • Open threats to oppositions
  • Lack of accountability for rape and sexual violence
  • Women being denied basic rights
  • LGBTQ people denied basic rights

Libya

  • Armed Conflicts and War Crimes
  • Illegal Detaining
  • High rates of Death Penalty
  • Denied freedom of speech
  • Denied freedom to practice one’s religion 

Maldives

  • Targeting political oppositions
  • Denied freedom of expression
  • Women being denied basic rights
  • LGBTQ people denied basic rights
  • High rates of Human trafficking

Nepal

  • Changing Criminal Codes
  • Exploiting migrant workers
  • Women being denied basic rights
  • Disabled people being denied rights
  • LGBTQ people denied basic rights

Oman

  • Denied freedom of expression
  • Women being denied basic rights
  • Disabled people being denied rights
  • LGBTQ people denied basic rights
  • Exploiting migrant workers

Peru

  • Police brutality
  • Denied freedom of expression
  • Women being denied basic rights
  • Disabled people being denied rights
  • LGBTQ people denied basic rights

Qatar

  • Women being denied basic rights
  • Exploiting migrant workers
  • LGBTQ people denied basic rights
  • Refugees being treated horribly

Russia

  • Opposing citizens are openly tortured to death
  • Denied freedom of speech
  • Denied freedom of web use
  • LGBTQ people denied basic rights
  • A high number of domestic violence cases

South Korea

  • Denied freedom of expression
  • Exploiting workers
  • Women being denied basic rights
  • LGBTQ people being denied basic rights

Tunisia

  • Inoperative Constitution and parliament
  • Denying freedom of expression
  • Women are denied basic rights
  • LGBTQ people are denied basic rights

United States of America

  • Unfair and Harsh Criminal Sentencing of marginalized communities
  • Police Brutality often leading to deaths
  • Increasing Hate Crimes
  • No Health Insurance
  • Many are denied education/employment-based on discriminatory grounds

Venezuela

  • Prosecuting political opponents and those who speak against the government
  • Dictator as the Country Head
  • Preventing peaceful protests
  • Humanitarian Crisis

Zimbabwe

  • Media is controlled by the government
  • Non-heterosexual relationships are a criminal offense
  • Right to health has been violated multiple times

What happens when a Country Violates Human Rights?

Enforcing Human Rights on an international level is difficult and often problematic. Many countries might be unwilling to cooperate. The Human Rights Council was set up in 2006 to promote and protect human rights and is the main committee that overlooks the workings. The UN has a screening process in place to filter out any breach ton human rights violations.

When the UN receives a complaint, it launches an investigation. The International Criminal Court carries out the criminal proceedings of human rights abuse. 

Why isn’t the UN and the ICC able to control Human Right Violations?

The UN has the right to intervene and fix any violations of Human Rights. The problem arises when the country in question refuses to let the UN intervene. The UN cannot carry out an investigation when the country denies consent. A debate may be held on the country’s human rights abuses. If neither the investigation, not the debate allows the UN to intervene, all the UN can do is pass a resolution condemning the country’s human rights abuse.

Unlike the UN, this court is authorized to extend legal opinions without consent from the offending country. 

The ICC may hold the authority to prosecute the North Korean Dictator. Where it lacks is the manpower force. Without support from the North Korean Police, the ICC cannot arrest the dictator. 

While International Law and Human Rights seem strong on paper, they continue to prove weak and unorganized in practice. Without complete support from a state, none of the rulings of the ICC nor the presence of the UN are of any use.

The International Criminal Court works independently from the UN and hols the authority to prosecute individuals or groups for crimes violating human rights. If the UN violates Human Rights, then the ICC, which operates separately from the UN and holds the right to call out the UN on their wrongdoings. However, without the support of manpower, the pronouncement has no merit.