Do I Need to Worry About Human Rights?
In your everyday life it is unlikely that you will need to worry too much about the human rights issue as a whole. However, these are issues that concern everyone as part of the human family. It is not enough to bark at the television or have stirring debates around the breakfast table. If something annoys you, or makes you think then you have the right to share it.
How Will it Ever Affect Me?Don’t let yourself think that because this country is, luckily, not under the rule of a dictator or suffering needless famine and disease, that there are no human rights breaches. Companies, large and small, can exploit their workforce; Local Authorities can be guilty of discrimination; individuals can breach each other’s human rights as easily as a dictatorial government.
Also, these rights are not just for the protection of the law-abiding; Prisonors, Detainees, Defendants and Suspects also have protection under The Human Rights Act. They are equally entitled to humane treatment and the provision of their basic needs. Some people may think this is abhorrent, after all these people have broken our laws and should be punished; punishment is perfectly acceptable; to be treated as sub-human is against everything the Act stands for and against the most sacred moral codes of our society. But that is the subject of another article.
What I am trying to say here is not that we should all join forces and picket Downing Street, what I am saying is that if we all give a little thought to the basic principles of HUMAN RIGHTS, which can be boiled down to two words: respect and dignity, then we can do our small part to make sure that our leaders don’t forget their purpose - to advocate for our interests.
But That’s Not My Job!No, as an individual with your own responsibilities, worries and obligations, it is not your job, or mine, to change the attitude of the world. But complacency about these issues could lead to complacency in general and suddenly we are a nation of shruggers.
British citizens are in the enviable position of being part of one of the greatest nations on this planet, we have the power to force our leaders to bring about changes in other countries. This country is not just attractive to immigrants because of our generous benefits system; it is because we value personal freedom, our laws protect people from abuse and, because we have freedom of speech, we can advocate to protect them from those who seek to exploit them.
Some would say that immigrants, for instance, don’t have that right - because they are immigrants, to those people I would say that we cannot pick and choose who benefits from our human rights speech, otherwise we run the risk of not being protected ourselves.
We are all part of the same society and we need to ensure that the rules and rights we benefit from are made available to everyone, irrespective of their legal status, background, criminal record or bank balance.
So What Can I Do About it?Let me be clear. I am not advocating that you should immediately embark on picketing your MP or take any form of action, but you do have freedom of speech – so, if you want to, use it. There are many voluntary organisations and public bodies that are specifically designed to help you get your message across.
You should always bear in mind that those same laws that are sensationalised in the media are there to protect you and it is up to the ordinary person to ensure that they are never abused.