Mitigating Human Rights And Security Abuses

2583 words - 11 pages

The international community, although faced with many obstacles, can do more to improve how people are treated in situations where human rights abuses could be occurring. Abuses against human rights have occurred for a number of years, most notably against the Jews in World War Two. A modern example where both Human security and rights have been impeded upon is in the context of the ongoing Syrian conflict. War crimes are widely known to have been perpetrated by the Syrian government and the resulting violence has left millions of Syrians displaced. The international community has been alarmed at the seeming inaction of the United Nations in response to the Crisis and feel that the international community could be doing a lot more to improve how people are treated in such situations. Methods for achieving this include increased and better directed humanitarian intervention and peacekeeping missions as well as the revolutionary process of nation building. However, progress in alleviating the situation in Syria won’t come without numerous obstacles which include the laws that govern the UN, and the inability for it to act when there are conflicting opinions in the United Nations Security Council.
To understand how human rights are abused, we must first know exactly what human rights are. Amnesty International provides a useful definition saying, “Human rights are basic rights and freedoms that all people are entitled to regardless of nationality, sex, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, language, or other status.” These rights are universal and have been affirmed as such by the United Nations in its 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights which outlines things such as the right to life, and the right to marry. Despite the majority of member nations ratifying the declaration, human rights abuses still occur and pose a major problem in terms of human security. According to Walter Dorn, “human security is a people centred approach.” Using Dorn’s definition, we can conclude that human security is something that challenges the traditional, state centred approach to security and looks at the issues that make people insecure and how human rights and security can fit hand in hand. Breaching human rights should be seen as breaching human security.
Human rights and security abuses have happened all over the world throughout human history. One has to only look at the fact that six million Jews were killed in World War Two, clearly breaching the basic human right of freedom of thought and religion. Such Genocide has happened throughout history and the UN has been attempting to stamp it out with measures such as, the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. Despite the concentrated efforts by International organisations such as the United Nations, human security and rights violations continue to occur. An example of this occurred in Rwanda in 1994 where over 800,000 Tutsis were murdered by ethnic Hutu over a 100 day period....

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