The Hyper-Polarization Challenge to the Conflict Resolution Field: A Joint BI/CRQ Discussion BI and the Conflict Resolution Quarterly invite you to participate in an online exploration of what those with conflict and peacebuilding expertise can do to help defend liberal democracies and encourage them live up to their ideals.
Follow BI and the Hyper-Polarization Discussion on BI's New Substack Newsletter .
Hyper-Polarization, COVID, Racism, and the Constructive Conflict Initiative Read about (and contribute to) the Constructive Conflict Initiative and its associated Blog —our effort to assemble what we collectively know about how to move beyond our hyperpolarized politics and start solving society's problems.
By Michelle Maiese
What it 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. Speaking of rights allows us to express the idea that all individuals are part of the scope of morality and justice.
To protect human rights 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. 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 nondiscrimination and the notion that certain basic rights apply universally.
The Various Types of Violations
The number of deaths related to combat and the collateral damage caused by warfare are only a small part of the tremendous amount of suffering and devastation caused by conflicts. Over the course of protracted conflict, assaults on political rights and the fundamental right to life are typically widespread. Some of the gravest violations of the right to life are massacres, the starvation of entire populations, and genocide. Genocide is commonly understood as the intentional extermination of a single ethnic, racial, or religious group. Killing group members, causing them serious bodily or mental harm, imposing measures to prevent birth, or forcibly transferring children are all ways to bring about the destruction of a group. Genocide is often regarded as the most offensive crime against humanity.
The term "war crime" refers to a violation of the rules of jus in bello (justice in war) by any individual, whether military or civilian. The laws of armed conflict prohibit attacks on civilians and the use of weapons that cause unnecessary suffering or long-term environmental damage. Other war crimes include taking hostages, firing on localities that are undefended and without military significance, such as hospitals or schools, inhuman treatment of prisoners, including biological experiments, and the pillage or purposeless destruction of property. Although clearly outlawed by international law, such war crimes are common. According to Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, it is increasingly true that "the main aim...[of conflicts]... is the destruction not of armies but of civilians and entire ethnic groups."
Women and girls are often raped by soldiers or forced into prostitution. For a long time, the international community has failed to address the problem of sexual violence during armed conflict. However, sexual assaults, which often involve sexual mutilation, sexual humiliation , and forced pregnancy, are quite common. Such crimes are motivated in part by the long-held view that women are the "spoils" of war to which soldiers are entitled. Trafficking in women is a form of sexual slavery in which women are transported across national borders and marketed for prostitution. These so-called "comfort women" are another example of institutionalized sexual violence against women during wartime. Sexual violence is sometimes viewed as a way to destroy male and community pride or humiliate men who cannot "protect" their women. It is also used to silence women who are politically active, or simply inflict terror upon the population at large. Mass rapes may also form part of a genocidal strategy, designed to impose conditions that lead to the destruction of an entire group of people. For example, during the 1990s, the media reported that "rape and other sexual atrocities were a deliberate and systematic part of the Bosnian Serb campaign for victory in the war" in the former Yugoslavia.
Rather than simply killing off whole populations, government forces may carry out programs of torture. Torture can be either physical or psychological, and aims at the "humiliation or annihilation of the dignity of the person." Physical torture might include mutilation, beatings, and electric shocks to lips, gums, and genitals. In psychological torture, detainees are sometimes deprived of food and water for long periods, kept standing upright for hours, deprived of sleep, or tormented by high-level noise.
Torture is used in some cases as a way to carry out interrogations and extract confessions or information. Today, it is increasingly used as a means of suppressing political and ideological dissent, or for punishing political opponents who do not share the ideology of the ruling group.
In addition to torture, tens of thousands of people detained in connection with conflicts "disappear" each year, and are usually killed and buried in secret. Government forces "take people into custody, hold them in secret, and then refuse to acknowledge responsibility for their whereabouts or fate." This abduction of persons is typically intended to secure information and spread terror. In most cases, interrogations involve threats and torture, and those who are arrested are subsequently killed. Corpses are buried in unmarked graves or left at dumpsites in an attempt to conceal acts of torture and summary execution of those in custody. Because people disappear without any trace, families do not know whether their loved ones are alive or dead.
