Are human rights actually being respected?

Children in the streets feeding each other

Human rights are being violated all over the world. In fact, in 2010 Amnesty International reported cases of torture and restrictions on freedom of opinion in almost half of all countries. Imagine that not even the United Nations can interfere. People are being forced to flee their homes, the number of child soldiers is exorbitant, coercion is being used to accuse people of crimes they didn’t commit, feminicides and torture such as slaughter, burying people alive and poisoning are happening as minutes go by. Many of the people responsible for ensuring that human rights are respected, protected and exercised are staying with their arms closed. 

It is true efforts are being made to diminish human rights violations, however, the data shows that we are far from eradicating this problem. Because human rights violations can start with culture, one must think that we, as a privileged sector of society, with a certain level of education don’t fall between this category.

But the truth is, we do.

World leaders do. They are responsible for ensuring and protecting the rights of their citizens, but many are only exercising this responsibility to the point where the international community can believe they are. 

And the question is, where are all the millions suffering from this corrupted system? Where are all the children that walk 3-4 miles to fetch water for their families instead of going to school? Where are all the children dying from malnutrition because there is not enough food?

I can go on with a never-ending list… or we can talk about how “Human rights are being respected and exercised”. Let me tell you something, those children have THE RIGHT to go to school, they have THE RIGHT to safe-drinking water, they have THE RIGHT to protection before the law, they have THE RIGHT to a dignified home, not of having to run away, not of dying of waterborne illnesses, not of being recruited by force to serve as “child soldiers”, not of being accused of sorcery, not of being forced to work on the streets, not of a poor or even non-existent education.  

There may be a Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a never-ending list of treaties, laws and regulations, but what good do they serve if they are not executed or at least not as they should be, if violations are still happening in half of all countries, if we can’t go to the authorities without the fear that they may be connected to the rebel groups ruling from underneath. 

I look forward to one day seeing our human rights being realized.