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Essay on “World Human Rights Day –  December 10” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

World Human Rights Day –  December 10

 

Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on 10 December. The date was chosen to honour the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the first global enunciation of human rights. The commemoration was established in 1950, when the General Assembly invited all states and interested organizations to celebrate the day as they saw fit. Many governmental and nongovernmental organizations active in the human rights schedule special events to commemorate the day.

Human rights may be said to be those fundamental rights to which every man or woman inhabiting in any part of the world should be deemed entitled merely by virtue of having been born a human being.

Universal Declaration

Since human rights cover people all over the world irrespective of their social, cultural, racial, ethnic, religious and communal differences, it is natural that they have become a matter of international and multinational concern in the present century.

The charter of the United Nations framed in 1945 underscored the principle of individual human rights. The merit of the charter is that it affirms faith in fundamental human rights, in the worth and dignity of the human person, in equality of persons of all nations and its resolve to promote social progress and better standard of life.

On 16 February, 1946, the Security Council of the United Nations set up a Commission on Human Rights under the chairmanship of Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt to prepare the text of the Declaration. The Commission did its job and the General Assembly adopted it on 10 December, 1948. Known as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it contains a long list of civil or social, political, economic and cultural rights as equality before law, protection against arbitrary arrest and detention, right to a fair trial, freedom of thought and expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, freedom of conscience and religion, right to own property, prohibition of slavery and inhuman treatment, right to public hearing, right to own nationality, right to marry and keep family, right to vote, right to social security, right to free education and free participation in cultural life, right to rest and leisure, and above all, prohibition of any activity, against this Declaration.

Three More Declarations

On 16 December, 1966 the General Assembly of the UN adopted three more declarations in the form of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant On Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and International Covenant on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination. It was a. positive step in the direction of giving protection to the case of human rights. The covenant on economic, social and cultural rights imposed on the member-states the duty to submit reports on their progress in the protection of human rights. Human Rights in India Fundamental human rights in the sense of civil liberties with their modern attributes and overtones are, however, a development more or less parallel to the growth of constitutional government and parliamentary ‘institutions from the time of British rule in India. Right from its inception in 1885, the Indian National Congress  struggled for the rights of the Indian people. The early moderate leaders appreciated British sense of justice and fair play, they also criticized the alien rule for depriving the Indian people the rule of law that prevailed in England.

In 1897, Surendranath Banerjee denounced the British rule on the ground that while it prided itself on the Magna Carta and the Habeas Corpus, it denied to the Indian people the inestimable right to personal liberty. At the call of Mahatma Gandhi, the people of the country went on strike against the Rowlett Act of 1919 that became the cause of the tragedy of the Jallianwala Bagh of Amritsar on 13 April 1919. All great leaders like Motilal Nehru, Lala Lajpat Rai, Madan Mohan Malaviya, Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhash Chandra Bose, C.R. Das etc. strongly argued for the rights of the Indian people and condemned the British rule for depriving the people of the rule of law in our country:’

The list of fundamental rights to be incorporated into the Constitution of India found its conspicuous place in the Nehru Report of 1928. It included (a) personal liberty, (b) freedom of conscience and profession and practice of religion subject to public order or morality, (c) equality before law, (d) right of every citizen to Habeas Corpus, (e) no discrimination in matters of public employment, (f) equality of rights in matters of sex etc. The declaration of complete independence adopted by the Congress at its Lahore session in 1929 said: “It is the inalienable right of the Indian people, as of any other people, to have freedom and to enjoy the fruits of their toil and have the necessities of life so that they may have full opportunities of growth.

The adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the U.N. General Assembly in December 1948 had its definite impact on the making of the Indian Constitution. The makers incorporated a host of such rights in part III of the Constitution relating to equality, freedom, non-exploitation, religion, education and culture, and constitutional remedies.

Moreover, the Constitution has empowered the Supreme Court and High Courts to issue prerogative writs for the Protection and enforcement of these rights termed as Fundamental Rights’. Some rights, which could not be accommodated in Part III, have been put into Part IV of the 

Constitution termed as Directive Principles of State Policy. The point of distinction between the two parts is that while the former is mandatory and justifiable, the latter is not. It is well commented: “The two parts of the Constitution-the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles between them covered almost the entire field of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” (Parliament and Human Rights by S.C. Kashyap)

Gender Based Violence

Among many types of violence, the United Nations General Assembly has emphasized on violence which includes “any act of gender based violence that results in, or is likely to result in-physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threat of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty whether occurring in public or private life”. It can be viewed in the following ways

  • Domestic violence, murder, rape and battering by husbands or other male partners.
  • Genital mutilation, “female circumcision” or even more euphemistical “traditional practices”.
  • Gender based violence by police and security forces including torture of detained women.
  • Gender based violence against women refugees and asylum seekers.
  • Violence in work place including sexual harassment.
  • Violence associated with prostitution and trafficking.

In our country, several forms of gender-based violence are happening which are discussed below:

Foeticides and Infanticides

Girl children are neglected in society even before birth. The developments of modern techniques such as amniocentesis and sex-discrimination tests have facilitated people to know the sex of the fetus. These contributed to the feticides.

