Happy Birthday Ms Human Rights! But will you be around much longer?
The global political negotiation post WWII gave birth to a powerful but reluctant child, its name is HUMAN RIGHTS. The intention was to address the aftermath of the war especially the atrocities that took the lives of many innocent civilians. But to reconcile ideological differences albeit preserving political interest is a mammoth task. The UDHR was a result of heavy duty compromise by the political blocks that some countries, that find the document could not in any way, reflect the ideals or interest of the States, chose to abstain from agreeing to the document. Human Rights was a difficult child to conceive but conceived at the right moment and time : zeitgeist!
But throughout the years, from 1948-2009, it matured into an attractive woman that captured the heart and soul of many suitors. She dazzled many and turn more than half of the world population into firm believers that mankind’ s hope and dreams for a just and better society is legitimate.She urge for free and compulsory education for children, she is firm on the equal rights of men and women to work and vote, she is passionate about justice for vulnerable groups in the society; the indigenous community, refugees, asylum seekers, victims of trafficking or homeless people. She is the voice of the oppressed.
But of course, many had also manipulated her. She was used to justify the actions of warmongers to invade other countries’ s sovereignty. She was offered as the reason to detain persons indefinitely, to verify political and economic sanctions and ironically to liberate the market under the proud banner of freedom. Yes, she was a difficult child to conceive and yes, she is at the moment, a vulnerable woman at the greedy hands of people with political agendas. People who knows that she could help them to achieve power and wealth.
Human Rights, being an attractive woman with the mission to save the world, has inspired many to associate and mobilize. Human Rights movements calling for the end to torture, cruel and inhuman punishments or for the rights of women and children blossomed around the world because people are aspired by the values and ideals that she promoted. There are of course, her other reluctant counterparts such as Religion and Culture, that can be her strong pillars to grow and progress in some places or in many sad instances, tyrants that dictate her soul and mind.
In the late 90s, words spread around over the new creation of institutions that will function under her name. These institutions will continue to promote and protect human rights at the domestic level. There were also attempts to evaluate how she has helped countries tackled their internal conflicts or protect and promote her within their boundaries. People, undeniably, are in love with her but at the same time grew suspicious over her power and fame.
Human Rights made close friends in almost all the regions. A very small group of honest people who see her as the savior of the day, set up regional bodies for her to operate. They come together, amid resistance from her foes and skeptics, to held States accountable and responsible for issues such as poverty and discrimination. But still, the bad and ugly are able to infiltrate and work their agenda even within this circle of trust dedicated to her. She was constantly involved in unwarranted battles due to conservatism, power struggle or plain ignorance.
Little did Human Rights know that honesty can be a traitorous mask that conceal some of the dirtiest strategies to secure power and influence. Before long, she was an object of desire because her beauty and wealth can serve the interest of some people. Before long, she become a marketable entity, the sought after super model for commercial photo shoots. She was lost, manipulated and in that long winded journey, abused and raped repeatedly. People who claimed that they know her more than the others, people who believed they can buy her with money, occupied territories, United Nations votes or diplomacy speeches take her as an opportunity for neo-colonialism, attractive career development or in worst case scenario, a great pension scheme. She became a lonely woman in her fight for democracy and justice. She did meet people who genuinely work for her cause in her laborious struggle, but the powerful and wealthy will always be around the corner, defeating the defenseless advocate of human rights every day.
So, 10th December not only commemorate the birth of a child who aspire to bring peace and hope to the world. Nor was she merely born to end the misery of the people. She was also viewed as an emerging threat, the rebellious child that should be ostracized and killed. At the moment, she is dying due to the terminal impact of social prejudice like racism and political disease such as corruption.
So, Happy Birthday Human Rights. May you recover and be well on your feet again. I wish not to see you on your death bed, the next time they celebrate your birthday.
Shazeera is a Malay Muslim that is still unable to understand why groups like PERKASA exist. But as long as they are around, she will be around too.
Posted on 14 December 2009. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.
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