Various lesser forms of political oppression are often enacted as well. Individuals who pose a threat to those in power or do not share their political views may be arbitrarily imprisoned, and either never brought to trial or subject to grossly unfair trial procedures. Mass groups of people may be denied the right to vote or excluded from all forms of political participation. Or, measures restricting people's freedom of movement may be enforced. These include forcible relocations, mass expulsions, and denials of the right to seek asylum or return to one's home.
Political oppression may also take the form of discrimination . When this occurs, basic rights may be denied on the basis of religion, ethnicity, race, or gender. Apartheid, which denies political rights on the basis of race, is perhaps one of the most severe forms of discrimination. The system of apartheid in South Africa institutionalized extreme racial segregation that involved laws against interracial marriage or sexual relations and requirements for the races to live in different territorial areas. Certain individuals were held to be inferior by definition, and not regarded as full human beings under the law. The laws established under this system aimed at social control, and brought about a society divided along racial lines and characterized by a systematic disregard for human rights.
In addition, women are uniquely vulnerable to certain types of human rights abuses -- in addition to the sexual abuse mentioned above, entrenched discrimination against women is prevalent in many parts of the world and leads to various forms of political and social oppression. This includes strict dress codes and harsh punishments for sexual "transgressions," which impose severe limitations on women's basic liberties. In addition, women in some regions (Africa , for example) suffer greater poverty than men and are denied political influence, education, and job training.
Human Rights Violations and Intractable Conflict
Many have noted the strong interdependence between human rights violations and intractable conflict. Abuse of human rights often leads to conflict, and conflict typically results in human rights violations. It is not surprising, then, that human rights abuses are often at the center of wars and that protection of human rights is central to conflict resolution.
Violations of political and economic rights are the root causes of many crises. When rights to adequate food, housing, employment, and cultural life are denied, and large groups of people are excluded from the society's decision-making processes, there is likely to be great social unrest. Such conditions often give rise to justice conflicts , in which parties demand that their basic needs be met.
Indeed, many conflicts are sparked or spread by violations of human rights. For example, massacres or torture may inflame hatred and strengthen an adversary's determination to continue fighting. Violations may also lead to further violence from the other side and can contribute to a conflict's spiraling out of control.
On the flip side, armed conflict often leads to the breakdown of infrastructure and civic institutions, which in turn undermines a broad range of rights. When hospitals and schools are closed, rights to adequate health and education are threatened. The collapse of economic infrastructure often results in pollution, food shortages, and overall poverty. These various forms of economic breakdown and oppression violate rights to self-determination and often contribute to further human tragedy in the form of sickness, starvation, and lack of basic shelter. The breakdown of government institutions results in denials of civil rights, including the rights to privacy, fair trial, and freedom of movement. In many cases, the government is increasingly militarized, and police and judicial systems are corrupted. Abductions, arbitrary arrests, detentions without trial, political executions, assassinations, and torture often follow.
In cases where extreme violations of human rights have occurred, reconciliation and peacebuilding become much more difficult. Unresolved human rights issues can serve as obstacles to peace negotiations . This is because it is difficult for parties to move toward conflict transformation and forgiveness when memories of severe violence and atrocity are still primary in their minds.
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.
In addition, it is often difficult to "reconcile the safeguarding of human rights with conflict resolution." Many peacekeeping and conflict-prevention initiatives have failed both to protect human rights and help the parties towards conflict resolution. In part this is due to the fact that while wars between states have diminished, wars within states have escalated. Many internal conflicts involve a surge in organized violence. Genocide, crimes against humanity, and aggression against civilians have become a central part of warfare in these "internal" conflicts. Such violence often arises out of identity issues -- in-group/out-group dynamics -- and attempts of one ethnic or religious group to gain and maintain political control and to exclude other groups. Such conflicts are often not fought over principles or ideas, but rather focus on differences. The "outsiders" are dehumanized, making human rights violations such as severe discrimination or ethnic cleansing all the more psychologically feasible. Thus, attacks on human rights are often at the very heart of these internal conflicts.
In response, public authorities must regain control of organized violence. This means a re-establishment of the rule of law and a rebuilding of trust in public authorities. In addition, more inclusive, democratic values are needed to defuse exclusivist ideals. In the face of such violations, leaders must champion international legal norms and human rights. These human rights norms are central to the maintenance of civil society, and necessary for grounding attitudes of tolerance and mutual respect within communities.
Serious difficulties arise, however, when those in power are responsible for human rights violations. In this case, outside intervention is necessary to stop the abuse.
