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February 27, 2018

Enjoy your rights but be accountable

Whenever the word human rights is mentioned people tend to think that human rights belong to them and wonder who will grant those rights and where they can be obtained from. There are certain people who assume that it must be the government that will grant them these human rights because the onus is upon the government to provide for citizens. There are also some people who opine that human rights have come into existence to remedy injustice prevailing in the society. There still exist some who are of the opinion that human rights are concerned with personal dignity which should be respected according to human ethics. Last but not the least, there are also certain people who tend to use human rights with a political motivation.
As a matter of fact, human rights have peculiar characteristics and is of fundamental interest. This is evident in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). According to this Declaration, people ought to respect other people in their attempt to achieve what they want. In this juncture, it is worthy of note that all four major religious faiths regard human rights as not just rights but as responsibilities, too. Another note worthy point is that although the concept of human rights originated in the Magna Carta of 1215, the modern day concept is quite different from that of the Magna Carta because the Magna Carta was created to defend landlords against losses of their property. This being so, the Magna Carta can be said to protect the rights of the specially privileged.
When the UDHR is looked at it is found that it consists of five rights: civil rights, political rights, economic rights, social rights and cultural rights. These rights can be enjoyed by the entirety of mankind regardless of race and religion. However, what is important is who will protect them and how. It is true that it is incumbent upon governments of the nations to protect these rights. However, all citizens of the nations of the world are responsible for paying mutual respect and being committed to abiding by the universal principles of human rights.
People are, by nature, not always strictly adhering to ethics, which has no legal binding. Recognising this, the United Nations has formulated international treaties which have legal binding. As known to all, when a nation has signed and ratified an international treaty, it has to incorporate the international rules and regulations into its national laws. Then only will the citizens of that nation, which has become a signatory to an international convention, abide by their national laws. This is the reason why governments always take time to sign and ratify until they are convinced that that particular convention is beneficial to their nations, regions and the world.
In a nut shell, human rights should be regarded not only as rights, for it involves responsibilities. This being so, the Global New Light of Myanmar would like to remind the entire mass of people that they also have a responsibility while enjoying their human rights to promote them – be it civil, political, economic, social or cultural rights.


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