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The human rights controversy continues to hold a significant limelight. These rights are inherent and applicable to everyone and at all times. They are democratic, and for everyone, it is the same. It also place a duty on citizens to uphold other people’s civil rights. These rights can only be taken away in exceptional cases such as war or the enforcement of a judicial sentence without due process. More than 500 international organisations with distinct reach in the world have been established to solve the problems of multinational existence. Similarly, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are operating every minute of the day in every corner of the world to record the abuses foisted on women, children and the marginalised, trapped beneath the lowest rung of our society. They remind governments, by their constructive campaigns to keep their commitments in order to offer real sense to the priorities set by different world wide human rights treaties. It is said to be an international organisations when the portions of the entity are regulated by international law and if the operations are regulated by certain domestic laws, then it is a non governmental organisation.
The theory of state supremacy and domestic authority existed prior to the creation of League of Nations with nearly issues that would currently be knows as human rights issues were at that time uniformly treated as within the internal sphere of state laws. In the 20th century, the League of Nations by its commitment to safeguard the interests of minorities and the creation of International Labor Organisation to supervise treaties protecting workers right including their health and welfare. Although this multinational peace and security organisation never accomplished its objectives, it was a significant boost to the advancement of international human rights. The concept of human rights evolved stronger post World War II. The traumatic events of the war resulted in the establishment of the United Nations. Policymakers dedicatee themselves to the establishment of the United Nations with the productive trials conducted in Nuremberg and Tokyo after World War II and officials from the countries were prosecuted for war and humanity crimes and crimes which are typically laid down in Rome Statue. Citizens were assured that liberty, independence, nutrition, housing and citizenship would never be unfairly deprived to anyone again. By daring to claim that all human beings are equal under the law, regardless of race, ethnicity or belief, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted on 10th December, 1948 by United Nations which made all of us realise the list of 30 rights and freedoms set out in UDHR that the world should enjoy. It was for the first time when a world negotiation put individuals at the centre of the agenda and not global politics. After the advancement of universal respect and scrutiny of human rights by UDHR, the human rights movement has become a global initiative in every country with NGOs and people’s group participating whether publicly or underground. Thus there are state, domestic and global coalitions and networks of such organisations that provide knowledge, resources and solidarity to those on the frontline’s. The United Nations Charter promotes through various articles the respect of human rights irrespective of their race, ethnicity or belief. Article 55 and 56 ensures mutual trust and observance of human rights and also undertake to take collective and independent action with a view to attaining the aims set out in Article 55. A number of conventions, declarations, treaties has been developed with a range of consulting services and processes for compliance and regulations. The methodology adopted in this paper is to examine and identify the regulations of human rights in a global, regional and national framework as well as to illustrate the roles played by international organisations and non governmental organisations in the advancement, improvement and enforcement of human rights.
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Human Rights are rights pertaining to life, freedom and dignity of persons or expressed in international agreements and legally binding by the Indian judiciary. Non governmental define the spectrum, of organisations that comprise civil society and these vary from minor movements to particular ecological issues or specific abuses of human rights like cultural organisations, charitable institutions, humanitarian relief projects, etc. The Economic and Social Council under United Nations make necessary arrangements and coordinates with NGOs dealing with issues under its jurisdiction. For the betterment and advancement of human rights in developed countries, NGOs have played a crucial role whose actions are spared in assorted areas for the welfare of human beings. The two prominent London based NGOs were Anti Slavery Society and the Aborigines Protection Society who were recognised by bringing slavery inscribed into the world discourse. Similarly, the International Committee of the Red Cross and eventually the Red Cross movement influenced the security of the injured on the battle field which then contributed to the emergence of the whole body of humanitarian law. Because of the impact and pressure by NGOs, a great deal of issues have been put on the international civil rights agenda. By launching a global revolution for the “Abolition of Torture” Amnesty International placed the issue of brutality and torture on the global stage. Amnesty International persisted to highlight the issue by releasing a nation wide study on torture by organising conferences and spreading a resolution which obtained more than one million supporters and it was not over until it was accepted as a Convention against torture, inhuman or degrading treatment in 1984. Other notable issues proposed by Amnesty International at the Vienna Conference was the problem of the commercial sexual exploitation of children by ECPPAT. Human Rights Watch is also an independent human rights group that monitors human rights violations and reports on them. The group partners with and advocate toward states, corporation militant forces pressuring them to modify their policies and rules. They opposes government and private support financially in order to remain a separate organisation. In recent years, NGOs have made important advances in the field of international global