Human rights violations in today’s world
Human rights are a hot topic in today’s world. With the growth of globalization and the increase in international travel and communication, people are becoming more aware of the human rights violations that occur in other parts of the world. Human rights violations can take many forms, from discrimination and violence against women, to child labour and lack of access to education.
The United Nations (UN) is an international organization that was established in 1945 with the aim of maintaining international peace and security. The UN also has a mandate to promote respect for human rights and to protect vulnerable populations from human rights abuses.
There are many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that work to promote and protect human rights around the world. These NGOs often have a more specific focus than the UN, and they may work on issues such as women’s rights, children’s rights, or the rights of indigenous peoples.
In this paper, I will discuss some of the main human rights violations that occur in today’s world, as well as the role of the UN and NGOs in addressing these issues.
2. Violations of human rights in today’s world
2.1 Racism and discrimination
One of the most widespread human rights violations in today’s world is racism and discrimination. Racism is defined as “the belief that one race is superior to another” (Oxford Dictionary, 2018). Discrimination is defined as “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things” (Oxford Dictionary, 2018).
Racism and discrimination can take many forms, from verbal abuse and harassment, to physical violence and even death. Racism can be based on skin colour, ethnicity, national origin, or religion. It can also be directed at people who have a disability or who identify as LGBTIQ+.
There is a long history of racism and discrimination against Indigenous peoples around the world. In many countries, Indigenous peoples have been displaced from their traditional lands, forcibly assimilated into the dominant culture, and denied their basic human rights. Today, Indigenous peoples continue to face racism and discrimination in many aspects of their lives.
Racism and discrimination are also still very prevalent against people of African descent. In recent years, there has been a global movement calling for an end to police brutality and racial profiling against black people. The #BlackLivesMatter movement started in the United States after a number of high-profile killings of black men by police officers, but it has since spread to other countries around the world.
Another group that faces a lot of racism and discrimination is refugees and migrants. In 2015, more than 1 million people fled their homes due to conflict or persecution, setting a new record for forced displacement (UNHCR, 2016). Refugees are often demonized by politicians and media outlets, and they face significant challenges in finding shelter, food, and employment. Migrants also face prejudice and hostility in many countries around the world.
2. 2 Violence against women
Violence against women is another serious human rights violation that occurs in today’s world. Violence against women includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and economic violence. It can happen within families, relationships, institutions such as schools or workplaces, or by strangers.
One in three women around the world will experience physical or sexual violence in her lifetime (UN Women, 2018). This means that violence against women is a global pandemic.
Violence against women is often perpetrated by men, and it is rooted in gender inequality. Men are typically seen as being more powerful and dominant than women, and this power imbalance is often used to justify violence against women. In many societies, women are also socialized to accept male dominance and to not challenge men. This can make it difficult for women to speak out about the violence they experience.
Violence against women has a range of negative impacts on the victim’s physical, mental, and emotional health. It can also have economic impacts, as victims may miss work or be unable to work due to their injuries. Violence against women also affects society as a whole, as it perpetuates gender inequality.
2. 3 Child labour
Child labour is another serious human rights violation that occurs in today’s world. Child labour is defined as “work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children; and interferes with their schooling by depriving them of the opportunity to attend regular classes, or requiring them to combine school with excessively long and heavy work” (ILO, n.d.). Children who are engaged in child labour are often working long hours for little pay in hazardous conditions.
Child labour is widespread in developing countries, where millions of children are involved in hazardous work such as farming, fishing, manufacturing, and mining. Children may be forced into child labour by their parents or other adults, or they may do it out of necessity to support their families.
Child labour has a range of negative impacts on the health and well-being of children. It can lead to physical injuries, exposure to hazardous materials, and psychological trauma. Child labourers often miss out on an education, which limits their future opportunities.
2. 4 Lack of access to education
Lack of access to education is another human rights violation that occurs in today’s world. Education is a fundamental human right, and it is essential for the development of individuals and societies. However, there are still millions of children around the world who do not have access to education.
There are many reasons why children may not have access to education. In some cases, schools may not be available in their area. In other cases, children may need to work instead of going to school in order to support their families. Girls are especially likely to be denied an education, as they may be married off at a young age or kept home to care for younger siblings.
Lack of access to education has a range of negative impacts on both individuals and society as a whole. Individuals who do not receive an education are more likely to live in poverty and have poor health outcomes. They are also less likely to find employment and earn a decent wage. Lack of access to education also contributes to intergenerational cycles of poverty and disadvantage.
3. The United Nations and human rights
The UN has a mandate to promote respect for human rights and protect vulnerable populations from human rights abuses. The UN does this through a number of different mechanisms, including treaties, conventions, and resolutions.
The UN also has a number of specialised agencies that work on human rights issues, such as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
3. 1 Equality and non-discrimination
One of the key principles of the UN is equality and non-discrimination. This principle is reflected in a number of international treaties and conventions, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a document that was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948. It sets out a range of civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights that all human beings are entitled to. Article 1 of the Declaration states that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is a treaty that was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1966. It contains a range of rights that are designed to protect the dignity and autonomy of individuals. Article 2 of the Covenant states that “each State Party undertakes to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is a treaty that was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1966. It contains a range of rights that are designed to protect the dignity and wellbeing of individuals. Article 2 of the Covenant states that “each State Party undertakes to take steps…to achieve progressively the full realization of the rights recognized in the present Covenant by all appropriate means…”
3. 2 The right to life
The right to life is another fundamental human right that is enshrined in a number of international treaties and conventions. This right is set out in Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”
The right to life is also contained in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article 6 of this Covenant states that “every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.”
The right to life is also contained in a number of regional human rights treaties, including the European Convention on Human Rights and the American Convention on Human Rights.
3. 3 Prohibition of torture
Torture is defined as “the deliberate infliction of severe physical or mental pain or suffering on someone” (Oxford Dictionary, 2018). Torture is prohibited under international law, and it is considered to be a serious human rights violation.
Torture is prohibited by a number of international treaties and conventions, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
In addition to these treaties, there are also a number of customary international laws that prohibit torture. Customary international law is defined as “a general practice accepted as law” (Oxford Dictionary, 2018).