Human Rights are basic and inherent rights that every individual is entitled to by the virtue of being a human, who experiences emotions like pain, sorrow, love and affection. These inalienable rights recognise the significance of equality, freedom, justice, peace and individual dignity. On 10, December 1948, a milestone was achieved in the history of the struggle for human rights, when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was a result of the horrific experiences from the First and Second World War which stunned the world as atrocities and torturous acts were observed, that outraged the conscience of mankind.[i] With the end of Second World War and the inception of United Nations, the International community created a roadmap to guarantee the rights of each human being all around the world. This was in the form of UDHR whose first draft was completed in September 1948 and the final draft was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly meeting in Paris through the 217 A(III) resolution on 10 Dec 1948 .[ii] This document clearly stated the basic rights which every individual possessed irrespective of the Race, ethnic origin, gender, religion, nationality, political opinion and linguistic differences. Hernan Santa Cruz, a member of the drafting committee of the UDHR wrote “I perceived clearly that I was a part of a truly significant historic event in which a consensus had been reached as to the supreme value of the human person, a value that did not originate in the decision of a worldly power, but rather in the fact of existing”. This declaration was the need of the hour as until a document which clearly outlined the basic rights one was entitled to ,it would have not been possible to identify what actually constituted its violation. It was needed to distinguish what was inhuman treatment from humanistic because even today, more than 70 years after signing of this declaration, human right violations are prevalent in many countries around the world like Syria, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Tibet. Even though, it is not a legally binding document because it a treaty signed by different countries, it has become customary International Law due to the fact that many countries have consistently invoked the declaration. As United Nation member signatories pledged to strive for maintenance of universal respect and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms in cooperation with the United Nations, consistent efforts to minimise and eliminate human rights violation in different parts of the world have been made in the past decades. [iii]Various Human rights organisation and campaigns have also come up to fight for human rights of various communities who faced persecution on grounds of religious, racial, ethnic origin as well as political opinion or opposition of main regime. In the year 2020, when the whole world is facing the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need to include human rights in the recovery efforts as the COVID-19 crisis has caused rise in poverty, inequality, discrimination and breach of freedom rights. Discrimination and inequality are prevalent during these difficult times and addressing these will ensure a sustainable and fair world for all. Drawing on this, the theme for Human Rights Day 2020 is “Recover Better -Stand up for Human Rights”. It emphasises the need to direct efforts to create equal opportunities for all and address issues exposed by COVID -19 pandemic so as to achieve the ultimate goal of a better world[iv].
Divyaraj Ray – Hrdi Internship
[i] “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, United Nations Organisation Blog, 2018, Accessed on 10 Dec,2020
[iii] Supra note 1
[iv] “Human Rights Day”, The Hindu e-paper, 2020 , Accessed on 10 Dec 2020