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Human Rights Violations -A Threat and Curse to Globe and Humanity

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ABSTRACT: This Research Paper provides a complete analysis of Human Rights Violations, its affects, Social Structure Injustice, Humanity, Democracy, Politics, Government, Efforts to Strengthen Human Rights Protection and Democratization in the Region. The study is based on a systematic content analysis of Official Documents, Press Releases, Newspaper, Articles and Interviews. Quantitatively, i have collected all available information and also identified the most recurrent terminology and key words, which were reported graphically whenever possible. It also consists of Articles and Sections and also different steps taken in a whole or in general or individual with the time to time development and issues in the field of Human Rights which help in Violating and Protecting People around the Globe. Here you will find the discussion about issue of Kashmir, the humanitarian crises during and after the conflict in Gaza between Israeli forces and Hamas in 2008 – 2009, UN view of point in Human Rights Violation, the crises caused by the Lebanon war of 2006, the humanitarian disaster of the Sudanese province of Darfur (2003-2010); and, finally, the political, social and economic crisis in Zimbabwe (2001-2010). The case studies analyzed in this Research Report reveal a number of similar trends, as well as some stark differences. As such, they restrict civil liberties in order to prevent the emergence and mobilization of dissent in society. Analyzing 70 nondemocratic regimes during the period of 1976–2016, i find that civil liberties restrictions are more likely to increase in the wake of failed coups. Among the principles inspiring the European Union (EU) i find the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the following UN Covenants on civil, political and economic rights (1966). Moreover, human rights are at the core of the European integration process (which was built over the ashes of civil war and genocide) and its long-term aspirations. Invariably, therefore, the foundational recognition of human rights also reverberates in the EU’s foreign policy and external relations.
Human Rights Violations – A Threat and Curse to Globe and Humanity
ABSTRACT:
This Research Paper provides a complete analysis of Human Rights Violations, its
affects, Social Structure Injustice, Humanity, Democracy, Politics, Government,
Efforts to Strengthen Human Rights Protection and Democratization in the Region.
The study is based on a systematic content analysis of Official Documents, Press
Releases, Newspaper, Articles and Interviews. Quantitatively, i have collected all
available information and also identified the most recurrent terminology and key
words, which were reported graphically whenever possible. It also consists of Articles
and Sections and also different steps taken in a whole or in general or individual with
the time to time development and issues in the field of Human Rights which help in
Violating and Protecting People around the Globe. Here you will find the discussion
about issue of Kashmir, the humanitarian crises during and after the conflict in Gaza
between Israeli forces and Hamas in 2008 – 2009, UN view of point in Human Rights
Violation, the crises caused by the Lebanon war of 2006, the humanitarian disaster of
the Sudanese province of Darfur (2003-2010); and, finally, the political, social and
economic crisis in Zimbabwe (2001-2010). The case studies analyzed in this Research
Report reveal a number of similar trends, as well as some stark differences. As such,
they restrict civil liberties in order to prevent the emergence and mobilization of
dissent in society. Analyzing 70 nondemocratic regimes during the period of 1976–
2016, i find that civil liberties restrictions are more likely to increase in the wake of
failed coups. Among the principles inspiring the European Union (EU) i find the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the following UN Covenants on
civil, political and economic rights (1966). Moreover, human rights are at the core of
the European integration process (which was built over the ashes of civil war and
genocide) and its long-term aspirations. Invariably, therefore, the foundational
recognition of human rights also reverberates in the EU’s foreign policy and external
relations.
KEYWORDS:
EU, UN, Untold Stories and Cases, Human Rights, Human Safety, Rights and
Violation, Case Study, Violence, Crises, Reports, India, World, Kashmir, Gaza
Conflict, Lebanon War, Darfur, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Conflict, Civilians, Military,
Discussion, Decision, Agreement, Media, Human Right Council, Peace Force,
Investigation.
Introduction:
While human rights have long been defended and promoted as a value in their own
right, the evolution of global politics has increasingly shown that human rights abuses
can also become ‘international security’ issues and threaten the stability of the
international system. For instance, terrorism can be fuelled by human rights violations.
Migration flows are exasperated by refugees fleeing abusive governments. Failed
states incapable of defending their own citizens can easily trigger civil wars and
destabilize entire regions, with spill-over effects onto the global arena. Almost every
day there are chilling instances of violence, ethnic cleansing, heinous torture, child
abuse, man slaughter and several other human rights violations. Despite the adoption
of the Universal Declaration Human Rights (1948) and special covenants provided for
the rights of children, women and disabled, crimes continue unhindered and unabated.