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.
Some defend the principles of state sovereignty and nonintervention, and argue that other states must be permitted to determine their own course. It is thought that states have diverse conceptions of justice, and international coexistence depends on a pluralist ethic whereby each state can uphold its own conception of the good. Among many, there is "a profound skepticism about the possibilities of realizing notions of universal justice." States that presume to judge what counts as a violation of human rights in another nation interfere with that nation's right to self-determination . In addition, requiring some country to respect human rights is liable to cause friction and can lead to far-reaching disagreements. Thus, acts of intervention may disrupt interstate order and lead to further conflict.
Others think, "Only the vigilant eye of the international community can ensure the proper observance of international standards, in the interest not of one state or another but of the individuals themselves." They maintain that massive violations of human rights, such as genocide and crimes against humanity, warrant intervention, even if it causes some tension or disagreement. Certain rights are inalienable and universal, and "taking basic rights seriously means taking responsibility for their protection everywhere." If, through its atrocious actions, a state destroys the lives and rights of its citizens, it temporarily forfeits its claims to legitimacy and sovereignty. Outside governments then have a positive duty to take steps to protect human rights and preserve life. In addition, it is thought that political systems that protect human rights reduce the threat of world conflict. Thus, intervention might also be justified on the ground of preserving international security.
Nevertheless, governments are often reluctant to commit military forces and resources to defend human rights in other states. In addition, the use of violence to end human rights violations poses a moral dilemma insofar as such interventions may lead to further loss of innocent lives. It is imperative that the least amount of force necessary to achieve humanitarian objectives be used, and that intervention not do more harm than good. Lastly, there is a need to ensure that intervention is legitimate, and motivated by genuine humanitarian concerns. The purposes of intervention must be apolitical and disinterested. However, if risks and costs of intervention are high, it is unlikely that states will intervene unless their direct interests are involved.
Many note that in order to truly address human rights violations, we must strive to understand the underlying causes of these breaches. These causes have to do with underdevelopment, economic pressures, various social problems, and international conditions. Indeed, the roots of repression, discrimination, and other denials of human rights stem from deeper and more complex political, social, and economic problems. It is only by understanding and ameliorating these root causes and strengthening civil society that we can truly protect human rights.
 Helena Kennedy. "Conflict Resolution and Human Rights: Contradictory or Complementary?" INCORE, 1.
 Don Hubert and Thomas G. Weiss et al. The Responsibility to Protect: Supplementary Volume to the Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. (Canada: International Development Research Centre, 2001), 144.
 Jordan J.Paust et al. Human Rights Module: On Crimes Against Humanity, Genocide, Other Crimes Against Human Rights, and War Crimes, (Carolina Academic Press.2001), 130.
 Hubert and Weiss, et al., 144.
 Paust, et al., 131.
 United Nations Press Release SG/SM/6524 SC/6503 "Secretary-General Says Proposals in his Report on Africa Require New Ways of Thinking, of Acting" (16 April 1998, accessed 30 January 2003). Available at http://www.un.org/ecosocdev/geninfo/afrec/sgreport/pressrel.htm ; Internet.
 "Sexual Violence and Armed Conflict: United Nations Response." United Nations. Available at: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/public/cover.htm ; Internet.
 "Sexual Violence." Available at: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/public/cover.htm ; Internet.
 "Sexual Violence." Available at: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/public/cover.htm ; Internet.
 Antonio Cassese, Human Rights in a Changing World . (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1990), 90.
 Cassese, 123.
 Cassese, 90.
 "Human Rights Today: A United Nations Priority," The United Nations, (2000), available at: http://www.un.org/rights/HRToday/ ; Internet.
 " 'Dirty War' in Chechnya: Forced Disappearances, Torture, and Summary Executions." Human Rights Watch, March 2001. Vol. 13, no. 1, 4. Available at: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2001/chechnya/RSCH0301.PDF ; Internet.
 Cassese, 122.
 " 'Dirty War' in Chechnya," 31.
 "Human Rights Today: A United Nations Priority"
 Cassese, 108.
 Matthews, "Women's Rights are Human Rights"
 Kennedy, 1.
 "Human Rights Today"
 Michel Veuthey, "International Humanitarian Law and the Restoration and Maintenance of Peace." African Security Review, Vol. 7, No. 5, Institute for Security Studies, 1998. Available at: http://www.iss.co.za/Pubs/ASR/7No5/InternationalHumanitarian.html ; Internet.
