Human Rights (and Wrongs)

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60 years down the line and every human rights celebration across the globe is a reminder that atrocities committed by man against man have not known any bounds, borders, or abatement. Man has simply grown even less humane. While sundry laws have been enacted to stem the oppression of fellow human beings, human rights violations have just grown more sophisticated, even suave.

Civilians still suffer from cluster munitions and land mines. Tribal communities and indigenous peoples remain unrecognized because there really have been no concrete means to bridge them to mainstream societies. Refugees remain entities who do not enjoy the full benefits of the state, by either their host countries or countries of origin. Discrimination against gender and homosexuality has remained to undermine basic human rights.

Torture remains a viable police and military tactic that has proven to be an imperative functional tool in the production of intelligence. In spite of a global ban on torture, such institutions as the secret CIA prisons in Guantanamo still exist where ‘water-boarding’ is de rigueur especially for its so-called ‘platinum prisoners.’

Tyrants continue to disguise themselves with the cloak of democracy. Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Russia, and China are just some of the countries that erroneously claim to be democracies but are actually tyrannical regimes where everything from silencing the media to controlling social welfare programs are done by a despot and his cohorts. Surely, they are aware that electoral fraud and manipulation of the electoral machinery are human rights violations, too. Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Chad, Philippines, Azerbaijan, and Zimbabwe are only some of those that are guilty of these. Political violence is the more blatant manifestation of human rights violation. Democracy does not have a legal definition. That is why any government can have a free rein in order to earn the democracy label. But the human rights law requires suffrage and the opportunity of citizens to freely participate in the conduct of public affairs. Hence, democracy is a sham in these despotic nations.

In authoritarian states that rule by the power of the gunpowder (and many more creative chemical concoctions), Russia and China are as much violators of human rights as those that rule when they continue to sell ammunition to these regimes. Of course, Russia and China are only two in the roster of armament-selling nations.

Radical Islamists continue to recruit child soldiers because they believe that a person who is more than 10 years old is no longer a child, and can, therefore, be obliged to join a jihad. A religious norm mandates the parents to allow the child to do so. Unfortunately, a jihad can be a violent armed struggle.

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Free trade and globalization have brought about the phenomenon of dirt cheap labor. Pathetic labor conditions in all of the factories that sprang out of trade liberalization are all violations of human rights. The World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, big business, and multinational corporations are all organized institutions that only commit equally organized violations of labor rights.

The biggest human rights violations are those that come in the form of global conspiracies by nations with hegemonic designs. War on Terror and Islamophobia, AIDS, and Climate Change are all alarmist conspiracies meant to dupe and delude the entire humanity with their mind-boggling hoaxes and power of nightmares.

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The United Nations and the World Health Organization conspire with big pharma to make the world believe that AIDS is a pandemic when the HIV virus itself is a hoax. The physical wasting of AIDS victims is due to the harshness of AIDS drugs, the earliest of which, the AZT, is a chemotherapy treatment. The AIDS estimate uses cumulative totals. That is why we are informed of mind-boggling figures.

The War on Terror has neatly managed to propagandize the notion that all Muslims are terrorists, when the US invasion of Iraq has less to do with 9/11 and more because creating a war in the Middle East will assure the US of cordoning off Middle Eastern oil. Saudi Arabia owns 20 percent of all usable discovered oil on the planet and the US is the top oil guzzler in the world. Today, the biggest oil field ever known is currently being constructed in Saudi Arabia. Not to mention that Iraq is also too well known for its oil reserves. It is quite logical that the US has already built permanent military installations in Iraq.

The grand campaign to address climate change on a global scale has managed to make people believe that the planet is heading towards doomsday when the big carbon emitters are just passing the bucket. Not one of these huge CO2 belchers would want to admit guilt, so the next best thing is to let every Tom, Dick, and Juan know that his so-called individual carbon footprint is causing the planet to melt.

Deceit and propaganda are seemingly subtle yet extremely palpable violations of human rights.

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For every Darfur, Rwanda, or DR Congo, there is a child in deepest darkest Third World who has to walk 6 kilometers to school at five o’clock in the morning along a muddy rutted road.

For every desaparecido and family, as well as victim of summary execution and extra-judicial killing, there is an AIDS patient who has to scrounge for $200 dollars per single AIDS drug cocktail.

For every multinational garment corporation that has sweatshops dotted from China to the Pacific, there is a migrant domestic helper who makes the paltry amount of $120 for a month’s work on practically 24/7 labor with no vacation break and lack of food.
For every war crime of genocidal proportions, there is a battered wife who chooses not to leave her abusive husband because she has nowhere to go.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, along with the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols comprise the International Bill of Human Rights that has taken the force of an international law.

All these mandates are really toothless and lame in the light of the sophisticated underhandedness and crafty subtleness that human rights are violated today.

Criminal culpability is a Herculean effort to detect, measure, and determine.

Complicity is a blur.

With these realities, human rights violations are near impossible to deter.

For every victim of human rights violation, there is another one who does not even know he is a victim.

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