Dr. Khine Khine Win
This article briefly introduces the linkage between rights and responsibility. I belief rights and responsibility plays a significant role for the promotion and protection of human rights in any society.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights declared that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Being a human being, you have rights. Human rights are entitled to every human being no matter who you are, where you live, what you do, where you are from, what religious you worship, what skin color you have, disable or not, child or adult, women or men- you all have rights. However, until today the definition of the term human rights is controversial and the UN has no internationally- agreed definition of human rights.
There is no doubt that State has the prime responsibility to protect, promote and implement all human rights and fundamental freedoms, inter alia, by adopting such steps as may be necessary to create all conditions necessary in the social, economic, political and other fields, as well as the legal guarantees required to ensure that all citizens under its jurisdiction. At the same time individuals have the duties and responsibilities to enjoy their rights and rights of others too.
Article 29 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes that the individuals have duties and responsibilities towards their community. We all have basic fundamental rights and freedom. It is important to exercise our rights, not just for our own sake, but for the future sake of others. Here are the some of our rights: we have the rights to live, right to safety, right to education, right to health, right to freedom of speech, right to worship, right to food, right to settle and reside in any place within your country… etc. Also we have responsibilities to follow the rules at home, at school and in the community, to respect the rights of others, to be the best person that we can be, to respect and obey the existing laws…etc. Let me give you example, although we have the freedom to express our beliefs and views, we have duty to behave responsibly and to respect other’s people rights.
If people do not accept their responsibilities or if they fail to take their responsibility, people would bully, treated unfairly or abused and feel unsafe or unhappy. Whatever the reason, if people fail to take responsibility, they will fail in their jobs, they will fail their teams, and they will fail to grow as individuals also.
When we look at the Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (2008), we will notice that there is Citizen, Fundamental Rights and Duties of the Citizens in Chapter VIII. Being a citizen of Myanmar, we must know what our rights and duties are.
If you feel your fundamental rights in the Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar are violated, you can send a complaint letter to the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission. If the Commission concludes that the alleged violations of the fundamental rights in the Constitution against a citizen are true, it will take steps in accordance with complaint procedures to promote and safeguard the fundamental rights.
Preamble in Declaration of Human Duties and Responsibilities states that the effective enjoyment and implementation of human rights and fundamental freedom is inextricably linked to the assumption of the duties and responsibilities implicit in those rights. Human rights will be better protected or ensured when people assume their duties to the each other and to the local, regional, national and global community. Rights cannot exist without people acting responsibly towards each other. Regardless of this push back to protect the enshrinement of human rights, evidence abounds for the need to foster a dialogue about the link between responsibilities and rights.
Remember: there can be no rights without responsibilities. If you invoke a right, you imply a responsibility.