Human Rights Day is a celebration that is observed on the 10th of December annually by the United Nations Organizations. It was universally declared in 1984 as a holiday to inspire peace and tolerance among humans.
“Human rights entail both rights and obligations. States assume obligations and duties under international law to respect, protect and fulfil human rights. The obligation to respect means that States must refrain from interfering with or curtailing the enjoyment of human rights. The obligation to protect requires States to protect individuals and groups against human rights abuses. The obligation to fulfil means that States must take positive action to facilitate the enjoyment of basic human rights. At the individual level, while we are entitled our human rights, we should also respect the human rights of others” 1
It is a day for humans to reflect on the achievements in their various societies, appreciate the community and all who endlessly yearn to keep the peace in the environment, it is also a day to show love to one another regardless of race, religion, age and gender.
“Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty” 2
Some of the rights include right to equality, freedom from discrimination, right to be considered innocent until proven guilty, freedom from Interference with privacy, family, home and correspondence, right to free movement in and out of the country, right to marriage and family, freedom of belief and religion and freedom of opinion and information etc.
Even though all these rights have been put in place for the benefit of humans, rights are still violated every day in every part of the world. Lives are taken from people, there is gender inequality, no free access to education in some parts of the world especially against the Girl Child, human trafficking, torture and abuse, the list goes on and on.
Measures need to be put in place to curb acts of Human Rights Violations in all spheres of life, and eradicating the abuse of Human Rights is a collective effort, if we are to live in peace, we must all come together and agree to put an end to the strongholds that hold us captive. We must show love at all times and not only on special days.
By Jemima Atii