 Veuthey, "International Humanitarian Law and the Restoration and Maintenance of Peace."
 Veuthey, "International Humanitarian Law and the Restoration and Maintenance of Peace."
 Kennedy, 6.
 Kennedy, 8.
 Kennedy, 9.
 Kennedy, 9.
 Hubert and Weiss, et al., 133.
 Cassese, 58.
 Hubert and Weiss, et al., 133.
 Cassese, 55-6.
 Hubert and Weiss, et al., 135.
 Hubert and Weiss, et al., 136.
 Cassese, 58.
 Hubert and Weiss, et al., 136.
 Hubert and Weiss, et al., 137.
 Hubert and Weiss, et al., 141.
 Cassese, 59.
Use the following to cite this article: Maiese, Michelle. "Human Rights Violations." Beyond Intractability . Eds. Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess. Conflict Information Consortium, University of Colorado, Boulder. Posted: July 2003 < http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/human-rights-violations >.
The intractable conflict challenge.
Our inability to constructively handle intractable conflict is the most serious, and the most neglected, problem facing humanity. Solving today's tough problems depends upon finding better ways of dealing with these conflicts. More...
Selected Recent BI Posts Including Hyper-Polarization Posts
- Julia Roig Talks about Weaving a Healthy Democracy in the United States -- Julia Roig talks about her efforts to build a social movement to support democracy in the U.S. Such a movement needs to both block and build: block bad actors, and build a new pluralistic society that works.
- Massively Circular Hyper-Polarization -- All complex systems are made up of multiple interlocking negative and positive feedback loops that can lead to good or bad stability or good or bad change. Understanding these loops is essential for good outcomes.
- Colleague and Context Posts for the Week of February 19 -- Links to articles suggested by participants in BI's hyper-polarization discussion by plus more links to thought-provoking articles and things that our colleagues are doing.
Get the Newsletter Check Out Our Quick Start Guide
Educators Consider a low-cost BI-based custom text .
Constructive Conflict Initiative
Join Us in calling for a dramatic expansion of efforts to limit the destructiveness of intractable conflict.
Things You Can Do to Help Ideas
Practical things we can all do to limit the destructive conflicts threatening our future.
A free, open, online seminar exploring new approaches for addressing difficult and intractable conflicts. Major topic areas include:
Scale, Complexity, & Intractability
Massively Parallel Peacebuilding
An look at to the fundamental building blocks of the peace and conflict field covering both “tractable” and intractable conflict.
Beyond Intractability / CRInfo Knowledge Base
Home / Browse | Essays | Search | About
BI in Context
Links to thought-provoking articles exploring the larger, societal dimension of intractability.
Information about interesting conflict and peacebuilding efforts.
Disclaimer: All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Beyond Intractability or the Conflict Information Consortium.
Unless otherwise noted on individual pages, all content is... Copyright © 2003-2022 The Beyond Intractability Project c/o the Conflict Information Consortium All rights reserved. Content may not be reproduced without prior written permission.
Guidelines for Using Beyond Intractability resources.
Citing Beyond Intractability resources.
Photo Credits for Homepage, Sidebars, and Landing Pages
Powered by Drupal
15,000+ students realised their study abroad dream with us. Take the first step today
Meet top uk universities from the comfort of your home, here’s your new year gift, one app for all your, study abroad needs, start your journey, track your progress, grow with the community and so much more.
An OTP has been sent to your registered mobile no. Please verify
Thanks for your comment !
Our team will review it before it's shown to our readers.
Essay on Human Rights
- Updated on
- Sep 14, 2022
Essay writing is an integral part of the school curriculum and various academic and competitive exams like IELTS , TOEFL , SAT , UPSC , etc. It is designed to test your command of the English language and how well you can gather your thoughts and present them in a structure with a flow. To master your ability to write an essay, you must read as much as possible and practise on any given topic. This blog brings you a detailed guide on how to write an essay on Human Rights, with useful essay samples on Human rights.
This Blog Includes:
The basic human rights, 200 words essay on human rights, 500 words essay on human rights, 500+ words essay on human rights in india, 1500 words essay on human rights, importance of human rights, essay on human rights pdf, what are human rights.
