Street Law will be publishing a series of blogs, reflecting the interests of its team members in their chosen subject. The fifth is on human rights and is written by Sahera Choudhary, Street Law Legal Researcher.
Human rights: To unite us or divide us?
When human rights(1) were introduced, we all hoped for the protection of ‘our rights’ and if not all, most of the violations and crime against humanity would finally come to an end. Whether it is human trafficking or war crimes, every violation possible under ‘our’ human rights has only increased(2). There are a number of factors: political, economic and social.
Illegal immigration is also a crime but why do we always tend to focus on the people and their illegal actions? When will we learn to closely examine their ‘side of the story’ because surely no one wishes to leave their homeland and travel on a boat for several miles with not even a life jacket(3). Today, we may put on a hashtag to feel bad for these people, but this hashtag is only temporary because once we turn our devices off, we become disconnected with the substantial justice and prioritise only the most trivial problems regarding our own lives.
Issues do not end here, our so called luxurious life is all because of the hard work of those suffering under forced labour in the ‘third world countries’(4) and yet no human right has been able to rescue them. However, if we were to respect each other’s human rights, then perhaps there would be no company earning billions, and no one would be more powerful than the other.
Transforming some countries into third world bloodshed and people into mere objects is the dark side of our human rights.
(1) United Nations, Universal declaration of human rights (1948) < https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/index.html> accessed 24 February 2021.
(2) Max Roser, ‘Human rights’ (Our World in Data, 2019) <https://ourworldindata.org/human-rights > accessed on 24 February 2021.
(3) Antonia Paget and Sam Baker, ‘Border Force detained 49 migrants in four separate incidents today following overnight crossing attempts which saw French authorities pick up 126 people, Home Office says’ (Daily Mail, 2021) <https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9285707/More-50-migrants-arrive-Dover-crossing-Channel-overnight.html> accessed on 24 February 2021
(4) Refinery29, ‘The Dark Secret Behind Your Favorite Makeup Products’ (4 May 2019) < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeR-h9C2fgc > accessed 2 February 2021