The soul-searching question is... 'Has humanity been relinquished?' Human rights
describe equal rights and freedom for anyone and everyone regardless of race, colour,
sex, language, religion or political affiliation. All humans live in societies together. As
stated by the U.N. declaration of Human Rights in 1948 “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.” This statement defines
that each and every human is entitled to all rights. Human rights are fundamental to
human existence. There may be disagreement on the details of human rights, but
barely any on the basic aspects of them. Human rights were always violated in human
history. The leaders mostly oppressed people and did not grant their entitled human
rights. Even religious leader in some cases were responsible for the violation of
human rights.
In India, various mechanisms such as the National Human Rights Commission, State
Human Rights Commissions, and Women's Commissions have been constituted at the
Centre and in the states, for upholding human rights causes. Legislative safeguards i.e.
The Constitution of India, which is supreme a lex (the law of the land) and
multifarious laws such as The Human Rights Act, 1997 are in existence but in vain.
Human rights violations are the order of the day and the above 'law- enforcement'
arsenals fall short of implementation. Rights are merely enumerated on paper and
hence remain a dead letter.
Thus, in the continuously evolving jargon of international politics, human rights have
come to be gradually ‘securitized’, that is, interpreted and operational zed in terms of
security concerns and the EU has been no exception to this trend. Obviously, the risk
involved with the securitization of human rights is that the issue is often addressed
with strategic (read: military) means, while other types of responses may be more
appropriate. Intervention, whether portrayed as humanitarian or not, is always a
double-edge word: indeed, military operations can further exasperate the human rights
abuses they aim to address. In this regard, the EU has been trying to adopt a more
flexible and comprehensive approach to the problem of human rights violations as
security threats, mainly through the concept of ‘human security’. Such a focus would
help promote the ‘primacy of human rights’ as a cornerstone of all humanitarian
interventions: not only calling for the respect of civilian rights in conflict zones, but
also, and most importantly, for the adoption of human rights as the driving principles
of all interventions. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was
established in response to the atrocities during WWII, including the Holocaust. The
document outlines the human rights that all people are entitled to such as freedom
from torture, freedom of expression, and the right to seek asylum. When those rights
aren’t protected or blatantly disregarded, they are violated. What are the types of
human rights violations? Who is responsible for preventing and addressing them?
A state commits human rights violations either directly or indirectly. Violations can
either be intentionally performed by the state and or come as a result of the state
failing to prevent the violation. When a state engages in human rights violations,
various actors can be involved such as police, judges, prosecutors, government
officials, and more. The violation can be physically violent in nature, such as police
brutality, while rights such as the right to a fair trial can also be violated, where no
physical violence is involved. The second type of violation failure by the state to
protect occurs when there’s a conflict between individuals or groups within a
society. If the state does nothing to intervene and protect vulnerable people and
groups, it’s participating in the violations. In the United States, the state failed to
protect black Americans when lynching’s frequently occurred around the country.
Since many of those responsible for the lynchings were also state actors (like the
police), this is an example of both types of violations occurring at the same time.
Human Rights Violation
Human rights advocates agree that, sixty years after its issue, the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights is still more a dream than reality. Violations exist in
every part of the world. For example, Amnesty International’s 2009 World Report and
other sources show that individuals are:
Tortured or abused in at least 81 countries
Face unfair trials in at least 54 countries
Restricted in their freedom of expression in at least 77 countries
Not only that, but women and children in particular are marginalized in numerous
ways, the press is not free in many countries, and dissenters are silenced, too often
permanently. While some gains have been made over the course of the last six
decades, human rights violations still plague the world today.
To help inform you of the true situation throughout the world, this section provides
examples of violations of six Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(UDHR):
ARTICLE 3 — THE RIGHT TO LIVE FREE
“Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”
An estimated 6,500 people were killed in 2007 in armed conflict in Afghanistan—
nearly half being non-combatant civilian deaths at the hands of insurgents. Hundreds
of civilians were also killed in suicide attacks by armed groups.
In Brazil in 2007, according to official figures, police killed at least 1,260 individuals
—the highest total to date. All incidents were officially labelled “acts of resistance”
and received little or no investigation.
In Uganda, 1,500 people die each week in the internally displaced person camps.
According to the World Health Organization, 500,000 have died in these camps.