Human rights are the basic fundamental rights that we, as humans, are entitled to. Human rights mark everyone as free and equal, irrespective of age, gender, caste, creed, religion and nationality. The United Nations adopted human rights in light of the atrocities people faced during the second world war. On the 10th of December 1948, the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Its adoption led to recognising human rights as the foundation for freedom, justice and peace for every individual. Although it’s not legally binding, most nations have incorporated these human rights into their constitutions and domestic legal frameworks. Human rights safeguard us from discrimination and guarantee that our most basic needs are protected.
Did you know that the 10th of December is celebrated as Human Rights Day!
Before we move on to the essays on human rights, let’s understand the basics of what they are.
- Right to Life
- Right to Freedom from Torture
- Right to Equal Treatment
- Right to Privacy
- Right to Asylum
- Right to Marry
- Right to Freedom of Thought, Opinion and Expression
- Right to Work
- Right to Education
- Right to Social Services
Also Read: What are Human Rights?
Here is a 200-word short sample essay on basic Human Rights.
Human rights are a set of rights given to every human being regardless of their gender, caste, creed, religion, nation, location or economic status. These are said to be moral principles that illustrate certain standards of human behaviour. Protected by law , these rights are applicable everywhere and at any time. Basic human rights include the right to life, right to a fair trial, right to remedy by a competent tribunal, right to liberty and personal security, right to own property, right to education, right of peaceful assembly and association, right to marriage and family, right to nationality and freedom to change it, freedom of speech, freedom from discrimination, freedom from slavery, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of movement, right of opinion and information, right to adequate living standard and freedom from interference with privacy, family, home and correspondence.
Also Read: Law Courses
Check out this 500-word long essay on Human Rights.
Every person has dignity and value. One of the ways that we recognise the fundamental worth of every person is by acknowledging and respecting their human rights. Human rights are a set of principles concerned with equality and fairness. They recognise our freedom to make choices about our lives and develop our potential as human beings. They are about living a life free from fear, harassment or discrimination.
Human rights can broadly be defined as the basic rights that people worldwide have agreed are essential. These include the right to life, the right to a fair trial, freedom from torture and other cruel and inhuman treatment, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the rights to health, education and an adequate standard of living. These human rights are the same for all people everywhere – men and women, young and old, rich and poor, regardless of our background, where we live, what we think or believe. This basic property is what makes human rights’ universal’.
Human rights connect us all through a shared set of rights and responsibilities. People’s ability to enjoy their human rights depends on other people respecting those rights. This means that human rights involve responsibility and duties towards other people and the community. Individuals have a responsibility to ensure that they exercise their rights with consideration for the rights of others. For example, when someone uses their right to freedom of speech, they should do so without interfering with someone else’s right to privacy.
Governments have a particular responsibility to ensure that people can enjoy their rights. They must establish and maintain laws and services that enable people to enjoy a life in which their rights are respected and protected. For example, the right to education says that everyone is entitled to a good education. Therefore, governments have an obligation to provide good quality education facilities and services to their people. If the government fails to respect or protect their basic human rights, people can call it to account.
Values of tolerance, equality and respect can help reduce friction within society. Putting human rights ideas into practice can help us create the kind of society we want to live in. There has been tremendous growth in how we think about and apply human rights ideas in recent decades. This growth has had many positive results – knowledge about human rights can empower individuals and offer solutions for specific problems.
Human rights are an important part of how people interact with others at all levels in society – in the family, the community, school, workplace, politics and international relations. Therefore, it is vital that people everywhere strive to understand what human rights are. When people better understand human rights, it is easier for them to promote justice and the well-being of society.
Also Read: Important Articles in Indian Constitution
Here is an human rights essay focused on India.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. It has been rightly proclaimed in the American declaration of independence that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Created with certain unalienable rights….” Similarly, the Indian Constitution has ensured and enshrined Fundamental rights for all citizens irrespective of caste, creed, religion, colour, sex or nationality. These basic rights, commonly known as human rights, are recognised the world over as basic rights with which every individual is born.
In recognition of human rights, “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was made on the 10th of December, 1948. This declaration is the basic instrument of human rights. Even though this declaration has no legal bindings and authority, it forms the basis of all laws on human rights. The necessity of formulating laws to protect human rights is now being felt all over the world. According to social thinkers, the issue of human rights became very important after World War II concluded. It is important for social stability both at the national and international levels. Wherever there is a breach of human rights, there is conflict at one level or the other.