development. Niall Mac Dermot identified four of the the ICJ’s main initiatives in this field: the European agreement on Abuse, the revision of the Japanese law on Mental health, African Charter and the first global agreement on freedom. NGOs has played a crucial role in establishing the Declaration on the Right and Duty of People and securing internationally accepted human and fundamental rights which took years to achieve. Similarly, at national level several NGOs have stepped forward with capacity building programmes or gap filled measures. One such movement was Sulabh movement which was a revolution for the betterment and education of the Dalits in a generic context. Further, Ramakrishna Mission Home of Service was formed in 1900 was established to managed an education campaign on crucial health issues in suburbs and similar areas. Peoples Union for Democratic Rights holds inquiries, releases announcements, organises public hearings, marches and battles court proceedings to expose and help to remedy the infringement of people’s right. They also covers topics of general interest that concerns people’s rights including land dwellers, agrarian dispute, rapes and cruelty, police detention killings and the different facets of the terrorist acts. CRY is also one of the many organisations which aims to preserve the rights of the children in India. They uplifted thousands of children who are deprived of their basic fundamental rights and urges people to collaborate rather than merely contribute. The list of such organisations is by no means comprehensive. In behalf of the survivors and population at large, they sent lawsuits, written complaints and PIL for the defence of human rights. The final role of NGOs in the advocacy and defence of human rights is not often addresses, but is crucial is the democratic system accessible to other aspects of civil society. They work for freedom of expression, speech, liberty and association. It is for this cause that it is necessary to protect the defenders of human rights.
Like NGOs, there are many International Organisations which have emerged with fixed objectives and goals for the protection of human rights. The mechanisms for the formation of such institutions are international treaties. Within the context of international law, these principles are understood and applied. The United Nations, through its charter is committed to maintain international peace and stability by establishing strong relations between nations and achieving economic integration. The charter through its various articles as mentioned above establishes a complete and effective international human rights system and also acts as a leader to create new norms for human rights. The human rights protection set out in the UN charter are the pillars on which the UN system is based. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights with no opposition votes is undeniably the criterion for the actions taken by UN which marked the start of a global process for the establishment and implementation of a framework to achieve all the civil rights and liberties for general well being in a democratic society. Further, The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights were adopted on 16th December, 1966. The ICCPR specifies the concept of independent living beings enjoying their rights with no threat can only be attained in compliance with the UDHR and if provisions are established for every citizen to enjoy their civil and political as well as their economic, social and cultural rights. A number of conventions, treaties, covenants have developed for guidance and processes for compliance and regulations. There are plethora of conventions with enforces specific rights, some of them are: The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, The Convention on the Rights of the Child, The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and many more. Similarly, there are many regional structures for human rights which are more accessible for the defence of human rights. They offer some greater benefits with respect to the global structures since diplomatic consensus an be easier to achieve in designing tools. There are many humanitarian bodies specifically in regions like Europe, Africa, Asia, America namely European Union, The OSCE, African Union, ECJ, The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of child and many more. These regional structures reinforce the current human rights system specially designed all forms of discrimination against women, children, migrant, disabled and to protect them and their families. These international and regional organisations while implementing rights have also faced major isuess like funding has been one of the biggest obstacle act as a constraint and makes it impossible foe these structures to achieve the goals. In addition, the approval by nation states to conventions and treaties also remains a threat to the preservation of humans rights. The problem of injustice, abundance of foreign bodies and social and religious inequality has continues to raise barriers to the world wide security.
International Organisations and Non Governmental Organisations are paramount and horrifying events of World Wars ignited the need for all the nation states to work together and safeguard human dignity. Every individual is eligible to certain fundamental rights guaranteed by the UN and its agencies that are open to them without prejudice of any form. In India, these rights are governed by judiciary, commissions specially for human rights and NGO’s who play an essential role in preservation and enforcement of human rights. However, these NGOs needs to extend their initiatives and raise their human rights visibility even more and be more creative and determine how short time priorities fit into long term targets. International organisations for the enforcement of human rights should be precise and in cases of violation compensation must be made. The International Criminal Court investigates and charges offenders but it is confined to the most extreme crimes of interest to the world community as laid down in Rome Statute. It is also proposed that these multinational institutions should be collaborative and work with global NGOs to improve and broaden the reach of Human rights protection. For NGOs, it is equally vital to remain separate from the official process o documentation and tracking.
Author: SHIVANI RATHI
Editor: Kanishka Vaish, Senior Editor, LexLife India.