Vietnamese authorities forced at least 75,000 drug addicts and prostitutes into 71
overpopulated “rehab” camps, labelling the detainees at “high risk” of contracting
HIV/AIDS but providing no treatment.
The founding principles for the EU’s international action derive from the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights ratified by the United Nations in 1948 and it’s following
Covenants of 1966, which established that the rights of individuals can be above those
set by their national authorities (Held 1995). Human rights are also at the core of the
European integration process and its long-term aspirations. All Member States are
constitutional democracies and share a set of common values based on the
primacy of human rights. Article 6 of the consolidated version of the Treaty on
the European Union (TEU) establishes the founding values of the EU.
Case Study with respect to the Content of the above mentioned view points:
1. Issue of Kashmir and its, Response by India:
Kashmir is known as the paradise on earth. It Kashmir is known to be the crown of
India’s secular democratic culture. Unfortunately, human rights abuses in Jammu and
Kashmir are regular occurrence issues. The violations have badly impacted the
livelihood of the people, their living environments, their health, their access to
education and so on. The violations have affected each and every aspect of life in
Kashmir including the women. They have often been the targets and survivors of
violence suffering from trauma and injury because of the conflict. Some rights groups
say more than 100,000 people have died since 1989 while the official figures from
Indian sources state the estimates of number of civilians killed due to the insurgency
as above 50,000. According to scholar Seema Kazi, the crimes by militants are
incomparable to the larger scale abuse by Indian state forces. India accuses
the Pakistan Army and its state sponsored terrorist outfits for abusing human rights in
Jammu and Kashmir by violating the ceasefire and continuing to kill Kashmiri
civilians, a claim rejected by Pakistan which blames the Indian Army for the violation
of Line of Control. Diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks revealed that the Red
Cross had briefed US officials in Delhi in 2005 about the use of torture from 2002–
2004 by security forces against hundreds of detainees suspected of being connected to
or having information about militants.
In a 1993 report, Human Rights Watch stated that Indian security forces "assaulted
civilians during search operations, tortured and summarily executed detainees in
custody and murdered civilians in reprisal attacks"; according to the report, militants
had also targeted civilians, but to a lesser extent than security forces. Rape was
regularly used as a means to "punish and humiliate" communities. Scholar Seema
Kazi says it is used as a weapon of war by the state against the population. A 2010 US
state department report stated that the Indian army in Jammu and Kashmir had carried
out extrajudicial killings of civilians and suspected insurgents.
The report also described killings and abuse being carried out by insurgents
and separatists. In 2010, statistics presented to the Indian government's Cabinet
Committee on Security showed that for the first time since the 1980s, the number of
civilian deaths attributed to the Indian forces was higher than those attributed to
insurgents' actions. The Indian Army claims that 97% of the reports about the human
rights abuse have been found to be "fake or motivated" based on the investigation
performed by the Army. However, a report by the US State Department said, "Indian
authorities use Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) to avoid holding its
security forces responsible for the deaths of civilians in Jammu and Kashmir.”
Militant violence led by the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front against 219 pandits
according Jammu and Kashmir government sources has led to the migration of several
hundred thousands of Kashmiri Hindu Pandits, who before their exodus comprised an
estimated 10 -15% of the Kashmir valley's population. According to Asia Watch, the
militant organisations forced the Hindus residing in the Kashmir valley to flee and
become refugees in Delhi and Jammu. The chief perpetrators were the Jammu &
Kashmir Liberation Front and the Hizbul Mujahideen. Migration continued until a
vast majority of the Kashmiri Pandits were evicted out of the valley after having
suffered many acts of violence, including sexual assault on women, arson, torture and
extortion of property. Some of the separatist leaders in Kashmir reject these
allegations.
The Indian government is attempting to reinstate the displaced Pandits in Kashmir.
According to the J & K government an amount of Rs. 71.95 crore was spent in
providing relief and other facilities to the Kashmiri migrants living in Jammu and
other parts in 2007–08, Rs. 70.33 crore in 2008-09 and Rs. 68.59 crore from 2009 up
to January 2010. The remnants of Kashmiri Pandits have been living in Jammu, but
most of them believe that, until the violence cases, returning to Kashmir is not an
option.
This paper will analyze the human rights violation in Kashmir in 2017. The year
2017 was the most violent year in Kashmir since the last decade. Every type of
human rights violations took place in Kashmir.
Following are some human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir in the year 2017.
