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Human rights: from the Declaration to implementation

  • Human rights from the Declaration to implementation

This week is marked by human rights issues.

On the Human Rights Day, December 10, the Nobel Peace Prize was traditionally awarded to its laureates, and in Morocco, on that day the World Pact of the United Nations was adopted by the world leaders for safe, well-arranged and regulated migration. In general, the document was supported by 164 countries of the world, but some countries refused to do so.

It is worth noting that 192 countries participated in the 18-month negotiations. After their completion, Austria, Latvia, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Italy, and Slovakia announced their decision not to sign the document. In addition to these EU countries, the UN pact also refused to sign Australia and Israel.

We recall that the UN Migration Pact establishes 23 goals, in particular, saving the lives of migrants, ensuring affordable ways of regulated migration, fighting smugglers, helping to integrate and eliminating discrimination. The pact should later be adopted by the UN General Assembly.

We recall that December 10 marks exactly 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1948, it was proclaimed a resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations. The provisions of the Declaration of Human Rights underlie international and national legislation. It consists of 30 articles.

Because of the aggressive policy of Russia, the rights of Ukrainians in the Donbas and in the Crimea "are in fact negated". This, in particular, is stated in the appeal of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in connection with the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly.

On the occasion of the anniversary of the fundamental international document, Front News International conducted a telephone blitz survey with politicians, human rights defenders, and experts on the importance of adopting this document for the current and future generation of people.

Olena Galkina, historian, political scientist:

- 70 years ago, the UN adopted the greatest document of our time - the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It took more than two hundred years to move the values of the Enlightenment from philosophical treatises into a document of the world organization.

Yes, it was taken under the impression of the monstrous loss and destruction of the two world wars.

The generation of leaders who have felt the consequences of themselves is already leaving, and it’s not a fact that now most of the UN countries would support such a Declaration.

I do not think that countries that had previously been part of the USSR, except for Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, which became part of the EU and committed to this structure based on the values of the Enlightenment, would vote for it. Saudi Arabia would have abstained just as it had done in 1948, but now other countries of the Near and Middle East have been added to it, which then voted in favor.

Obviously, modern PRC does not fit into these values. Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, probably, would not have pressed the button "for".

Yes, over these 70 years, the declaration has remained a declaration, without becoming binding for the whole world.

But it does not at all follow from this that moral universalism is now lost. Rather, the West is now experiencing a crisis of its real gain. People who have not seen world wars must, through this crisis, come to realize why these natural rights and freedoms are needed. That universal values are not only the basis of sustainable progress, but generally the only possible guarantee of human survival.

I do not know in what specific way this goal can be achieved, but there is no other choice.

Relativism and real politic will only lead the world to self-destruction.

Yuri Shelyazhenko, philosopher, human rights activist, social activist:

- First, the rights are not given, the rights are taken. And secondly, every person has the rights from birth. And this wonderful phrase is written in the preamble of the text of the Declaration of Human Rights.

There is another remarkable idea that is fixed: human rights must be guaranteed by the force of law so that one is not forced to resort to rebel against tyranny. It is sometimes said that in this way the right to a rebellion is recorded in this document.

In fact, civil society knows many examples when non-violent resistance to oppression can be committed. Suffice it to recall the figure of Mahatma Gandhi. His philosophy of non-violence has influenced the movements of supporters of peaceful change throughout the world. When economic pressure was exerted on the colonialists of India, who introduced an excessively large tax on salt, people simply united in a campaign for salt and began to mass produce it in an artisanal way, defiantly evaporating from seawater. At the same time, as a sign of violation of the colonial salt monopoly, the Salt March participants did not pay salt tax.

I am personally convinced, and always support those civic activists who profess a non-violent way of resistance and struggle for their rights, because any violent conflict will always lead to a much greater violation of human rights than was before people resorted to violence.

Therefore, when there is a need to resist oppression and tyranny, it is necessary to find a non-violent way to overcome the limitations and injustices.

