Ghana: Should All 'Human Rights' Be Observed?

12 December 2022

December 10 every year is celebrated as Human Rights Day across the globe since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on this day in 1948.

Thus, Saturday was the 74th Anniversary of the UDHR.

The UDHR guarantees people's rights and freedoms without distinction of nationality, place of residence, gender, national or ethnic origin, religion, language, or any other status.

The UN values the adherence to the UDHR so much that it launched on Saturday a year-long campaign to showcase its legacy, relevance and activism and climax the campaign on December 10, next year, the UDHR's 75th anniversary.

This year's celebration was overshadowed by World Cup quarterfinal matches as the whole world was more interested in the Mundial than any other global activity.

The day had to be celebrated because even though universal human rights have become inalienable in everyday life in the modern world, some individuals and societies continue to flout some of them.

Therefore, in addition to what takes place in individual countries, it is imperative that the whole world is reminded on the global stage annually to uphold these rights and freedoms which everyone everywhere is entitled to.

One such instance of abuse is violence against women and girls, hence on November 25 annually, the world celebrates the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls.

The two weeks following the day and prior to December 10 is used to organise relevant activities, including media interviews, to hammer home the importance of such elimination.

This is important in a situation where human rights watchers say there is a rise in anti-rights movements, including anti-feminist groups, leading to increase in even attacks against women human rights defenders and activists, which undermines efforts in the elimination.

All acts of human rights abuse are unfortunate, but those on women and girls, including little children, are heinous because they are vulnerable and must be stopped immediately.

But while we say that, we would like the UN to trace why such acts of abuse persist.

We believe in some situations like husbands killing their wives and fathers defiling their daughters, the individuals' character traits and mental state must be of concern to families and the society.

To that end, there must be programmes for families and neighbourhoods or communities to help community members pick up early warning signals to nip human rights abuse disasters in the bud.

We also think some of the rights the UN has made universal undermine the norms of certain societies and so have become impositions that cannot be tolerated.

Why should religious societies like Muslims and Christians accept LGBTQIA2S+ people in their midst?

The UN and the Western world therefore must not use only their lenses and glasses to magnify what human rights are and what are not.

They should allow the philosophy of "If you go to Rome, do as the Romans do" to influence their human rights choices so long as the Romans are maintaining law and order.

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