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Protect Human Rights

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World Human Rights Day is celebrated on 10th December very year across the globe, commemorating the day in 1948; the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The theme of World Human Rights Day 2015 is “Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always”, highlighting the importance of protecting the human rights and freedom at all occasions. As in other parts of the world, this day is used as an opportunity to promote awareness of human rights in Sri Lanka among general public, discuss the human rights abuses and also to recognize the efforts of human rights advocates.

 What Are Human Rights?

United Nations defines human rights as “rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status”, implying we all are equally entitled to human rights without discrimination, because as stated in Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

Human rights entail both rights and obligations where as individuals we have rights as humans and we should also respect the human rights of others. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights consist of thirty articles where the right to Life, the right to equality, the right to equal protection under the law, the right not to be subject to torture or other cruel, the right to privacy and  freedom to move are only a few of them.  Since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948, human rights have become codified in international, regional and national legal systems.

Violation Of Human Rights

Despite many decades have passed since the world agreed to give universal recognition for human rights, violations of them are a bitter reality throughout the world. Amnesty International, a leading  international movement for protecting fundamental human rights, describes past year as a “devastating year” in the context of human rights in the global arena. Due to organized terrorist attacks, intensified conflicts and heightened political tension in many parts of the world, thousands of victims suffer violence, torture, intimidation and imprisonment. Apart from these socio-political issues, rights of many people including women and children are violated due to domestic violence, gender inequality and economic disparity.

More Than Words

To protect the rights of everyone, we all should stand up against human rights abuses and take actions to protect human rights in Sri Lanka. Legal frameworks should be strengthened, to ensure that every perpetrator is brought to justice. Empowering women can play a larger role in protecting the human rights of every member of family. The opportunities to seek redress for human rights violations should be increased and the awareness among general public should be raised. Together, we can work for the protection and promotion of human rights for all members of the human family.

Let’s make every day a human rights day!

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