"Human Rights are what reason requires and conscience demands." "They are us
and we are them." It recognizes the inherent dignity and fundamental freedom of
all members of a society and is the rudimentary foundation for all the cardinal
freedoms, Justice and peace in the world.
As we dwell on the history of Human Rights we come upon the endeavour of King
John in 1215. The Great Charter of Freedoms or the Magna Carta which was agreed
to by King John granted equality before the law and other important rights. The
medieval monks portrayed him as a pernicious behemoth while the modern
historians considered him to be a dynamic King who strived to increase his power
even during grueling times.
After the Glorious Revolution of 1688 came the Declaration of Rights. A century
later American colonies made the Declaration of Independence. In 1791 the United
States Bill of Rights came into force followed by additional amendments after
the first 10 amendments guaranteeing equal rights for racial minorities and for
women. After the French Revolution, the National Assembly adopted the
declaration of the rights of men.
Then came the European democratic declaration in 1848. The political changes
after World War I and the formation of liberation and decolonisation of many
countries after World War II produced a set of constitution incorporating
fundamental Rights for their people.
India was ahead in a matter of human rights as inscribed in the constitution
with the court system as a vigilant sentinel and implementation Instrument.
Mahatma Gandhi who led the fight for independence battled not only for political
liberation but for the composite freedoms found in the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights are entitlement due to every man, women and infant as they are
human. They include Rights pertaining to the security of an individual including
the Right to not be deprived of life or liberty without due process of law, the
Right not to be tortured or be subjected to inhuman, unmerciful or degrading
treatment or punishment and the right not to be held in slavery or servitude.
Human Rights are inalienable rights violation of which cannot be justified even
by the state. Human Rights also include political and civil rights and among
them, the right to freedom of religious thought and conscious, the right to
freedom of opinion, the freedom to form associations and the right to take part
in the government of one’s country, directly or through fully nominated
There are economic, cultural and social rights that also come under Human
Rights, these include basic survival rights for example Right to food and basic
Human Rights now have a permanent place on the international agenda. The United
Nations has been inserted with enormous responsibilities for tackling global
issues including Human Rights and the importance of NGOs which have now been
Implementation of Human Rights is a subject of great importance in any society
at any period of time. The real task before all the societies of the world and
all the nations is to ensure Human Rights to those large sections of society who
are suffering from untold hardship and misery on account of massive deception
and exploitation and are deprived of basic human dignity.
The status of women in society has an important bearing on their participation
in the lucrative activity, therefore strengthening the laws relating to the
protection of women in the workforce must be given due priority. Stern laws
shall be made and implemented for protection against violence and discrimination
based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
All the nations must take measures to modify cultural and social patterns of
conduct based on the idea of the superiority or inferiority of either of the
sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women. All nations must ensure the
mental health of all individuals and especially of those in the armed forces.
Military Disciplines must be characterised by legitimacy and procedural
guarantees must be secured. Members of the armed forces must receive fair
reimbursement and a retirement pension. Individuals, irrespective of their sex
in the armed forces must be entitled to equal pay for equal work and work of
equal value. Laws relating to the protection of prisoners must be duly adhered
to. There shall be no torture or third-degree punishment against prisoners
without the due process of law.
- Navin Kumar Jaggi
- Sejal Khanna