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Op-Ed

International Human Rights Day

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By EMN Updated: Dec 09, 2013 11:11 pm
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Ranjan K Baruah

[dropcap]H[/dropcap]uman rights are integral for each and every human being. Over the years we have seen how human rights have been violated in many parts of the world. There may not be a single country which has not witnessed human rights violation. Violation of rights are not same everywhere and it varies from country to country or from region to region. Article 1 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that ‘all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.’ There are 30 articles in the declaration.To address the importance of human rights 10 December is observed as human rights day. This year the theme of the day is ‘20 Years Working for Your Rights’. “As we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, let us intensify our efforts to fulfill our collective responsibility to promote and protect the rights and dignity of all people everywhere,” says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on this occasion.
The UN General Assembly proclaimed 10 December as Human Rights Day in 1950, to bring to the attention ‘of the peoples of the world’ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. In 2013, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights marks 20 years since its establishment.
The United Nations General Assembly created the mandate of High Commissioner for the promotion and protection of all human rights in December 1993. The General Assembly was acting on a recommendation from delegates to the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna earlier the same year. The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted by the World Conference, marked the beginning of a renewed effort in the protection and promotion of human rights and is regarded as one of the most significant human rights documents of the past quarter century.
On 25 June 1993, representatives of 171 States adopted by consensus the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Conference on Human Rights thus successfully closing the two-week World Conference and presenting to the international community a common plan for the strengthening of human rights work around the world. The conference was marked by an unprecedented degree of participation by government delegates and the international human rights community. Some 7,000 participants, including academics, treaty bodies, national institutions and representatives of more than 800 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) — two thirds of them at the grass-roots level — gathered in Vienna to review and profit from their shared experiences.
As we continue to strive towards a world that acknowledges the rights of all human beings, the Vienna Declaration and Plan of Action, adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993, still sets the agenda for much of our work. The Declaration, which led to historic advances in the promotion and protection of human rights, is the most significant overarching human rights document produced in the past 40 years, says Navi Pillay, UN Human Rights Chief.
In spite of having rights, there are violations. It is important for us to decide whether we want to become a voice or victim .If we see human rights violation and sit quietly then next might be ours, so it is necessary to stand up and take action. Presence of Armed Forces (Special Power) Act in some part of the country is itself a violation of human rights. Act like this must be repealed for strengthening human rights in the North Eastern region. Together we can fight for human rights because if we do not become voice then we might be victim one day.
(With direct inputs from
UN OHCHR’s website)

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By EMN Updated: Dec 09, 2013 11:11:57 pm