Category of People Killing
Armed Forces 125
Militants 217
Civilians 108
Others 1
Total 451
Source: Jammu and Kashmir Human Rights Review-2017
Violence against Women:
Killings In 2017, a total of 20 civilian women were killed in the State of Jammu and
Kashmir. Out of it, eight women Amaranth pilgrims were killed by suspected militants
when they attacked the bus of Yatris in Anantnag. five women including a minor girl
were killed near an encounter site in different places in the valley, four women died
due to the LOC shelling from Pakistan’s side, one woman died due to the suffocation
of intense teargas shelling by the troops in district Pulwama, one girl died due to the
injuries she suffered from a grenade blast, and 1 women were killed by suspected
militants at her home. Incidents of Hair and Braid Chopping.
Assaults on Media:
Media reporting in a conflict zone is always difficult, and Kashmir is not an exception.
Many times the local journalists were assaulted by the armed forces. The media in
Kashmir has faced killings, attacks, kidnappings and threats from both state and no
state actors. At least twenty-one journalists have been killed in Kashmir since the early
nineties. This year a Kashmiri photojournalist Kamran Yousuf was detained by
National Investigation Agency (NIA) in September for his alleged involvement in
‘stone pelting’ incidents. This year, even a visiting French journalist was taken into
custody by police and booked for allegedly violating visa norm. But the trial court
issued the forces to release him immediately. Banning on TV channels.
Other Human Rights violations:
There were other human rights violations in 2017 in the valley. There were restrictions
for religious practicing. People were barred from practicing their religion in some
places. Many times, people were also restricted to move from one place to another.
There was a restriction on freedom of movements. Many pieces of evidence show that
the security forces vandalized the public property in Kashmir. Some video was
circulated which clearly shows that security is personally vandalizing public property.
They also destroyed the paddy fields, vehicles, windows of houses c, etc. Many
people were arrested on the basis of PSA. Many times the accused persons were freed
after taking money from the people. In short, there were gross human rights violations
in 2017 in Kashmir.
2. Gaza conflict:
Time frame: December 2008 – June 2010
Sources: all speeches and declarations by the EU High Representative
mentioning the Middle East Peace Process or explicitly mentioning the
Gaza Strip (30 items); the news section (having in their title ‘Gaza’ or
‘Middle East Peace Process’) of the European Parliaments webpage (20
items); interviews and declarations appeared in the main European
newspapers during the above time frame mentioning ‘Gaza’ and ‘European
Union’ as key words (40 items).
3. Lebanon war:
Time frame: July 2006 – September 2006
Sources: all official documents issued by EU organs (including the
Commission, the European Council and the Finnish presidency) during the
time frame identified (56 items).
4. Darfur/Sudan:
Time frame: December 2003 – December 2010
Sources: all official documents by the EU focussing specifically on Darfur
and Sudan. This includes Council conclusions, decisions and common
positions (40 items), Presidency statements, declarations and press releases
(41 items), EUHR Solana speeches and press releases (37 items) and
statements and press releases from the Commission and Commissioners
(16 items).
5. Zimbabwe:
Time frame: January 2011 – December 2010
Sources: all official documents (e.g. Council conclusions, press releases,
resolutions, etc.) mentioning ‘Zimbabwe’ issued during the research time
frame (101 items).
So these were the few cases and scenes of Violation of Human Rights, brought in the
knowledge by this Research Report providing an analysis of the EU’s official
discourse with respect to four human rights crises. The time frame adopted in each
case was coherent with the evolution of the different crises. Thus, in the case of the
Gaza conflict, the analysis focuses not only on the duration of the armed conflict from
December 2008 to January 2009, but also looks at the continuation of the
humanitarian emergency in the Gaza Strip until the 2010 attack on the flotilla trying to
breach the blockade imposed by Israel. The analysis of the Lebanon war concentrates
specifically on the evolution of the conflict in 2006, while the analysis of both Darfur
and Zimbabwe cover a multi-year period (2003-2010 for Darfur and 2001-2010 for
Zimbabwe) due to the prolonged security crises in these two areas.
