Thursday, February 28, 2013
Ahead of referendum, UN experts call on Zimbabwe to respect fundamental rights
Link to the article:
“Zimbabwe must ensure that fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and association are respected in the run up to its constitutional referendum.” In UN’s position, it’s not easy to demand other countries to practice human rights. The UN has its principle of not interfere in the domestic affairs of any country. No matter how big the human rights issue in Zimbabwe is, the UN can’t do anything physically to change it because it’s only an outsider.
There are many human rights issues with the government of Zimbabwe, according to Human Rights Watch and other human rights organizations, such as violating the rights to shelter, food, freedom of movement and residence, freedom of assembly and the protection of the law. There are child soldiers and discrimination against women. These are the problems we can’t imagine as a first world country. But the people in third world countries might not think of them as too big a problem because they are so used to it. Also, they never know how the people in other countries live; they are not educated to be informed about the human rights that they are supposed to have.
Who would have to time and the strength to care about their rights when they are striving to survive? How could the practice of human rights to be assured when they really don’t have food to eat or shelters to sleep? I imagine myself in that situation, where I don’t know if I will have my next meal and I don’t know if my home will be at the same place tomorrow, I don’t think I worry about my freedom of speech or anything above survival.
The list of human rights was made by the leaders from first world countries. Just like rich people don’t understand how poor people live, they don’t know how practical these “basic” human rights are in third world countries where all that people want is only surviving. Instead of commending the Zimbabwe government to ensure the fundamental human rights in the country, what the UN really should do is to financially help the people in the country to have a better life. Only not having to worry about surviving can the people pay more attention to their other rights. That’s also how a society develop and build up.