Governments and individuals have a responsibility to respect and protect these human rights
There had been reports of massive human rights violations in Pakistan. Women, religious minorities, and transgender people and other marginalized groups of the society continue to face violence, discrimination, and persecution, with authorities failing to provide adequate protection or hold perpetrators to account. The government continues to do little to hold law enforcement agencies accountable for torture and other serious abuses.
Let’s understand what the human rights are?
Human rights are fundamental rights that are inherent to all human beings, regardless of their nationality, race, gender, religion, or any other status. These rights are enshrined in various international legal instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes a range of basic human rights, which can be broadly categorized into civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights, and collective rights.
Civil and Political Rights
Civil and political rights are those that protect individual liberties and freedoms and enable people to participate fully in their societies. These rights include freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, the right to a fair trial, and the right to vote.
Freedom of expression is a basic human right that enables individuals to express their opinions, ideas and beliefs without fear of censorship or retaliation. Freedom of assembly allows individuals to gather together and protest peacefully against perceived injustices. Freedom of religion ensures that individuals can practice their religious beliefs without fear of persecution.
The right to a fair trial is a cornerstone of democratic societies. It ensures that individuals accused of crimes are entitled to a fair and impartial hearing before an independent and impartial tribunal. The right to vote is a fundamental human right that enables individuals to participate in the democratic process and have a say in the governance of their countries.
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Economic, social and cultural rights are those that protect the basic needs and well-being of individuals. These rights include the right to education, the right to housing, the right to healthcare, and the right to work.
The right to education ensures that individuals have access to quality education that is essential for their personal and professional development. The right to housing ensures that individuals have access to safe, adequate and affordable housing. The right to healthcare ensures that individuals have access to medical care and treatment. The right to work ensures that individuals have the opportunity to earn a living and provide for themselves and their families.
Collective rights are those that protect the rights and interests of groups of people, such as ethnic, religious, or linguistic minorities. These rights include the right to self-determination, the right to cultural identity, and the right to participate in the cultural life of one’s community.
The right to self-determination is a basic human right that allows groups of people to determine their own political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. The right to cultural identity is a fundamental human right that allows individuals to identify with and participate in the cultural life of their community. The right to participate in the cultural life of one’s community ensures that individuals can express their cultural identity and values without fear of discrimination or persecution.
Basic human rights are essential for the protection and well-being of individuals and communities. They form the foundation of democratic societies and enable individuals to live with dignity and respect. Governments and individuals have a responsibility to respect and protect these rights, and to ensure that they are upheld for all people, without discrimination.
Shoukat Lohar is Assistant professor in English at Mehran University of Engineering and Technology Jamshoro. He can be reached at Shoukat.firstname.lastname@example.org