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Importance of Human Rights to Women, Children and the Minority

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What is human right? Can we really ascertain what human rights are? Who are the victims of not being treated right as humans? Are animals considered having rights too? Are there categories of people being treated as priority when it comes to human rights? Are there cultural implications in human right treatments? These questions are so many and some have been relatively answered over the years.

This piece of work has been designed to answer some of the highlighted questions above and emphasis has been made on the importance of human right to women, children and the minority.

I wish to start by explaining what human rights are;

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible. (Ohchrorg, 2015).

Also, it could be defined as “moral principles or norms that describe certain standards of human behavior, and are regularly protected as legal rights in municipal and international law” (James N, 2013).

Some of these rights are binding, they have been made laws and punishable if they are breached. I could equally say these rights have legal binding and a duty of commitment attached to them. “Human rights entail both rights and obligations”. (Ohchrorg, 2015).

I wish to highlight some basic human rights that exist.

Based on an article I read from an International youths for human rights site, they highlighted the following rights. These rights are based on the universal declaration of human rights by the United Nation in 1948 to provide a global understanding of how to treat individuals.

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

1. We are all free and equal.

2. Don’t discriminate. 3. The right to life.

4. No slavery – past and present.

5. No Torture.

6. We all have the same right to use the law.

7. We are all protected by the law.

8. Fair treatment by fair courts.

9. No unfair detainment.

10. The right to trial.

11. Innocent until proven guilty.

12. The right to privacy.

13. Freedom to move.

14. The right to asylum.

15. The right to a nationality.

16. Marriage and family.

17. Your own things.

18. Freedom of thought.

19. Free to say what you want.

20. Meet where you like.

21. The right to democracy.

22. The right to social security.

23. Workers’ rights.

24. The right to play.

25. A bed and some food.

26. The right to education.

27. Culture and copyright.

28. A free and fair world.

29. Our responsibilities.

30. Nobody can take away these rights and freedoms from us”

(Samaritanmagcom, 2015)

The International Bill of rights has also highlighted 16 rights;

  1. The right to equality and freedom from discrimination
  2. The right to life, liberty, and personal security
  3. Freedom from torture and degrading treatment
  4. The right to equality before the law
  5. The right to a fair trial
  6. The right to privacy
  7. Freedom of belief and religion
  8. Freedom of opinion
  1. Right of peaceful assembly and association
  2. The right to participate in government
  3. The right to social security
  4. The right to work
  5. The right to an adequate standard of living
  6. The right to education
  7. The right to health
  8. The right to food and housing

(Theadvocatesforhumanrightsorg, 2015)

In all these aspects concerning human rights; the women, children and the minority are the vulnerable group. This group of people I have decided to term them “The fragile”. The reason I chose this name is because I believe this group of persons are more likely to be affected by the above mentioned rights.

Importance of Human Rights to women

If we take a look at the International Bill of rights above, we would discover that most women are affected by all. For instance, in some cultures women are not allowed to vote, women are treated unfairly, tortured, they have no opinion in decision making etc. These aspects have ameliorated over the years by the different advocates for women’s human rights, like the Beijing platform for action which set some objectives for balance between women and men in national decision making. Notwithstanding, some women in interior areas still face these difficulties.

In Africa for instance many cultures still practice the maltreatment of widows; they shave their hairs under poor conditions and force them to stay in a locked room for days with fire made from damn wood. No hygienic method of cleaning their bodies are provided and they do not leave the room or speaks to anyone during this period (The Bakwerians of Cameroon). In the North West Region of Cameroon, many tribes deny widows the right to their dead husbands’ property. These properties are ceased and no care is rendered to the widow and her children. At times, the brothers of the late man inherit all including the wife, which is against her will. She is sometimes tortured if she hesitates to succumb to her new husband. Even if she decides to report to the high authorities of the tribe, they clearly inform her that it is the customs that has been in existence for years. This is just one example of what some women face, in some cases the treatment could be worst. Based on the International Bill of rights above, I can say this is a breach of the woman’s right No. 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 11, 12, 13, 15, which is approximately 60%.

Still in Africa some tribes deny the right for a woman to inherit property or land. Even to own land which she can afford it.

There is also the aspect of female genital mutilation (FGM). Female genital mutilation is a culture still practiced in some parts of Africa and the World, even in the UK “at least 170,000 girls in the United Kingdom are victims of female genital mutilation (FGM) and thousands more are at risk from the procedure” (Stopvaworg, 2015). These practices have caused death to so many women and girls over the years and resulted to many negative effects. “Immediate consequences of FGM include severe pain and bleeding, shock, difficulty in passing urine, infections, injury to nearby genital tissue and sometimes death. The procedure can result in death through severe bleeding leading to haemorrhagic shock, neurogenic shock as a result of pain and trauma, and overwhelming infection and septicaemia, according to Manfred Nowak, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment” (Brainlane, 2015).



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