Given the increasing importance of the subject, it becomes necessary that educational institutions recognise the subject of human rights as an independent discipline. The course contents and curriculum of the discipline of human rights may vary according to the nature and circumstances of a particular institution. Still, generally, it should include the rights of a child, rights of minorities, rights of the needy and the disabled, right to live, convention on women, trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation etc.
Since the formation of the United Nations , the promotion and protection of human rights have been its main focus. The United Nations has created a wide range of mechanisms for monitoring human rights violations. The conventional mechanisms include treaties and organisations, U.N. special reporters, representatives and experts and working groups. Asian countries like China argue in favour of collective rights. According to Chinese thinkers, European countries lay stress upon individual rights and values while Asian countries esteem collective rights and obligations to the family and society as a whole.
With the freedom movement the world over after World War II, the end of colonisation also ended the policy of apartheid and thereby the most aggressive violation of human rights. With the spread of education, women are asserting their rights. Women’s movements play an important role in spreading the message of human rights. They are fighting for their own rights and supporting the struggle for human rights of other weaker and deprived sections like bonded labour, child labour, landless labour, unemployed persons, dalits and elderly people.
Unfortunately, violation of human rights continues in most parts of the world. Ethnic cleansing and genocide can still be seen in several parts of the world. Large sections of the world population are deprived of the basic necessities of life i.e. food, shelter and security of life. Right to minimum basic needs viz. Work, health care, education and shelter are denied to them. These deprivations amount to negation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Also Read: Human Rights Courses
Ceck out this detailed 1500-word essay on human rights.
The human right to live and exist, the right to equality, including equality before the law, non-discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, and equality of opportunity in matters of employment, the right to freedom of speech and expression, assembly, association, movement, residence, the right to practice any profession or occupation, the right against exploitation, prohibiting all forms of forced labour, child labour and trafficking in human beings, the right to freedom of conscience, practice and propagation of religion and the right to legal remedies for enforcement of the above are basic human rights. These rights and freedoms are the very foundations of democracy.
Obviously, in a democracy, the people enjoy the maximum number of freedoms and rights. Besides these are political rights, which include the right to contest an election and vote freely for a candidate of one’s choice. Human rights are a benchmark of a developed and civilised society. But rights cannot exist in a vacuum. They have their corresponding duties. Rights and duties are the two aspects of the same coin.
Liberty never means license. Rights pre-suppose the rule of law, where everyone in the society follows a code of conduct and behaviour for the good of all. It is the sense of duty and tolerance that gives meaning to rights. Rights have their basis in the ‘live and let live’ principle. For example, my right to speech and expression involves my duty to allow others to enjoy the same freedom of speech and expression. Rights and duties are inextricably interlinked and interdependent. A perfect balance is to be maintained between the two. Whenever there is an imbalance, there is chaos.
A sense of tolerance, propriety and adjustment is a must to enjoy rights and freedom. Human life sans basic freedom and rights is meaningless. Freedom is the most precious possession without which life would become intolerable, a mere abject and slavish existence. In this context, Milton’s famous and oft-quoted lines from his Paradise Lost come to mind: “To reign is worth ambition though in hell/Better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven.”
However, liberty cannot survive without its corresponding obligations and duties. An individual is a part of society in which he enjoys certain rights and freedom only because of the fulfilment of certain duties and obligations towards others. Thus, freedom is based on mutual respect for each other’s rights. A fine balance must be maintained between the two, or there will be anarchy and bloodshed. Therefore, human rights can best be preserved and protected in a society steeped in morality, discipline and social order.
Violation of human rights is most common in totalitarian and despotic states. In the theocratic states, there is much persecution, and violation in the name of religion and the minorities suffer the most. Even in democracies, there is widespread violation and infringement of human rights and freedom. The women, children and the weaker sections of society are victims of these transgressions and violence.
The U.N. Commission on Human Rights’ main concern is to protect and promote human rights and freedom in the world’s nations. In its various sessions held from time to time in Geneva, it adopts various measures to encourage worldwide observations of these basic human rights and freedom. It calls on its member states to furnish information regarding measures complied with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights whenever there is a complaint of a violation of these rights. In addition, it reviews human rights situations in various countries and initiates remedial measures when required.