Noting the importance of the document adopted 70 years ago, it should be noted that its optimal format, since the Declaration, unlike some kind of international treaty, cannot be revoked and you will not change the provisions fixed in it a hundred times.

And so we must pay tribute to the leaders of the world community, who dared to accept it at a time when everyone remembered the horrors of the just-ended world war, realizing the value of life and human rights of every person, and this Declaration will always remind everyone that they are born equal and are endowed with inalienable rights, and each person with dignity can, as a human rights activist, defend one's rights and the rights of other people.

Olesya Yakhno, a political scientist:

- Despite the fact that there are countries and regions where the state and society cannot guarantee even elementary rights, including the need for food, it should be noted that there are many countries where human rights, including political guarantees for self-realization, individual freedom, if they are not violating the rights of other people and social groups, are highly valued.

That is, there is a situation when the ideals declared 70 years ago are unevenly distributed in different countries and political regimes.

But paradoxes also occur in technologically highly developed countries. The same technical progress, robotization leads to an overall decrease in jobs.

The recent assassination of an Arab journalist, Khashoggi, has shown that the world community must show solidarity in defending both the basic human right to life and the political right to freedom of speech.

At the same time, when at the national level some decision is made, say in the field of ecology, there can always be a group of people who will consider themselves vulnerable to the proposed changes. Therefore, it is important to find a mechanism for the implementation of the balance of interests. And in this respect, both strong political parties, powerful trade unions, and a developed infrastructure of public organizations are important.

And with all that in the world individual human rights for seven decades have learned to protect (especially in those countries that are called civilized) there is now a general failure in the international security system, which calls into question not only the implementation of thirty points of the Declaration of Human Rights, but and the future of humanity as such. That is, the world does not stand still, it is rapidly changing and there is a mass of new threats.

Another paradox of time. With all that freedom of expression and expression is one of the fundamental human rights, we know how in the conditions of modern hybrid information warfare, various mechanisms are used (including trolls factories or groups of hackers) that distort the informational picture of the day and disorient society. Therefore, all of humanity, as well as national governments, need to improve the mechanisms for protecting their citizens, including by imposing appropriate restrictions in the information sphere.

Anatoliy Hrytsenko, MP of Ukraine, leader of the Civic Position Party, candidate for the post of President of Ukraine:

- They ask me: how can we link the right of a person to protest with the forms that accompany him? Here, first of all, the recent street protests in France are meant, where overly populist demands are put forward as slogans, and the form of manifestation of discontent sometimes went beyond the civilized framework.

Let us still wish wisdom and success to the people and the leadership of France, because now in the country is an extremely crucial moment. At the same time, it is not difficult to see that behind many slogans and the very language in which they are voiced, the interests of those forces that are interested in the general destabilization of the situation in Europe can be seen. I think the French will find a solution to their current problems. The only thing I would like to draw attention to is how adequately (amidst current and recent car arsons, attacks on urban infrastructure in France), Ukrainians behaved at one time during our two Maidans, demonstrating civilized forms of protest and resistance of the authorities in defending their values.

Let's not forget that the Ukrainians were committed to European values for a long time, let us recall at least letters from Princess Anne (who became Queen of France) to her father, Yaroslav the Wise, or the tradition of self-government of communities, the same Magdeburg law that was common in Ukraine in many cities, including small ones. These European values are inherent in us. They just suppressed us somewhere, distorted the truth somewhere, but they were always present institutionally in the genetics of our people.

On the other hand, as Professor Yuval Harari rightly remarked in his study “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,” at all critical stages of human history in each of us there is a beast and a man. There are those features that sometimes appear in the facts of looting, cruelty, confrontation, and there are those that give hope and perspective. I want us to lean on what is best in us, in all of us. And those who go to power, and those who give a ticket and trust to those who go there. We want to revive (that which has already been devalued in a certain way) such concepts as honour, honesty, decency, responsibility, ability to keep a word given to others. When we begin to rely on such basic values, then we will have everything in order and at the elections, and most importantly - after them.

Alexander Voronin, FNI


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