Steps taken by EU, its team and the other Members of the Security Council for its
effort for resolving and for the Protection and well being of the Human Rights for the
Safety of Humanitarian View Point:
In two cases (Gaza and Lebanon), the EU did not intervened directly with a ‘hard’
foreign policy action, but limited itself to issue a number of declarations and provide
humanitarian aid. In Zimbabwe, by contrast, the EU introduced targeted sanctions
aimed at: barring key personalities within government and security forces from
travelling to Europe, freezing their personal assets in European banks and imposing an
embargo on arms trade. In Darfur, which is the case with the most extensive EU
involvement, Brussels also funded a military mission led by the African Union (AU),
the so-called African Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and, in 2009; it directly intervened
with an ESDP military mission deployed along the borders between Sudan and
Chad/Central African Republic. In each case, the scope and scale of the European
intervention was evidently dictated by specific political interests and considerations
concerning capabilities. For instance, the EU military intervention in Chad/Central
African Republic was supported (and largely manned) by the French government in
order to support these countries’ response to the refugee crisis in Darfur and, also, to
prevent the conflict from spreading to neighbouring countries.
The sanctions against Zimbabwe were initially supported by the British government as
a response to the land grabbing policies introduced by the Zimbabwean leadership
against white farmers, most of which are of British descent, and met no objections by
the other EU Member States. In both cases, the Cotonou Agreement, that is the overall
framework of cooperation between the EU and the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific
countries, provided the legal context within which to operate. As regards the Lebanon
war and the conflict in the Gaza Strip, the EU’s intervention was more limited, partly
due to political sensitivities mainly concerning the involvement (as an offender) of
Israel. Numerous divisions emerged within the EU, thereby stifling a unitary approach
and a more resolute condemnation of the human rights violations perpetrated. Against
this backdrop, the European strategy focused exclusively on aid policies and
humanitarian relief.
Stands of UN with respect to Human Rights Violations:
The maintenance of international peace and security is one of the purposes of the
United Nations Charter. Violence and conflict undermine sustainable development.
Human rights violations are at the root causes of conflict and insecurity which, in turn,
invariably result in further violations of human rights. As such, action to protect and
promote human rights has inherent preventive power while rights-based approaches to
peace and security bring this power to efforts for sustainable peace. The human rights
normative framework also provides a sound basis for addressing issues of serious
concern within or between countries that, if left unaddressed may lead to conflict.
Human rights information and analysis is a tool for early warning and early targeted
action that has not yet been used to its full potential.
The United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) was a functional
commission within the overall framework of the United Nations from 1946 until it
was replaced by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2006. It was a
subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and was also
assisted in its work by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Human Rights (UNOHCHR). It was the UN's principal mechanism and international
forum concerned with the promotion and protection of human rights.
On 15 March 2006, the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to replace
UNCHR with the UN Human Rights Council. The UNCHR was established in 1946
by ECOSOC, and was one of the first two "Functional Commissions" set up within
the early UN structure (the other being the Commission on the Status of Women). It
was a body created under the terms of the United Nations Charter (specifically,
under Article 68) to which all UN member states are signatories. It met for the first
time in January 1947 and established a drafting committee for the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations on December
10, 1948. In 1967, the Commission adopted interventionism as its policy. The context
of the decade was of Decolonization of Africa and Asia, and many countries of the
continent pressed for a more active UN policy on human rights issues, especially in
light of massive violations in apartheid South Africa. The new policy meant that the
Commission would also investigate and produce reports on violations.
To allow better fulfilment of this new policy, other changes took place. In the 1970s,
the possibility of geographically-oriented workgroups was created. These groups
would specialize their activities on the investigation of violations on a given region or
even a single country, as was the case with Chile. With the 1980s came the creation of
theme-oriented workgroups, which would specialize in specific types of abuses. The
body went through two distinct phases. From 1947 to 1967, it concentrated on
promoting human rights and helping states elaborate treaties, but not on investigating
or condemning violators. It was a period of strict observance of
the sovereignty principle. None of these measures, however, were able to make the
Commission as effective as desired, mainly because of the presence of human rights
violators and the politicization of the body. During the following years until its
extinction, the UNCHR became increasingly discredited among activists and
governments alike.
The Commission held its final meeting in Geneva on March 27, 2006 and was
replaced by the United Nations Human Rights Council in the same year.
Means to Violate Human Rights:
There is now near-universal consensus that all individuals are entitled to certain
basic rights under any circumstances. These include certain civil liberties and political
rights, the most fundamental of which is the right to life and physical safety. Human
rights are the articulation of the need for justice, tolerance, mutual respect, and human
dignity in all of our activity.
1. Speaking of rights allows us to express the idea that all individuals are part of
the scope of morality and justice.
To protect human right is to ensure that people receive some degree of decent, humane
treatment. To violate the most basic human rights, on the other hand, is to deny
individuals their fundamental moral entitlements.
