In the year 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that marked 10th December to be commemorated as Human Rights Day. The Universal Declaration was a milestone document in the history of human rights, as it set out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected. The first global enunciation of human rights was one of the first major achievements of the United Nations.
This year’s theme for Human Rights Day, ”Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always” sets the stage for introspection and decisive action at the grass root level. It also reaches out for collective support from political institutions, judicial systems, policy makers and other stakeholders across the globe to strengthen the framework that will protect the fundamental rights of ordinary people so that they can live with dignity.
”Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always” is devoted to the launch of a one year campaign commemorating two international treaties adopted 50 years ago: Two Human Rights Covenants both adopted in 1966 are the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The two Covenants, together with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, form the International Bill of Human Rights, setting out the civil, political, cultural, economic, and social rights that are the birth right of all human beings.
The main aim of the theme is to promote and raise awareness of the two Covenants on their 50th anniversary. The year-long campaign revolves around the theme of rights and freedoms — freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear — which underpin the International Bill of Human Rights are as relevant today as they were when the Covenants were adopted 50 years ago.
Now, if we look at the some of the shocking statistics recorded by Amnesty International in 2014 and human rights abuses in 160 countries and territories around the world.
Here are the shocking figures uncovered:-
War crimes or other violations of the “laws of war” were carried out in at least 18 countries.
Refugees and migrants were – and still are – at particular risk. More than 3,400 people drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in 2014.
Armed groups committed abuses in 35 countries.
Nearly three-quarters of governments, around 119 countries out of 160, arbitrarily restricted freedoms.
82% (131 out of 160) of countries tortured or otherwise ill-treated people.
Looking the statistics above the scenario indeed looks very discouraging and thought provoking. Therefore, as an responsible organization we stronlgy believe that there is an urgent need to launch more sensitization and awareness programmes with the focus on equal rights and freedom to all.
We sincerely urge to all the industry leaders, decision makers, government agencies, policy makers to come forward and work towards creating a sustainable environment of positivity and inclusion, suggest ways to be tolerant towards different communities and people, eliminate the fear of insecurity and at last but not the least make conducive atmosphere for people to live with dignity and respect.
By Rohit Kaul