Written by Frank T. Scruggs
In this 2009, the opportunity exists to create a better and more peaceful global community by strengthening the foundation with human rights. Much of the world has embraced hope and change for the better as a new U.S. president, President Barack Obama emerges on the world scene. In many cases, a hope rises that human rights issues will be central to the Obama Administration as well as other leaders and concerned citizens of the community of nations. Political science professor Richard J. Payne, Illinois State University at Normal has identified four types of human rights claims which are as follows:
- Accusations that governments are abusing individuals;
- Demands by ethnic, racial & religious communities for autonomy or independence;
- Claims in what is generally regarded as private life, including rights & obligations within families, and the demands for equality by minority groups with unconventional lifestyles and
- Demands by governments for protection against powerful governments & nonstate actors, as well as the right to economic development
While in many cases the America and the Obama Administration will be expected to speak out against human rights abuses around the world, however America must also attend to cleaning her own house of human rights abuses such as the excessive use of Tasers by police officers. According to Amnesty International:
“Since June of 2001 more than 334 people in the U.S. have died as a result of being struck by police Tasers. Amnesty International is concerned that Tasers wielded by police officers are used as routine force rather as a weapon of last resort. The issue of torture and rendition remains an open issue which still needs to be addressed by the U.S.”
As African people of the world we also must address human rights violations because as Black people of the African Diaspora we are indeed connected to other Africa people around the globe. Perhaps this is one reason why the crises in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Sudan’s Darfur region loom so heavily with in our collective consciousness. As Amnesty International revealed:
“Civilians have become victims of egregious human rights violations, primarily at the hands of the government of Sudan and the Janjawid, an allied militia. Together, they have been responsible for killings, torture, rape, detentions, forced displacement, the burning of homes and villages, and the theft and deliberate destruction of crops and cattle. Rebel groups have also perpetrated killings, rape, looting, abductions, and other human rights abuses. As of today, 300,000 men, women, and children have died:
- 2.6 million have been displaced from their homes and live in camps for refugees or Internally Displaced Person (IDPs) or wherever they can, in a courtyard, under a tree.
- An unknown number of women and girls have been abducted, raped, and abused
- A generation of children has reached school-age not knowing a home
Another crisis of significant important to those of us concerned about human rights and human security is the problems of violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Amnesty International stated that “Political and military tensions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has resulted in major outbreaks of violence in the capital, Kinshasa, and Bas-Congo province. Unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture Political and military tensionsand other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by the security forces and by armed groups were common across the country, in many cases directed at perceived political opponents. Rape by security force members and armed group fighters continued at high levels. While security continued to improve in some provinces, a human rights and humanitarian crisis deepened in the two Kivu provinces in the east of the country.”
Lately, nations pursuing money and wealth have had a tendency become nations that value above all else, materialism, greed and perversion. Old values and beliefs are being replaced by new, soulless, money-oriented, values. While nations should seek to create wealth, nations also have an obligation to provide for the neediest citizens and seek to develop the vast human capital of the population; providing quality, affordable healthcare, housing, work and education is essential to any nations and our entire world community is of vital importance to the development of each nation’s greatest resource, the people.
Perhaps thinking about sharing the wealth of the nation for good projects, acting more humanely and paying more than lip service to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights could launch us into a new era of a global civil society and a healthy world community; hopefully. Share your thoughts with me at http://www.friendsofknowledge.ning.com