As earlier observed, human rights are all those situations, circumstances and phenomenal rights that human beings enjoy simply by virtue of being human. Therefore, the society is the recipient of whatever deviations from that. A society which does not observe members’ rights has a feeling oppression. This may lead to accumulation of anger, dissatisfaction and cries against the factors that bring about the oppression.
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Had the Egyptians felt President Mubarak’s reign as having a heart towards the people and their rights, they would not have resolved to oust him in the manner that they did. A society where there is an observation for human rights has a harmonious coexistence among the people. Integration of the different variations- race, gender, social status, religion, tribal affiliations, nationality and ethnic diversities are most effective since every member of that society feels valued and appreciated.
Political instability is one problem that the society would face. A people that feel ill-treated by its systems of governance face more instability in comparison to one that is well treated. This is because the people develop a sense of mistrust and fear for that system instead of confidence.
Democratic space is an indication of tolerance and consideration of the people on the part of the government, since it shows that the voice of the people has a preference over any single person. Denial of such space, therefore, deprives the people their fundamental right. Whereas a politically stable country enjoys relative peace, which is not only a right for all mankind; but also an integral ingredient for a prosperous society, one that is unstable is exposed to dangers of unrest or even warfare (Köchler, 1990).
Food insecurity is another impact the society would face. Food is among man’s basic needs, and is therefore a crucial right to him. Where the relevant authority is aware of the threats that hunger and starvation has on humanity, it puts itself in a capacity to come up with measures to ensure that there is a sustainable availability of food for its people at all times.
Food security is, however, affected by other factors which the said authority has to organize and plan accordingly for the people’s benefits. A society is therefore shielded from calamities in the event that normal food productivity is compromised. Many Sub Saharan regions such as Ethiopia and Darfur in the Sudan are almost always reported to be in a crisis as far as starvation is concerned whenever droughts persist in those regions.
The economy of a society is also dependant on factors relating to upholding human rights. This is because investors- both local and foreign are more inclined to invest in a place where the rule of law as well as respect to individual and corporate values exists. A society that shuns human rights is therefore likely to be shunned by potential investors thereby greatly affecting the rate of development of that society.
This affects its ability to develop its infrastructure as well as improving the living standards of its people. Employment opportunities are not explored, and the revenues that would have been obtained from taxation of the business ventures are not realized. The people are therefore not empowered economically, since they are not able to earn a living and in the process maintain a healthy balance in the economy through their purchasing power (Köchler, 1990).
Sensitivity to minority groups or those that have been subjected to mistreatment and oppression is also greatly ignored. Such problems as gender disparities and racial prejudice are attended to with low degrees of seriousness, or ignored altogether.
This is usually accompanied with reluctance in adoption of the international code on human rights which seek to ensure that such groups are given their due attention. The society therefore does not ensure that these people are involved in leadership and other decision making organs, and by so doing create the imbalance that makes them feel unappreciated and irrelevant members of the society. Everyone therefore is not viewed and given an equal chance to be productive.
Bad international relations are also likely to result from active involvement in abusing human rights. Many countries are willing to forge partnerships with other countries that observe the rule of law, and by so doing do not abuse the rights of its people. The international community is more receptive to such countries in such areas as trade, exchange programs and financial aid.
However, for a country that violates human rights, the international community is harsh and disassociates itself from them, as is the case with Zimbabwe and the western countries.
The creation and adoption of rules and regulations that seek to promote human rights is a critical strategic approach in prevention measure for any society for a number of reasons:
To begin with, the society is governed by these rules in all its dimensions – social, cultural, religious and political. This means that it is likely to be more accommodative to such legal requirements that seek to give the people a firm voice while at the same time ensuring that the vulnerable members are catered for. Laws that govern the political aspect for instance would ensure fairness in democratic activities as well as protecting those actively involved in the field from intimidation by aristocrats and incumbents.
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Socially, rules that are tailored to foster fair treatment of all people irrespective of their gender, skin color, social status or physical disabilities are generally viewed as ethical, having borrowed heavily from religious doctrines. They are therefore easily adopted. Such laws are handy when dealing with such issues as recruitment of workers, allocation of public office and the general interaction among people of different status and capacity (such as police and the public) (Köchler, 1981).
When it comes to laws on culture, they should be such that they counter the myriads of negative traditions and practices that the modern society considers oppressive. This includes formulation and adoption of laws that outlaw such practices that demean the lesser members of the society as was the case traditionally. For instance, there should be provisions to demand equal treatment of men and women in society in governance, and provision of other opportunities.
Religion should not be allowed to be the basis of abuse of human rights. These laws should provide for penalties to anyone who goes against them irrespective of who they are, or what positions they hold in society. The justice system should be formulated such that it discourages impunity besides providing fair trial to those that shall seek its intervention with respect to human rights abuse. As a result, levels of human rights abuse would significantly decline (Keller, 1994).
Compliance to international standards on human rights by a country is another strategy that would ensure that the country strives to ensure that its people’s rights are not abused. The international community has set a benchmark that defines the limits that particular organs of the society should confine itself when dealing with the people.
To further support this cause, there are commissions that have been instituted specifically tackle this issue. Countries have been encouraged to set up similar commissions of the same nature so that they are able to identify and deal with their own challenges before involving the international community.
This has encouraged the sensitization of the people on their rights particularly where such knowledge was unavailable or scarce. This is because such institutions ensure that they reach the grass roots, and employ the effectiveness of the media and educational institutions in disseminating relevant information to the public. Moreover, these institutions serve as watch dogs for their respective governments, further ensuring that human rights are not violated (Donnelly, 2003).
This approach provides a justice system for those countries that do not have the capacities to arrest, charge and prosecute offenders. The International Criminal Court situated at The Hague in Holland was set up in 2002 is specifically designed to try people accused of committing crimes against humanity.
The I.C.C as it is commonly known relies on support from member states for the arrest, submission of relevant witnesses and materials to facilitate the trials. This court is considered more effective and fair as it is under the watchful eyes of the international community. Furthermore, the judicial system is considered impartial and more objective when rendering justice.
Donnelly, J. (2003). Universal Human Rights in Theory & Practice. London: Cornell University Press.
Keller, J. (1994). Charting Global Responsibilities: Legal Philosophy and Human Rights. Ohio: University Press of America.
Köchler, H. (1981). The Principles of International Law and Human Rights. Retrieved from http://hanskoechler.com/Filosofia-del-derecho.htm
Köchler, H. (1990). Democracy and Human Rights: Studies in International Relations. Vienna: International Progress Organization.