Importance of Preserving Human Rights Globally

In a world ravaged by conflict decades after the formation of the League of Nations followed by the United Nations, the need to preserve human rights has never been greater globally.

Contrary to what many people may think, human rights abuse is not a preserve of the developing world as the developed world has its fare share of human rights abuses though on a lesser scale.

Human rights abuse on a large and sometimes systematic scale is mostly concentrated in conflict zones. Talking of conflict the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Sudan, Somalia and the recently ended conflict in Sri Lanka come to mind. Fighting factions sometimes involving governments are involved in rape, murder and forceful child enlistment as soldiers are hallmarks.

But there are also countries where there is no tangible conflict but due government need to hold on to power or preserve a prevalent ideology, citizens are held in perpetual virtual prisons. Some of these countries include Myanmar, North Korea and to an extent the Communist countries of Cuba, China and emerging democracies like Russia and a host Central Asian countries.

In the developed world, countries like the United States have been accused of abuses in conflict zones like Iraq and Afghanistan, and on a more ‘sophisticated’ level, denying certain civil rights to citizens of their countries.

The need to ensure that human rights are upheld and maintained is therefore great as in areas where rights are not monitored and checked, there is a lot of grief and discontent and sometimes loss of life on a large scale. The western region of Darfur in Sudan is a case in point. The indictment of the Sudanese president Omar El-Bashir by the International Criminal Court is a clear message that human rights should be respected by everyone regardless of their status in authority.

There are organizations devoted to the preservation of human rights like the global Human Rights Watch, the United Nations Human Rights Commission or Amnesty International, but there are a host of rights groups based in particular regions or countries. These maybe non-governmental organizations while others are set up by governments or regional international groupings.

There is a need to strengthen and prop up such bodies by the international community to mitigate needless loss of lives in conflict zones, as well as uphold civil and social rights in countries where dictatorships thrive on suppressing dissenting views from their citizens and opposition groups.