2. It is, in a sense, to treat them as if they are less than human and undeserving of
respect and dignity. Examples are acts typically deemed "crimes against
humanity," including genocide, torture, slavery, rape, enforced sterilization or
medical experimentation, and deliberate starvation. Because these policies are
sometimes implemented by governments, limiting the unrestrained power of
the state is an important part of international law. Underlying laws that prohibit
the various "crimes against humanity" is the principle of non-discrimination
and the notion that certain basic rights apply universally.
Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights:
In 1999 the Economic and Social Council changed its title from the Sub-Commission
on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities to the Sub-Commission
on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights".
The Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights was the main
subsidiary body of the Commission on Human Rights. It was composed of twenty-six
experts whose responsibility was to undertake studies, particularly in light of
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and make recommendations to the
Commission concerning the prevention of discrimination of any kind relating to
human rights and fundamental freedoms and the protection of racial, national,
religious and linguistic minorities. Membership was selected with regard to equitable
geographical distribution.
The Sub-Commission established seven Working Groups that investigate specific
human rights concerns, including:
Minorities
Transnational corporations
Administration of justice
Anti-terrorism
Contemporary Forms of Slavery
Indigenous Populations
Communication
Social Forum
The United Nations Human Rights Council assumed responsibility for the Sub-
Commission when it replaced the Commission on Human Rights in 2006.
Special Procedure:
The Commission on Human Rights established 30 special procedures, or mechanisms,
to address specific country situations or thematic issues such as freedom of
expression and opinion, torture, the right to food, and the right to education.
Individuals with expertise in particular areas of human rights were appointed by the
chair of the Commission to serve as Special Rapporteurs for a maximum of six years.
They are unpaid, independent experts who receive personnel and logistical support
from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for their work. Their
main activities are to examine, monitor, advise and publicly report on human rights
situations in specific countries or territories. They are able to write to governments
about reported violations and conduct fact-finding visits to countries that invite them.
The special mechanisms are categorised according to:
Thematic Mandates.
Country Mandates.
Special procedures also include working groups made up of up to five experts who
monitor and investigate specific human rights concerns. Three groups were
established by the Commission:
Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of impeding the exercise
of the right of peoples to self-determination
The special procedures are now under the direction of the United Nations Human
Rights Council.
Types of Violations and the Sufferer:
Civil and political rights:
Civil and political rights are violated through genocide, torture, and arbitrary arrest.
These violations often happen during times of war, and when a human rights violation
intersects with the breaking of laws about armed conflict, it’s known as a war crime.
Conflict can also trigger violations of the right to freedom of expression and the right
of peaceful assembly. States are usually responsible for the violations as they attempt
to maintain control and push down rebellious societal forces. Suppressing political
rights is a common tactic for many governments during times of civil unrest.
Violations of civil and political human rights aren’t always linked to specific conflicts
and can occur at any given time. Human trafficking is currently one of the largest
issues on a global scale as millions of men, women, and children are forced into
labour and sexual exploitation. Religious discrimination is also very common in many
places around the world. These violations often occur because the state is failing to
protect vulnerable groups.
Poverty as a Causative:
Poverty is a ruthless task master; it exacts an exorbitant price in terms of denial of
basic human rights i.e. food, shelter, clothing, education, healthcare etc which in turn
constitute basic necessities of life. An analysis of constitutional and other safeguards
becomes pertinent to gauge the efficacy of the law in relation to the millions who have
no other recourse but the arsenal of justice. Article 21 is the Magna Carat of the
Constitution of India. It reads as follows- No person shall be deprived of his life or
personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. It is noteworthy to
mention that the fundamental right to life and personal liberty is inherent and is not
conferred upon us by the Constitution. These are primary personal rights without
which civil and political rights are rendered meaningless.
The Court has held that 'the right to life includes the right to live with human dignity
and all that goes with it, namely the bare necessities of life such as adequate nutrition
clothing and shelter1 inter alia. In Bandhua Mukti Morcha, where the question of
bondage and rehabilitation of some labourers was involved, Bhagwati, J held that the
fundamental right to live with human dignity is congruous with the right to life and
derives its life breath from the Directive Principles of State Policy, and particularly
clauses (e) and (f) of Articles 39,41,42.
Again, in the Olga Tellies case the court held that the ' Right to livelihood is included
in the right to life' as “no person can live without the means of living".
