- Dr. Khine Khine Win
You have human rights because you are human being. The human person is the central subject of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Here what you should know is all human rights and fundamental freedoms are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated.
You are human being. Being human being, you must be able to enjoy and exercise your human rights on the basis of equality, free from discrimination of any kind, such as race, religious, colour, sex, language, political or other opinion, property, birth or other status or on the basic of disability etc. All human beings are equally entitled to human rights.
Rights and responsibilities stand as two sides of a same coin. Both go side by sides and are inseparable. There can be no rights without responsibilities. If you invoke a right, you imply a responsibility.
So what is human rights? The answer is, until today the definition of human rights is controversial and the UN has no internationally agreed definition of human rights. What my understanding is human rights is the right that is believed to belong justifiably to every human being. They are moral principles and norms which describe certain standards of human behavior and regularly protected. Here are the some of your rights and fundamental freedoms, Right to Education, Right to Health, Right to Safety, Right to Freedom of Expression, Right to Vote, Right to Live, Right to Healthy Environment, Right to Culture and Language etc.
Let me say again, you have human rights and you have right to enjoy all human rights. And also you have responsibilities. Every right has a corresponding responsibility. You have responsibility to obey the law at home, at school and at community, to respect the rights of others.
So what is responsibilities? Responsibility is a duty something you should do. If you want your rights then you have to understand your responsibility and act on responsible way so that everyone around you can have rights too and they can enjoy their rights. Let me give some examples of rights and responsibilities.
Dignity: You have dignity because you are human being and your dignity must be respected and protected. This is your right. Do respect another person is your responsibility. Human dignity can be protected only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met.
Freedom of expression: Sometime called freedom of speech. Of cause, you have right to expression. Everyone, including the press, may say, write or print photographs of whatever they want, this is right but no one is allowed to spread propaganda for hate speech, war or encourage people to use violence. Here you have to make sure that you have responsibility not to violate another person’s right and break the privacy of others.
Education: You have right to education. Your responsibility is to study, to pass the exam, to obey the rules of school and university.
Healthy environment: You have the right to healthy environment. This is your right. Your responsibilities are use only what you need, don’t waste food and energy. Leave the earth cleaner than you found it, don’t throw garbage anywhere coz it causes land pollution, which effect human health.
Language and culture: You can use the language and follow the culture you choose. This is your right. But you must respect other peoples’ rights when you do so. This is your responsibility.
Culture and religious: You can enjoy your culture, practice your own religion. This is your right. Your responsibility is you must respect other’s human rights when you do so. They have their rights too.
Health: You have right to health. But your responsibility is to take care of your own body as best you can.
Privacy: Privacy is the fundamental human rights and it has become one of the most important issues of the modern age. You have right to privacy and your responsibility is you must respect privacy of others.
If you want your rights to be respected, you must not do anything that violates another person’s rights. On the other hand you have to aware that these rights do not replace the laws you already have and so you must respect these laws as well. This fact is the very basic responsible for all human being.
If people only know their rights and without knowing responsibilities or taking on responsibilities, other people feel unsafe, treated unfairly or abused. If you do not accept your responsibilities or if you fail to take your responsibilities, you will fail in your community, you will fail your team, people around you feel unhappy and unsafe.
State also has the prime responsibilities to protect, promote and respect human rights. State has responsibility to implement all human rights and fundamental freedoms to his citizen. In deed there are fundamental rights and duties of citizens too. For instance, according to Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (2008) every citizen has the duty to pay taxes to be leived according to the law and also every citizen has the duty for the emergence of a modern developed Nation.
It is interesting to note that voting is your rights and your responsibility as well. It is important to exercise your rights and responsibilities not just for your own sake but for the future sake of others. Remember, humans everywhere have the right and of course responsibility.
Let me conclude the article by sharing quote by Stephen Cadiz “The time is come for us, as citizens, to demand our rights, to stand up and demand accountability and responsibility”.