The concept of Human Rights lays stress on respect for the human-beings, regardless of the considerations of colour, race, sex, religion, etc. These are fundamental rights to which, every man or woman is entitled merely by virtue to having been born as a human being. The preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) states. “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all the members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” Human rights are categorized as civil, political, economic, social and cultural. Sometimes, their particular components are specified as the right to live, right to liberty and security of person and so on but all sets of rights, irrespective of categorization. constitute one indivisible whole. Denial of one specific right impinges upon the fulfilment of other rights.
Most of the violations of human rights take place in the management of law and order, either by police or by armed forces. So, the State may be held responsible for violation of human rights when the State, by its acts of omission and commission, allows human rights to be violated. There may also be situations in which, breach of human rights takes place for reasons that cannot be said to originate due to actions of the State.
The terrorist activities in various parts of the world, which take innocent lives, persecution of undertrial POWs (Prisoners of War), incarceration of national leaders fighting
For Independence (for example, Nelson Mandela in South Africa and Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma), use of child labour at low wages, atrocities inflicated by the police on liberal authors like Taslima Nasreen In Bangladesh are some types of human rights violations.
India is the only Asian nation in which, the Parliament passed the Human Rights Act in 1993 which had only a few amendments since March 1, 1994. The National Human Rights Commission of India is headed by retired Justice J.S. Verma. The head office of the Commission is in New Delhi. The other members of the Commission are the dignitaries who had held the positions of the Judges of High Courts and who are well versed with issues related to human rights.
Thus, it is not the executive of the country but the judiciary, which controls the Human Rights Commission. In addition to a National Commission, there is a provision in the Act for the Constitution of State Human Rights Commissions. These are headed by the Judges of State High Courts or the Supreme Court. Such a person has the status of the secretary of a state. Human rights violation cover, in general, acts of unprovoked violence against a person, persecution, molestation, public insult, etc. Although these seem to overlap the Fundamentals Rights granted under Article (21), yet the Human Rights Act is specific about those acts, which ultimately culminate in the violation of human rights. The Commission has powers to investigate those acts, which have beeri mentioned in the Indian Criminal Procedure Code. The Commission has become popular and a large number of cases are being brought to the human rights courts. These courts try cases of police atrocities and the maltreatment of undertrial prisoners. These courts, supported by the judicial system, have been asked to deliver justice in many a case.
On the global level, human rights violation pivots on the issue of atrocities committed by terrorists. Terrorism is now prominent in a number of countries including Britain, the USA, Canada, India, Spain, Sri Lanka and many developing nations. In India, terrorism with financial and material support from abroad, seeks to decimate her secular, democratic and pluralistic civil order.
At its meeting in Geneva in March 1994 the UN finally recognized that terrorism poses a major threat to human rights the UN Human Rights Commission unequivocally described terrorism as a heinous activity, aimed at destroying human integrity. The historic resolution called upon all the States to take all necessary and effective measures to “prevent, combat and eliminate terrorism.” However, it also stipulated a controversial clause, stating that measures taken against terrorists must conform io international standards Of human rights. This is viewed by molly experts as a weak clause; while, the terrorist outfit employs all available means of warfare, the target State will have to abide by constitutional guarantees. Thus, the militant group will use the alibi human rights to promote her nafarious designs!
However, containing of terrorism by State-sponsored acts of official terrorism would only suppress the problem and may not solve it. Freedom is man’s most prized possession. The Human Rights Declaration was drafted by the Nobel Prize Laureate Rene Cassin in 1968 and is the hallmark of the civilized society, which guarantees freedom from fear to everyone. Pragmatists find such an idealist interpretation slightly irrational and demand logical thinking and pragmatic steps in this regard. Terrorist states, aided by petro7Dollars and lucrative trafficking activities in narcotics, have resources at their disposal. Thus, they can easily harm the targeted State if it has to observe human rights standards. Further, every burst of fire has to be justified in a court of law. When an emergency occurs, fundamental rights of the common citizens are suspended. Why cannot it be done in the case of regions dominated by terrorists? All these questions make the UNHRC controversial and debatable.
While a democratic government system is vital for the protection of human rights, the fact remains that human rights are essentially the rights of the people, both as individuals and as groups. Hence, persistent ‘vigilance of people themselves, to safeguard their right has to be developed as the guiding tenet. In this connection, the roles of media and free Press are also important.