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Complexities to the realisation of human rights

Published on 30.11.2022 at 13:45

Human rights are rights we are all entitled simply because we exist as human beings, a principle of universality which is the cornerstone of the international human rights law. Whereas the principle of inalienability ensures that human rights should not be taken away, except in specific situations as provided by the law, the principle of indivisible and interdependent means that one set of rights cannot be enjoyed fully without the other. These principles are bound up all together by the principle of equal and non-discriminatory, that no one should be discriminated against on the basis of race, religion, sex, gender, etc.


All States have ratified at least 1 of the 9 core human rights treaties. Thus, this means that each State has obligations and duties under international law to respect, protect, and fulfil human rights. The obligation to respect means that States must refrain from interfering with or curtailing the enjoyment of human rights. The obligation to protect requires the States to protect individuals and groups against human rights abuses. The obligation to fulfil means that States must take positive action to facilitate the realisation of basic human rights. But as individuals, while we are entitled to all human rights, we should also respect and stand up for the rights of others. Sounds straightforward right!


The problem is, to practically uphold, claim, exercise, enjoy human rights, it is not enough to simply stop by studying these declarations without considering the context in which they are being applied. These declarations are important in creating a form of international consensus towards the protection, respect, realisation, and fulfilment of human rights. Indeed, when they come out, they appear to be neutral as if they would be applied in a world that does not have significant diversities and dissimilarities within it. The fact is that, when human rights are practically put into action in the premises of an ideal participatory democracy, significant controversies and complex challenges emerge.

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