The latest development in Venezuela is very daunting. Parents of sick children, NGOs, and medical personnel are begging to the government to solve the current medicine crisis. The lack of medicines makes it very hard for the medical personnel to initiate and complete treatments of ill children. The government's actions or lack of actions that lead to this crisis is simply criminal.
Article 23 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela states “The treaties, pacts and conventions relating human rights which have been executed and ratified by Venezuela have a constitutional rank, and prevail over internal legislation…”.
Also, Venezuela takes part in most of the international instruments of human rights that regulates the rights to health. The Venezuelan State has ratified the “International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights” which makes the omissions of the State a clear violation of its citizen’s rights to health. Undoubtedly, access to health services and medicines are part of the Venezuelan State's responsibility.
In several part of the world, child protection laws have been undergoing review, as societies approach to terms with the area of the problem of child abuse, and the need to perk up the capability of public responses to abused and deserted children. Children may be particularly vulnerable to sexual exploitation given their dependency on others and their limited ability to protect themselves. Sexual abuse and exploitation can take a range of forms including rape, commercial sexual exploitation and domestic abuse. Sexual exploitation has far-reaching effects for the physical and mental health of a child. It is estimated that one million children (mainly adolescent girls but also a significant number of adolescent boys) enter the multi-billion dollar sex trade each year (Asmita Naik). We must not forget that the children’s are the ultimate goal for development. Our efforts for a progress in the human condition must start as early as possible begging with the child and mother well before the child is born. So that human right which belongs to an individual as a consequence of being a human can be protected in the changing world. Emphasis must be on the need for children to have security( Parkinson Patrick) and protecting the health and education of today’s children is the first and foremost right of these children but it is also the most basic and wisest of all investment in social and economic development of society.( Proff. Karl- Eric Kuntsson’s)
Considering that there is probably no organized horror in the world today that matches this, it's striking how little is written about it .
Sadly, in today's world, the term 'horror' could be applied to any number of humanitarian crises going on across the globe. Natural disasters, inter-state wars and civil conflicts continue to claim the lives of thousands whilst homelands are decimated and whole populations are left destitute and hopeless. The above quotation, however, refers to a very different situation. In the country referred to, the people are not the victims of an indiscriminate natural disaster or civilians caught up in conflict; this horror is organized, systematic and deliberate, and it is going on right now, in North Korea.
"Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet,
They belong not to you."-Khalil Gibran
Dr. Sanjay Chugh, senior consultant psychiatrist, Delhi, says, "There are various definitions given to explain incestuous rape. However, incest is usually defined as sexual contact between persons who are so closely related that their marriage is illegal (e.g., parents and children, uncles/aunts and nieces/nephews). An incestuous rape would be when such a sexual relationship is carried out by force, without the consent of one person. Child sexual abuse often comes to light when childhood histories are explored and in most cases the perpetrator is a known person who is close to the family or inside the family."
Parents can be tyrants. The word ‘tyrant' is used in the sense of being totally in control of a situation, in the laying down of dictums and regulations and making sure an individual strictly adheres to them. Such manifestations happen when someone has absolute power over someone else. Parents have this power over their children. Since human beings are helpless at birth, they depend on their parents who brought them in the world, for every physical and emotional need, for protection from danger and death. Parents decide behavioural rules in a politico-social, pyramid-like structure, where parents are rulers and children, their subjects. For most parents, the initial euphoria of authority and power is so intoxicating that they find it difficult to give it up. Time, for them, stands frozen at the moment when the child was an infant. They refuse to let it take wings, test its strength against opposition, establish an identity of its own.
Many people are cynical about the rampant corruption in India. But there are those that have exposed corruption and some have paid with their lives for doing so. Even after independence, it took 64 years for Indian Parliament to ensure human right to security by drafting the Whistleblower Bill which is supposed to protect those who expose the crooks. Yet, the draft bill is insipid and has clauses that could kill the very essence of protecting the whistle blowers and exposing the corrupt. Explains BANSI MEHTA.
The Deng Yujiao case of May 2009 in China came to national prominence. It was also widely reported in western media. Beneath the surface of what seems to be a victory of public opinion and social justice lie structural problems of China's democratic reforms: weak concepts of rule-of-law and human rights, and a sensational public opinion. For China to move forward, a healthy civil society must develop to spread democratic values. It is the responsibility of intellectuals and elites, as well as every Chinese citizen. Even though the Chinese government has shown little will to reform, every Chinese has the responsibility to act – before it is too late.
- 12-year old Laxmi* was lured by her classmates to travel to Kolkata (capital of West Bengal, a state in India) for a picnic and later sold in the train.
- 10-year old Sneha* accompanied her 16 year-old sister Surya* to the dream city Mumbai in search of a job. Surya works as a domestic help while Sneha is hired for zari / embroidery work.
- Ramesh*, a 15-year old rag-picker is missing. His neighbours say they saw him being chatting with a drug-addict. * names changed to protect identity
Young children go missing from the small towns and villages in India. Some run-away on being lured by the dreams of the big city, while others are carried away to be sold for meager gains…
The birth of a child (read male) in India meant celebration. Sweets are distributed and the atmosphere is one of merriment. Neighbours and relatives greet the parents and the new born baby is showered with blessings and gifts. Children are considered as God’s gift to the family. While this is true and relevant in many parts of India and the world at large, a stark reality hits us when we read the newspapers and are informed about the alarming rate at which children go missing from their homes and the increasing number of child labourers found in every sector of employment.
