Human Rights Day

On its website the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights defines: “Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, color, 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… The 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights, noted that it is the duty of States to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems.”

Human rights are inalienable. All human rights are indivisible, whether they are civil and political rights, such as the rights to life, equality before the law and freedom of expression; economic, social and cultural rights, such as the rights to work, social security and education, or collective rights, such as the rights to development and self-determination, are indivisible, interrelated and interdependent. The improvement of one right facilitates advancement of the others. Likewise, the deprivation of one right adversely affects the others.

Kashmir has been witness to some worst forms of human rights abuses in recent past. Violations continue, albeit not on that scale. The violations of human rights are not over yet. The kin of countless disappeared have yet to get solace as authorities have failed to rise to the occasion and provide them with some comfort.

Likewise women, the worst victims of the past two decades of turmoil have too not been provided with reason to smile. The case in point is Kunan-Poshpora where the victims of mass rape wait endlessly for justice.

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” New Delhi is a signatory to most of these conventions, declarations and resolutions on human rights. While each human is born to/with these inherent rights, each also has the obligation to respect and be on guard against its violation. Know what human rights are, the obligations and responsibilities it entails from each of us. Whether you are a soldier or a civilian or a militant.

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