FREEDOM TO LIVE
Dec 20 - 26, 2010
Article 1 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights says 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 goodwill.
The common person aspires to lead a life where he can live with freedom of speech and freedom of belief. Contemptuous attitude towards human rights have resulted in barbarous acts, which have outraged the conscience of humankind.
The basic rights and freedom, to which all humans are entitled, hold to include the right to live and liberty, freedom of thought and expression, and equality before the law.
The modern conception of human rights was developed in the aftermath of the World War II, culminating in its adoption by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. Human rights include civil and political rights, minority and group rights, environmental rights, and social rights.
Attributing human rights to God's commands may give them a secure status at the metaphysical level, but in a very diverse world it does not make them practically secure. Many people do not believe in the God of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. If people do not believe in God, or in the sort of god that prescribes rights, then if you want to base human rights on theological beliefs you must persuade these people of a rights-supporting theological view. This is likely to be even harder than persuading them of human rights. Legal enactment at the national and international levels provides a far more secure status for practical purposes.
NGOs have several advantages over state organizations in the human rights system. Much of their work includes information processing and fact-finding, in which NGOs educate people about their human rights, and gather information regarding human rights abuses in violating countries (Claude & Weston 1992, Durham 2004).
In this process, NGOs have the benefit of access to local people and organisations and are often able to get direct and indirect access to critical information about current human rights violations (Durham 2004). Once they gather information, NGOs can design campaigns to educate the international community about these abuses.
Amnesty International has long been concerned about the persistent pattern human rights violations occurring in Pakistan. Arbitrary detention, torture, deaths in custody, forced disappearances, and extrajudicial execution are rampant. The government of Pakistan has failed to protect individuals ñ particularly women, religious minorities, and children ñ from violence and other human rights abuses committed in the home, in the community, and while in legal custody. It has failed to ensure legal redress after violations have occurred. In addition, Pakistan continues to impose the death penalty on persons convicted of crimes.
The situation of human rights in Pakistan is a complex one, as a result of the country's diversity, large population, its status as a developing country and a sovereign, Islamic republic as well as an Islamic democracy with a mixture of both Islamic and colonial secular laws.
The Constitution of Pakistan provides for fundamental rights, which include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press and the right to bear arms. These clauses are generally respected in practice. Clauses also provide for separation of executive and judiciary, an independent judiciary and freedom of movement within the country and abroad.
The founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah wanted Pakistan to be a moderate secular state blended with some Islamic values and principles. No Pakistani government has ever come up with a detailed conclusion on what he exactly meant by this.
Although the government has enacted measures to counter any problems, abuses remain. Furthermore, courts suffer from lack of funds, outside intervention, and deep case backlogs that lead to long trial delays and lengthy pretrial detentions. Many observers inside and outside Pakistan contend that Pakistan's legal code is largely concerned with crime, national security, and domestic tranquility and less with the protection of individual rights.
The importance of human rights is that everyone, supposedly, has a secure and safe life.
Still, there are some grounds for optimism. Human rights are more widely accepted than they have ever been. They have become part of the currency of international relations, and most countries participate in the human rights system. Treaty arrangements help encourage and pressure countries to deal with their human rights problems.