Do we really respect human rights?

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By Valeria Turi (1994) LSP, Assisy, Italy

The first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights claims: “’All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. “This means that man must think carefully before acting because he has” reason “and” conscience “, two characteristics which make him different from all other living beings on Earth, and he can’t be guided only by instinct but must weigh his actions in respect and support of his similars.

The protection of human rights is the basis of the legal system of a country and is one of the main conditions to ensure justice. On December 10th 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to prevent the atrocities of the Second World War from being repeated, but there are still many countries that don’t respect them . Just watch the news or open a newspaper and read about the countless massacres for religious and political reasons, like those in the last months in the Middle East which killed of tens of innocent people. Undemocratic countries implement daily torture, the death penalty and illegal trafficking of people.

So, one of the main duties of a State is that of guaranteeing the individual freedom of its citizens, and speaking in economic terms, it means that everybody should be free to practice a profession, have the right to live in dignity with a respectful wage. The economy should be an international collaborative vehicle to spread prosperity, but nowadays in many cases it has become the synonym of speculation which tends to “overwhelm” the weakest subjects of this big mechanism. When we buy a t-shirt or a pair of jeans and read on the label “Made in …” they may have been manufactured by a worker exploited and underpaid, or by a child that instead of playing and getting a proper education is forced to work. And these are just a few examples. Child exploitation represents a serious social problem that involves more than 250 million children under the age of 14 around the world, and particularly characterizes developing countries such as India, China and Latin American countries such Brazil and Africa, not only in the workplace but also in the military field. Forcing a person to slavery is to betray all the ideals for which men have fought for centuries, such as the English Bill of Rights of 1689, the American Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens in 1789, the roots of the Declaration of Human Rights. Is it therefore possible that after having created these documents, man can contradict them committing terrible deeds like the ones mentioned?