Different ways the rights of individuals (citizenship, social and political) within countries have been hurt either through direct state policy, control by the elite or groups of individuals against the expansion of rights
Throughout the semester, you have seen Different ways the rights of individuals (citizenship, social and political) within countries have been hurt either through direct state policy, control by the elite or groups of individuals against the expansion of rights to other groups.
You will apply this knowledge to write an editorial article (intended for the general public who read newspapers) in which you explore why a country of your choice has seen its level of democracy (or how much rights citizens have) decline in recent years.
GENERAL SOURCES: To help you choose a country, you can use Freedom House’s freedom in the world score and its reports:
To have some general background about the country, you can explore the above Freedomhouse website, but also use the CIA fact book:
For the academic source, use jstor, Academic Search Complete, Google Scholar, One Search or a database you feel comfortable with to do a search. Use the name of the country with keywords such as democracy, citizenship rights, authoritarianism etc…You only need one well-written academic source.
You are also expected to use at least 2 sources from our course. Even if they are not directly about your country they will help give a general framework.
STRUCTURE AND CONTENT OF THE EDITORIAL
1) Summarize the information that you found about the country to a general public by, for instance, touching on issues of whose rights are being violated, why has democracy been hurt in recent years etc… (About one page)
2) Explain to the reader (1) how some of the perspectives we have seen and the additional source you will have found can help explain the changes in rights (about two pages) (2) how the new source you found further highlights the usefulness of this framework.
3) Offer a solution, based on your analysis, of how this can be improved. Are there political elites who should be pressured by the international community? Are there groups who should be protected? Can there be social changes brought so that the country is more equal?
Tips for each section:
1) For section 1. Remember, you do not want to bore the reader with too much information, but you also want to share some information with someone who does not have access to the same information. Instead of saying COUNTRY A’s freedom house score decreased, try to give two figures that show that it is low or has decreased. You can further give a vivid example of how someone or a group has been impacted by the change.
2) For section 2, make sure that you give enough background to understand the perspectives we have seen without getting into too much detail. For instance you can say something like Quadagno (a sociologist) has demonstrated that state policy hurts policy rights or something like Mann has shown that struggle over economic resources has led to violence between groups etc…to then link to a description of what is going on today.
3) For section 3. Think about what kinds of solutions would be easy to implement. It could be programs to help minorities, ways to provide incentives to the political elite to change their way etc…
Familiarize yourselves with the tone of a newspaper editorial written by experts. For instance, you can create a free NYtimes account through the library website or consult other news outlets like https://theconversation.com/us. Do not forget that you are writing for an audience that might need information to understand what you are talking about, give enough information (do not assume you are writing for me who already knows the topic).
Use the ASA citation guide to reference sources and the information you provide. Your argument should be clear, make sure that you have enough time at the end of the semester to edit your work, to ask a friend to reread it or to go to the writing center.
Who protects human rights?
Who defends our human rights? can be answered succinctly as “all of us.” We all have a part to play in understanding, respecting, and defending human rights, whether it is on behalf of the UN, our governments, public authorities, institutions, businesses, or each of us individually.
Each of us must start valuing the rights of others. Everyone wants to be able to choose their own words and acts, but when those actions or words start to hurt other people, that freedom is obviously limited.
But determining what is good and wrong or how to uphold the promise of human rights is not simply up to individuals; our governments play a crucial role in upholding and implementing these rights.Governments must aggressively ensure that people’s rights are respected and realized while also never violating our human rights.
For instance, it’s one thing for the right to education to be spelled out in a statement or charter of rights, but this right won’t be realized unless our governments provide the policy frameworks that guarantee schools are operational and open to all students. Similarly, without a system in place that enables us to vote in safety and freedom, our right to have a say in who runs our country loses any significance.
Therefore, while it is evident that we all have a responsibility to uphold and not violate human rights as individuals, groups, or organizations, our governments also have a responsibility to ensure that these rights are both protected and realized.
Then, at the UN, our national governments meet to discuss and establish numerous human rights guidelines. For instance, the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) lays the groundwork for all of our human rights and serves as the basis for all subsequent international human rights laws and treaties. In conclusion, various facets of our society share responsibilities for safeguarding human rights. These consist of:
States have the primary responsibility for promoting, protecting, upholding, and implementing human rights, as in governments represented by ministers, ambassadors, etc. Anyone who is on their territory or who might fall under their authority, control, or influence is subject to this obligation. The laws that our governments pass have a significant impact on whether or not human rights are realized (or denied or violated), and the court systems are designed to give people a way to seek justice and redress for violations.
The UN has various functions and forums that help us maintain the agreed global standards for human rights, identify violations and pursue remedy and encourage improvement.
Additionally, channels for people and communities to demand accountability are provided by regional organizations like the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Human rights are significantly impacted by business, both positively and negatively. Strong and enforced laws and regulations are necessary, but businesses also have a responsibility to uphold rights. They can actively follow human rights principles and make sure they have reliable processes in place to ensure access to redress in cases of disputes or violations. Other non-state actors include organized militias, associations, clubs, or other groups of people who could have an impact on people’s human rights, either favorably or unfavorably.
Human rights advocacy is a right that each of us has, and it can take many different forms. The human rights movement is a large group of people and organizations that want to see a commitment to freedom, respect, equality, and dignity protected in our laws and reflected in the very systems and structures that our societies depend on. People who take the time to promote or protect human rights, whether it’s part of their job or on their own time, are considered to be members of this movement.
This summary should help you understand who is in charge of defending human rights and that it is primarily up to governments to uphold, respect, and safeguard them. You can learn more about who defends our human rights by clicking on the relevant links above.
Human rights must occasionally be weighed against one another. People have the right to free speech, for instance, but they also have the right to safety and to be treated fairly, according to the Declaration of Human Rights.
This means that speech intended to stir up hatred, violence, or other negative emotions is not protected by our First Amendment right to free speech.Other rights, however, are “absolute.” For instance, torture is totally outlawed in all forms and is never acceptable under any circumstances. There is never a justification for it.
Governments need to find ways to ensure everyone’s rights are properly respected and protected. And citizens have the right to make sure this happens.
The important thing is to make sure that the freedom, respect, equality, and dignity of citizens are always taken into account and prioritized in laws, policy, and practice. Governments may approach this in slightly different ways or strike slightly different balances.
Who protects human rights? The short answer to ‘who protects our human rights?’ is: ‘All of us.’ Whether it’s the UN, our governments, public authorities, institutions, businesses, or each of us as individuals – we all have a role to play in understanding, respecting and defending human rights.
Baum, Tom, and Nguyen Thi Thanh Hai. “Hospitality, tourism, human rights and the impact of COVID-19.” International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management 32.7 (2020): 2397-2407.
Merchant, R. M., & Lurie, N. (2020). Social media and emergency preparedness in response to novel coronavirus. Jama, 323(20), 2011-2012.
Dubey, S., Biswas, P., Ghosh, R., Chatterjee, S., Dubey, M. J., Chatterjee, S., … & Lavie, C. J. (2020). Psychosocial impact of COVID-19. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: clinical research & reviews, 14(5), 779-788.
Related Artcle: What is the Hierarchy of Types of Human Rights Goods? – provide examples