However these rights have no meaning to those who are living below the poverty line
(31% of the Indian population lives below the poverty line). The noble ideals of
Social, Economic and Political justice as embodied in the Preamble and other parts of
the Constitution remain an unrealized dream for millions of our fellow citizens. The
fact remains that India has the largest population in the world that goes to bed without
any food, the largest population who has no clothes to wear and the largest number of
beggars.
India is not shining on 750 million of its people who have no basic toilet facilities; on
510 million humans with no access to essential drugs; on 300 million illiterate adults
with no schooling; on its 60 million destitute and widows without a roof; on nearly
seven million suffering from AIDS and on the largest number of children suffering
from malnutrition. Ironically 50 million tons of food grains lie idle in the FCI go
downs, only to be nibbled at by rodents. The States have not successfully
accomplished the implementation of mid-day meal schemes directive given by the
Supreme Court in this matter. Death is hence comes as a salvation for these poor and
helpless people who have absolutely no recourse. This is just a minuscule impact of
poverty.
Denial of Education:
In Unni Krishnan v.State of A.P, the Supreme Court has recognized a fundamental
right to education in the right to life under Article 21. Taking the aid of Articles 41 and
45 it has held that ' every child/citizen of this country has a right to free education
until he completes fourteen years of age.'
It differed from Mohini Jain's case in the sense that the right to education is subject to
the limits of economic capacity and development of the state. Even after the Unni
Krishnan case improvement in the situation has been frugal. Consequently, the
government enacted the Constitution (86th Amendment) Act, 2002 by virtue of which
Article 21A has been provided for. It reads as follows- “The State shall provide free
and compulsory education to all children of the age of 6 to 14 years in such manner as
the state may, by law, determine".
The reality however is hard- hitting. The question arises as to the implementation of
this gigantic task. Poverty breeds poverty. The vicious circle of poverty denies to lakhs
of children the right to education, despite the fundamental right that children below 14
years of age shall be given access to primary education. A country's progress depends
upon the development of its populace. Education is an arsenal to achieve the same.
However in our country, widespread illiteracy still continues to persist .the
government does not have adequacy of funds to run its own educational institutions.
Education is undergoing privatization. The resultant is that schools have become
centres for exploitation due to colossal fees charged and the common man is deterred
by the affordability factor
Subjugation of Women:
In India women constitute nearly fifty percent of our population. Women are denied
human rights from the cradle to the grave. Infanticide is rampant in certain parts of the
country where the birth of a girl child is not welcome. Nearly forty-one percent of the
women abroad play an active role in the production process. In India the situation
leaves much to be desired. Sexual abuse and flesh trade are gnawing evils, which
threaten the existence of women as independent entities.
Dowry is the greatest crime against women. 'Are our daughters and sisters for sale?
Women are virtually sold into the marriage market. Huge dowries are still demanded
even when the girl can supplement the man's income. In such a milieu, a woman
enjoys no rights because she is a woman. Rape is a weapon to subjugate women. The
woman is safe nowhere. Justice prides herself on being blind to everything but the
truth - yet as far as rape is concerned; the facts paint a different picture. In the Mathura
Case. - The judgment did not distinguish between consent and forcible submission.
Correspondingly the judgments in Bhanwari Devi and a few other cases were unjust
and in favour of the accused. In a significant judgment of Vishakha v. State of
Rajasthan, the Supreme Court laid down exhaustive guidelines for preventing sexual
harassment of working women in their place of work until legislation is enacted for
this purpose.
Economic, social, and cultural rights:
As described in the UDHR, economic, social, and cultural rights include the right to
work, the right to education, and the right to physical and mental health. As is the case
with all human rights, economic, social, and cultural rights can be violated by states
and other actors. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human
Rights gives a handful of examples of how these rights can be violated. They include:
Contaminating water, for example, with waste from State-owned facilities (the
right to health)
Evicting people by force from their homes (the right to adequate housing)
Denying services and information about health (the right to health)
Discriminating at work based on traits like race, gender, and sexual orientation
(The right to work)
Failing to provide maternity leave (protection of and assistance to the family)
Not paying a sufficient minimum wage (rights at work)
Segregating students based on disabilities (the right to education)
Forbidding the use of minority/indigenous languages (the right to participate in
cultural life)
Few Major Human Rights Violation in India:
1. Caste-based discrimination and violence:
More than 56,000 crimes were committed against scheduled castes and scheduled
tribes in 2015. These included denying Dalits entry into public and social spaces,
according to the report. In 2016, Dalit student Rohith Vemula commited Suicide,
complaining of discrimination and abuse, leading to nationwide protests. Since then,
the government has alleged that the student was not Dalit, but belonged to "other
backward classes".
