People cross a destroyed bridge in Irpin, Kyiv. File/ AFP
An ambiguous law is a dangerous one because it allows for the concept to be misused, neglected or worse, weaponised. This is the reason why people are always left wondering how some injustices are justified by the nations who have drafted the law of rights and others are not...
The European Union’s opinion on asylum-seeking migrants was one of the key issues that led to the catastrophic blow of losing the United Kingdom. As the numbers of migrants increased and news of boats filled with searching souls capsizing on the shores of the West reached the world, we began witnessing how governments’ idealism wavered and suddenly those non-negotiable rights were being negotiated.
We hear the same term being used to make radically different arguments yet through actions it becomes obvious that the clarification does not comply with the justification, and we are left wondering, baffled by what hypocrisy is leading these debates and how articulate they have become in selling an oddly subjective form of idealism.
Human Rights are usually synonymous with the word democracy generalising from the onset that non-democratic governments are, by definition, ones that infringe on the rights of their citizens. The arguably biased International Human Rights law, which is viewed as one of modern humanity’s greatest achievements loses its power, is continuously being challenged, discredited and at times even ignored because of its ambiguity. Its Western leaning influence has left it tone-deaf to non-democratic societies and its unclear mechanisms of implementation has allowed for it to be challenged and defeated. An ambiguous law is a dangerous one because it allows for the concept to be misused, neglected or worse, weaponised. This is the reason why people are always left wondering how some injustices are justified by the nations who have drafted the law of rights and others are not.
These questionings are on the forefront of recent debates on the war in Ukraine. As Ukrainians fled the bombings European nations absorbed over 5 million refugees in a span of 4 months. In isolation this is an admirable gesture, one that should have chests swell with pride to see humanity moving so fast in aid of its brethren yet unfortunately, this is not an isolated event. The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, the situation in Libya and parts of Africa have forced millions out of their dismal lives in search of refuge to these same countries, who in over a decade have not taken in half the number of fleeing Ukrainians. Today the UK is under fire for its plan to deport Rwandan refugees, making way for ‘other’ migrants, with the knowledge that some will face irreversible harm.
There are those who conceive of human rights as a given and those who conceive of human rights as agreed upon. There are those who conceive of human rights as to be fought for and those who conceive of them as principles to debate and most are wading in the turbulent waters between the practical and theoretical.
One would like to believe that the idealising of human rights in progressive nations is a notion that will prevail against all evils and will eventually blanket the world with the humanity that every person rightly deserves but we live in a world of absolute realism. There is no longer any room for ideals in a world governed by political gains, financial incentives and the enthusiastically cultivated individuality mindset.
Seeing as to how governments have failed in most cases to honour that which it held to be an absolute truth, one must insist that it is time we took another look at the laws of human rights, it is time we made it a legally binding agreement whose consequences are far more severe and absolute than to be vetoed by the mighty.
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