In this topic, the core analysis is based on the conscious reasoning and social justice in regard to the chapters or articles contained in the UN document of the basic human rights. My specific goal here is to underscore the importance of these rights and at the same time, identify the flaws committed by the US government in carrying out its duty. The most surprising thing is that, as the world’s guard on socio-economic and political rights, it undermines the same basic human rights. It’s even confounding that as a major player in the final draft of these rights, it becomes one of the greatest violators of the same in an equal measure.
However, the United States of America has also contributed immensely towards full compliance of these rights. Its positive gesture in realization of the said rights cannot be ignored.
Because of the aforesaid, I, therefore, begin with how the US and its contemporary institutions contribute to these violations. Among the institutions that I intend to focus on are the Media, workplaces, economy and the education sector. The reason behind majoring in the mentioned parameters is the prevalence rate reports on the said institutions.
THE GENESIS OF BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS
The United States of America was the first country in the world to discern basic human privileges. These civil liberties were regarded as God given and, therefore, all human races are equally entitled to them. A good example may be the US president in 1776, Thomas Jefferson. He proposed the human rights philosophy, where all people should inherently have equal rights according to the Declaration of Independence. He went further to assert that ‘all men are equally created and are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights’. Jefferson detailed these privileges as, life, pursuit of happiness and liberty. Jefferson’s views made some people like Joseph J Ellis (Historian) to sum it, the declaration was the most quoted statements of basic human rights in the world’s history.
It is however worthy to note that, the basic human fundamental rights were adopted at a United Nations special general meeting, also known as the UN General Assembly in 1948; which was held after the Second World War. The principle focus was to safeguard human rights as a basic human need.
THE FLAWS CITED IN THE US CONTEMPORARY INSTITUTIONS
Article two of the fundamental rights implies that, ‘all human beings are entitled to declarations set in the document of basic human rights irrespective of someone’s background’. It highlights those barriers as religion, color and creed. Others are: language, status and political affiliations. It is imperative to note that these have often been overlooked by the very institutions entrusted with vigilance. The Presidential race for example; that culminated to election of Mr. Obama as first Black-American was marred by racial talks. Some Republicans completely refused to recognize him just because of his African roots, yet all are seen to have equal rights.
Article three states that, ‘everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of persons.’ In carrying out security expedition, there have been cases of civilian casualties. These are people who are presumably innocent and have nothing to do with any of the accusations. A case of this kind is the US operations at Iraq and Afghanistan. Here the right of life for the victims has been violated. Such an action also instills fear, hence results to insecurity for the affected that would otherwise require security.
The fifth article of the document talks about the derogatory treatment of human beings. These consist of inhuman punishment such as torture and human cruelty. This has been witnessed, especially in the US jails. The Guantanamo bay prison in Cuba is one of those prisons, where inhuman treatment has been reported. Most of these reports come from terrorism suspects. Some claim to have been tortured and forced to confess sins that they might have not committed.
In chapter nine, the article vividly states that no one shall be subjected to an arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. This is also contradictory due to what currently surrounds terrorism fight. Cases of arbitrary arrests are quite synonymous with suspected Islamic religion adherents. Most of them claim that their apprehensions had just been a cover-up in the on-going Islam persecution! Their main defense is that the arresters occasionally never have water-tight evidence to implicate them.
The document’s article twenty-three, also states that, ‘every person has right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protect against unemployment.’ Zeroing into these assertions, I find it ridiculous. For one to work in the US, he or she must be issued with work permits. The issuance of these documents is shrouded in mysteries of bureaucracies, thereby undermining the rights of non-citizens who aspire to work there.
In the freedom of expression however, despite the full rights being outlined in the bill of rights, the recent event left a lot to be desired. The Bi-partisan Campaign Reform Act and Digital Millennium Copyright Act still remain controversial. They infringe on some of the rights. This, for example, led an employee of the media firm to be forced to reveal their sources of leaked documents about the CIA. The media person did it under duress.
On the economic front, the US has been watering down some of the giant economies by placing trade embargoes; thereby depriving the victims of their livelihoods. Such has been the case of Cuba, which at times wallows in great poverty. Lack of basic essentials is quite evident. Such acts are contrary to the fundamental human rights envisaged in the UN document.