The U.N. Commission was much concerned and dismayed at the apartheid being practised in South Africa till recently. The Secretary-General then declared, “The United Nations cannot tolerate apartheid. It is a legalised system of racial discrimination, violating the most basic human rights in South Africa. It contradicts the letter and spirit of the United Nations Charter. That is why over the last forty years, my predecessors and I have urged the Government of South Africa to dismantle it.”
Now, although apartheid is no longer practised in that country, other forms of apartheid are being blatantly practised worldwide. For example, sex apartheid is most rampant. Women are subject to abuse and exploitation. They are not treated equally and get less pay than their male counterparts for the same jobs. In employment, promotions, possession of property etc., they are most discriminated against. Similarly, the rights of children are not observed properly. They are forced to work hard in very dangerous situations, sexually assaulted and exploited, sold and bonded for labour.
The Commission found that religious persecution, torture, summary executions without judicial trials, intolerance, slavery-like practices, kidnapping, and political disappearance, etc., are being practised even in the so-called advanced countries and societies. The continued acts of extreme violence, terrorism and extremism in various parts of the world like Pakistan, India, Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Somalia, Algeria, Lebanon, Chile, China, and Myanmar, etc., by the governments, terrorists, religious fundamentalists, and mafia outfits, etc., is a matter of grave concern for the entire human race.
Violation of freedom and rights by terrorist groups backed by states is one of the most difficult problems society faces. For example, Pakistan has been openly collaborating with various terrorist groups, indulging in extreme violence in India and other countries. In this regard the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva adopted a significant resolution, which was co-sponsored by India, focusing on gross violation of human rights perpetrated by state-backed terrorist groups.
The resolution expressed its solidarity with the victims of terrorism and proposed that a U.N. Fund for victims of terrorism be established soon. The Indian delegation recalled that according to the Vienna Declaration, terrorism is nothing but the destruction of human rights. It shows total disregard for the lives of innocent men, women and children. The delegation further argued that terrorism cannot be treated as a mere crime because it is systematic and widespread in its killing of civilians.
Violation of human rights, whether by states, terrorists, separatist groups, armed fundamentalists or extremists, is condemnable. Regardless of the motivation, such acts should be condemned categorically in all forms and manifestations, wherever and by whomever they are committed, as acts of aggression aimed at destroying human rights, fundamental freedom and democracy. The Indian delegation also underlined concerns about the growing connection between terrorist groups and the consequent commission of serious crimes. These include rape, torture, arson, looting, murder, kidnappings, blasts, and extortions, etc.
Violation of human rights and freedom gives rise to alienation, dissatisfaction, frustration and acts of terrorism. Governments run by ambitious and self-seeking people often use repressive measures and find violence and terror an effective means of control. However, state terrorism, violence, and human freedom transgressions are very dangerous strategies. This has been the background of all revolutions in the world. Whenever there is systematic and widespread state persecution and violation of human rights, rebellion and revolution have taken place. The French, American, Russian and Chinese Revolutions are glowing examples of human history.
The first war of India’s Independence in 1857 resulted from long and systematic oppression of the Indian masses. The rapidly increasing discontent, frustration and alienation with British rule gave rise to strong national feelings and demand for political privileges and rights. Ultimately the Indian people, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, made the British leave India, setting the country free and independent.
Human rights and freedom ought to be preserved at all costs. Their curtailment degrades human life. The political needs of a country may reshape Human rights, but they should not be completely distorted. Tyranny, regimentation, etc., are inimical of humanity and should be resisted effectively and united. The sanctity of human values, freedom and rights must be preserved and protected. Human Rights Commissions should be established in all the countries to take care of human freedom and rights. In cases of violation of human rights, affected individuals should be properly compensated, and it should be ensured that these do not take place in future.
These commissions can become effective instruments in percolating the sensitivity to human rights down to the lowest levels of the governments and administrations. The formation of the National Humans Rights Commission in October 1993 in India is commendable and should be followed by other countries.
Also Read: Law Courses in India
Human rights are of utmost importance to seek basic equality and human dignity. Human rights ensure that the basic needs of every human are met. They protect vulnerable groups from discrimination and abuse, allow people to stand up for themselves, follow any religion without fear and give them the freedom to express their thoughts freely. In addition, they grant people access to basic education and equal work opportunities. Thus implementing these rights is crucial to ensure freedom, peace and safety.
We hope our sample essays on Human Rights have given you some great ideas. If you are preparing for exams like GMAT, GRE, IELTS or SAT and need guidance for the writing session? Book your one on one session with Leverage Edu experts to get a divisive strategy and preparation tips to crack these examinations!