2. Communal and ethnic violence:
Many people were attacked by vigilante cow protection groups. These self-appointed
guardians of cows beat up many people legally transporting cattle, and many of those
affected were minority groups. Two Muslim Cattle traders were found Hanging from a
tree in Jharkhand. Other violations included gang rape of women and forcing cattle
transporters to eat cow dung.
Those from African countries faced racism and discrimination in India. While
one Tanzanian woman was Stripped and Beaten by a mob in Bangalore, another man
from the Democratic Republic of Congo was beaten to death in New Delhi.
3. Freedom of association:
The government cancelled the registration of several civil society organisations which
specifically prevented them from getting foreign funding, even after the UN claimed it
was not in accordance with international law.
4. Freedom of expression:
Several people were arrested under sedition laws for expressing their dissent with
government policy. Indians were arrested for even posting comments on Facebook.
Two men were arrested under informational technology law for sharing a satirical
image of a Hindu nationalist group.
5. Violence against women:
More than 327,000 crimes were committed against women in 2015. Many of them
belonged to marginalised communities. Women were allegedly sexually assaulted by
members of the armed forces in Chhattisgarh.
6. Children's rights:
Crimes against children rose by 5% in 2015 as compared to the previous year. An
amendment in a child labour law by the Parliament that allowed some exceptions was
opposed by child rights activists, who were concerned it would affect marginalised
groups and girl children.
A new draft education policy released by the central government omitted any mention
of human rights education.
Few Major Issues that made Headlines around Globe:
On December 10, the world marks 70 years since the adoption of the Universal
Declaration of Human Right. Regrettably, instead of the anniversary signalling the
enduring impact of human rights, some fear the “end of Human Rights.”
1. Facebook’s Reckoning:
Free speech, privacy and electoral integrity came under the microscope in
March, when a former employee of Cambridge Analytics blew the whistle on
its practice of Harvesting Data from millions of US Facebook users in an effort
to Influence the 2016 Presidential Election.
2. Rohingya Crises:
In August, a UN Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar, which included Australian
human rights expert Chris Sidoti, delivered a scathing report detailing crimes
against humanity, war crimes, sexual violence and possible genocide by
Myanmar’s security forces against the Rohingya.
3. Saudi Arabia:
Saudi Arabia made international headlines when a prominent journalist, Jamal
Khashoggi, was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The case
prompted a closer examination of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record. The
country’s repression, imprisonment and ill-treatment of activists include the
alleged torture of leading women’s rights defenders.
4. Australia's first year on the UN Human Rights Council:
Australia took its place on the UN Human Rights Council this year for a three-
year term. Australia delivered a strong statement about Myanmar’s atrocities
against ethnic Rohingya Muslims, but was criticised for holding refugees and
asylum seekers offshore. While Australia supported important country
resolutions, it failed to take a leadership role on any key issues.
5. Violence against women:
In Australia, while the #MeToo movement has spurred women to come forward
with their experiences of sexual harassment and abuse, a number of high-
profile cases of alleged sexual harassment by actors and politicians highlighted
ongoing barriers to justice for victims. At the same time, the
#countingdeadwomen femicide index reports that one woman in Australia is
killed every week by an intimate partner.
What Can Be Done?
International humanitarian law has been enacted to preserve humanity in all
circumstances, even during conflicts. Such law "creates areas of peace in the midst of
conflict, imposes the principle of a common humanity, and calls for dialogue. It rules
out unlimited force or total war and seeks to limit the use of violence in the hopes of
maintaining the necessary conditions for a return to peace. Various international
committees are in place to monitor compliance with human rights standards and report
any violations. When breaches do occur, they are brought to the attention
of international tribunals or tried in an international court or war crimes tribunal.
But conflicts sometimes progress beyond the state at which international law can help.
As the number of victims grows and more individuals are taken prisoner, tortured, or
executed, it becomes more difficult to resort to the legal path.
The Question of Humanitarian Intervention
There is much disagreement about when and to what extent outside countries can
engage in humanitarian intervention. More specifically, there is debate about the
efficacy of using military force to protect the human rights of individuals in other
nations. This sort of debate stems largely from a tension between state sovereignty and
the rights of individuals.
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