Domestic Violence

Violence against women in the family occurs in developed and developing countries alike. It has long been considered a private matter by stranders including neighbours, the community and government, but such private matters have a tendency to become public tragedies. Domestic violence may be seen in the form of mental and physical torture, murder, rape and haltering by husband or other male partners.

Traditional  Practices

In many countries, women fall victim to traditional practices that violate their human rights. The persistence of the problem has much to do with the fact that most of these physically and psychologically harmful customs arc deeply rooted in the tradition and culture of society. It also shows the traditional male dominance in the society. Again, it reveals the violation of human rights of women.

Dowry-related Violence and Early Marriage

Dowry is one of the forms of violence. It is demanded by the groom’s family from bride’s family in the form of property, cash or Jewellery, at the time of marriage settlement. These deaths free the man to remarry for another dowry. For dowry, women are burnt, killed and tortured mentally as well as physically. These events arc increasing day by day all over India. This gender-based violence shows that the problem of human rights is serious in India. Women are specially deprived of their right to existence with dignity.

Rape

Rape can occur anywhere, even in family, where it can take the form of marital rape or incest. It occurs in the community where a woman can fall prey to any abuser.

According to WHO, every 54minutes a woman is raped. In our society, raped women are viewed neglectfully rather than sympathetically. If the victims are unmarried, their marriage remains a big problem.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment in the work place is a growing concern for women. Recently, Supreme Court has defined sexual harassment at work place, as follows:

  • Physical contact and advances.
  • A demand or request for sexual favours.
  • Showing pornography material.
  • Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.

Employers abuse their authority to seek sexual favours from their female co-workers, from subordinates by sometimes promising, promotions or other forms of career advancement or simply creating an untenable and hostile work-environment. Women, who refuse to give in to such unwanted sexual advances, often run the risk of anything from demotion to dismissal.

Prostitution and Trafficking Many women are forced into prostitution either by their parents, husbands or boyfriends or because of the difficult economic and social conditions in which they find themselves. Many women and girl children are trafficked across borders, often with the complexity of border-guards

National !Inman Rights Commission However, the most important development in this regard is the creation of the National Iluman Rights Commission (NI-MC) in 1993. In pursuant of the implementation of one of the promises given in the election manifesto of 1991 and also keeping in view the urgency of the matter in the light of wild allegations and propaganda of Pakistan and America, including some non-governmental agencies as the Amnesty International and the Asia Watch about gross violation of human rights in Punjab, Kashmir, and some other parts of the country, the Government of India thought it expedient to set up such a body in the national interest through an ordinance promulgated by the President on 23 September 1993 which became an Act in the following year. This body has a statutory status.

Function

  1. The functions of the NHRC are as under:
  2. To inquire on a petition presented to it by a victim or any person in this behalf into complaints of violation of human rights or abetment thereof, or negligence in the prevention of such violation by a public servant;
  3. To intervene in any proceedings involving any allegation of violation of human rights pending before a court with the approval of such courts;
  4. To visit, under intimation to the state government, any jailor any other institution under the control of the state government, where persons are detained or lodged for purposes of treatment, reformation or protection to study the living conditions of the inmates and make recommendations thereon;
  5. To review the safeguards provided under the Constitution or any law for the time being in force for the protection of human rights and recommend appropriate remedial measures;
  6. To review the factors, including use of terrorism, that inhabits the enjoyment of human rights and recommend appropriate remedial measures; The Commission has the power to visit or enter a place for the seizure or recovery of some important documents or information as it deems necessary for the purposes of prosecuting an inquiry and it may request the services of the staff of Central or state governments.

No doubt, the establishment of the NHRC is a bold and momentous step taken by Government of India. Nevertheless, a critic may fear that it would not be able to discharge its functions effectively due to some limitations.

First, it cannot look into the complaints of torture and harassment done by the armed forces. Second, it has not been Provided with its own machinery of investigation. For such a task, it Would depend upon the staff of the Central and state governments who may not be prompt and impartial in helping, in a situation where their brethren are involved. Last, in the main, its functions are of a recommendatory nature. It may approach the Central or state government or the Supreme Court and the High Courts without having the power to do something of its own, in according relief to the victims of atrocities.

Indisputable is the fact that India’s stand in respect of the protection of human rights has been quite straightforward. Several non-governmental organizations like Amnesty International and Asia Watch operating at the international level sought to tarnish it for the sake of their vested interests. Ours is an open society with a democratic system. For this reason such atrocities cannot be done in our country by the police, paramilitary and military forces as we find in China and Pakistan. Stray cases of ‘State terrorism’ may not be ruled out. It is a fact that some authorities misused the provisions of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (prevention) Act. However, the draconian law lapsed on 23 May 1995. At the same time, it should not be lost sight of that the excesses were only stray cases. Available facts have contradicted the malicious propaganda that this law was used discriminatory against the Muslims of the country.

Thus, we may safely endorse the view of the Nobel Peace Laureate, H.B. the Dalai Lama: “In India there may be stray outbursts of human rights violations. These tend to occur in comparatively isolated pockets where extremists and terrorists themselves engage in acts that violate human rights. There is genuine freedom in this country and a healthy flourishing democracy, India can truly take pride in this.”

     

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