- essay on human rights
- essay writing
- human rights examples
- Human rights issues
- human rights meaning
Sonal is a creative, enthusiastic writer and editor who has worked extensively for the Study Abroad domain. She splits her time between shooting fun insta reels and learning new tools for content marketing. If she is missing from her desk, you can find her with a group of people cracking silly jokes or petting neighbourhood dogs.
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Contact no. *
How would you describe this article ?
Please rate this article
We would like to hear more.
Have something on your mind?
Connect With Us
15,000+ students realised their study abroad dream with us. take the first step today..
Resend OTP in
Need help with?
UK, Canada, US & More
IELTS, GRE, GMAT & More
Scholarship, Loans & Forex
Which English test are you planning to take?
Which academic test are you planning to take.
Not Sure yet
When are you planning to take the exam?
Already booked my exam slot
Within 2 Months
Want to learn about the test
Which Degree do you wish to pursue?
When do you want to start studying abroad.
What is your budget to study abroad?
Make your study abroad dream a reality in January 2022 with
India's Biggest Virtual University Fair
Essex Direct Admission Day
Why attend .
Don't Miss Out
- Human Rights
- Civil Rights
- Drinking Age
- Women'S Suffrage
- Womens Rights
What is Human Rights Abuse? Essay
Get original paper in 3 hours and nail the task
124 experts online
By: Kwiana Pinnock E-mail: email protected What are Human Rights Abuses? Human Rights Abuses are occurrences where there are violations on an individual’s right to act in a way to make moral decisions.
Tis includes violations against an individual’s political rights,worker rights, and freedom of religion,speech, press,peaceful assembly and association. It includes freedom from any cruel or inhumane treatment and not being discriminated against because of race,sex, disability,language or social status. Human rights abuse may occur in positions where there is a hostile government in power or in everyday life in a developed nation. But, it usually occurs in a poor or unstable country with a record of violence and inept leadership. At this time country’s that have been known for human rights abuse in their countries are China, Cuba, Rwanda, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. They have violated their citizen’s rights as individuals through senseless killngs, arbitrary detention, and detention.
When human rights abuse occurs it may be unknown by the international community but, once alerted there is usually something done about the situation. There are two main groups that take care of human rights abuse. They are NATO and the United Nations(U. N), when these groups are notified that guman rights abuse is occurring they take action.
Whether it is through sanctions, constructive engagement or humanitatian intervention. Word Count: 209 .
This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly . Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.
Need custom essay sample written special for your assignment?
Choose skilled expert on your subject and get original paper with free plagiarism report
What is Human Rights Abuse? Essay. (2019, Mar 14). Retrieved from https://happyessays.com/what-is-human-rights-abuse-essay/
More related essays
HUMAN RIGHTS Essay Summary (2729 words)
The Effects of Abuse Essay (2414 words)
Corporal Punishment Essay (9716 words)
Intrafamilial Abuse: Sibling Incest in Australia Essay
Life in Different Parts of the World Essay
The Alarming Rate of Child Abuse in America
Deferiprone In Iron Chelation Therapy Biology Essay
Women’s Rights in Latin America and the Caribbean Essay
War on Drugs: Historical and Policy Analysis
Hi, my name is Amy 👋
In case you can't find a relevant example, our professional writers are ready to help you write a unique paper. Just talk to our smart assistant Amy and she'll connect you with the best match.
provide redress for alleged victims of human rights violations. After a brief discussion of the use of human rights in ethical, legal and advocacy discourse and some historical background of the concept of human rights, this essay will examine the tensions between human rights and state sovereignty, the challenges to the
Abuse of human rights often leads to conflict, and conflict typically results in human rights violations. It is not surprising, then, that human rights abuses are often at the center of wars and that protection of human rights is central to conflict resolution.  Violations of political and economic rights are the root causes of many crises.
Check out this 500-word long essay on Human Rights. Every person has dignity and value. One of the ways that we recognise the fundamental worth of every person is by acknowledging and respecting their human rights. Human rights are a set of principles concerned with equality and fairness.
Human Rights Abuses are occurrences where there are violations on an individual’s right to act in a way to make moral decisions. Tis includes violations against an individual’s political rights,worker rights, and freedom of religion,speech, press,peaceful assembly and association.