A child is one of the worst marginalized sections in the societal spectrum. Children are found in most realms of institutions, and more so in places they are not supposed to be. Child soldiers, child sex workers, child labourers, bonded labourers, child brides, rag pickers, beggars, manual scavengers, domestic workers, camel jockeys in dangerous races etc.
One of the most difficult challenges facing children in India is the controversial issue of work. Child labor continues to be abusive and exploitative of children, and millions are caught in its trap - by some estimates over one hundred million. Children are kidnapped, tricked and trafficked into all sorts of work, including the sex trade.
On the other hand, to simply outlaw and eradicate all children’s work across the board seems both unrealistic and not necessarily beneficial to every child in every circumstance. Some older children work in safe, decent jobs because the other option - not working at all - means an even worse fate, starvation. In a perfect world, no child would have to work. But there are gray areas in this issue.
I stumbled across a very interesting article published in Time Magazine in October 2007, about the problem of child labor in India. As the article depicts one type of situation:
Dinnertime finds the famous Haldiram’s restaurant in south Delhi noisy and crowded. The larger tables are taken up by affluent extended families, the very picture of upwardly mobile urban India — well-dressed grandparents, several stylish young couples, and a multitude of happy and excited children. On smaller tables nearby are the ayahs (child-minders), looking heartbreakingly out of place, not eating and waiting to be called on to deal with the kids when they get out of hand. More often than not, the ayahs are themselves children, barely in their pre-teens. Each makes less money each month than the family whose children she cares for will spend on dinner that night. She will never go to school, never acquire any skills that could get her any other form of employment when she’s older, and will spend her life eating leftovers and wearing hand-me-downs.
We would like to direct our attention towards one of our members, Shelley Seale, who will publish her book “The Weight of Silence: Invisible Children of India” ton the 5th of June. 25 million children of India who have been orphaned, abandoned or trafficked and her book follow her journey into the slums of India and her involvement with these children. Below you will find the synopsis and more information about Shelley.
Synopsis by Shelley Seale: By now, everyone had either seen, or at least heard of, the movie Slumdog Millionaire, about the lives of two brothers who come from the slums of Mumbai – made even more desperate after they are orphaned. What many don’t know, however, is that for 25 million children in India, the harsh world depicted in the movie is their everyday reality. Yes, that’s 25 million kids. My book, The Weight of Silence: Invisible Children of India, follows my journey over the past four years into the streets, orphanages and slums of India where these children live without families or homes of their own. I became immersed in their world, a witness to their struggles – but also their joys, their incredible hope and resilience that amazed me time and time again. The ability of their spirits to overcome crippling challenges inspired me. My sole purpose in writing this book was to give these millions of children a voice that could be heard by others in the world who, I was convinced, would be as moved by their plights as I was.
Present time, child marriage is a curse in the global society. Child marriage is a violation of human rights. In most cases young girls get married off to significantly older men when they are still children. Child marriages must be viewed within a context of force and coercion, involving pressure and emotional blackmail, and children that lack the choice or capacity to give their full consent. Child marriage must therefore always be considered forced marriage because valid consent is absent - and often considered unnecessary. Child marriage is common practice in India, Niger, Bangladesh, Pakistan Guinea, Burkina Faso, Africa and Nepal, where mostly girls are married below the age of 18.
Consequences of child marriage
Child marriage has its own worse effect on the young girls, society, her children and health. Young girls who get married will most likely be forced into having sexual intercourse with their, usually much older, husbands. This has severe negative health consequences as the girl is often not psychologically, physically and sexually mature. Child brides are likely to become pregnant at an early age and there is a strong correlation between the age of a mother and maternal mortality and morbidity. Girls aged 11-13 are five times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than women aged 20-24 and girls aged 15-19 are twice as likely to die. Good prenatal care reduces the risk of childbirth complications, but in many instances, due to their limited autonomy or freedom of movement, young wives have no access to health services, which aggravates the risks of maternal complications and mortality for pregnant adolescents. Because young girls are not ready for the responsibilities and roles of being a wife, sexual partner and a mother, child marriage has a serious negative impact on their psychological well-being and personal development.
Democracy is a perception rather than an accomplished ideal. In India, where democratic principles find place in civics textbooks, they gradually sublime at the operational level from society to an individual. The expression of protecting the human right to live freely and fairly finds its relevance more often in the skyscrapers in the urban limits than it does at the grass root level. The guardians of the fundamental human rights have turned into criminals who abuse power for their vested interests.Democracy is a more a form of government and less of an ideology that a country practices. However, there are several instances where Indians were deprived of their fundamental rights. One of the classic examples is the Emergency declared in 1975 by the Indira Gandhi government. It was termed as the black period, as it changed the very dynamics of the democratic institutions across the nation. It was then that the police force was given undue power resulting in a wholesale violation of human rights. The presently ubiquitous belief among Indians that the police or the defense system in the country is above the law owes its existence to that period. If we were to consider more recent examples, the Shopian case is still vividly imprinted on our minds.
The primary institution on which the state relies for the maintenance of law and order is the police. In order to achieve this objective, the police are empowered to use limited coercive power thereby creating conditions for realization of human rights . The constitution itself and the international treaties and covenants ratified by India  cast a duty on the state to protect and promote human rights. Article 2(3)(a) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights mandates every state party to ensure that any person whose rights or freedoms as herein recognized are violated shall have an effective remedy, notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity. By virtue of being born a human, everybody has human rights which are inalienable and indivisible.
The International Human Rights Day comes and goes every year. Human Rights activists talk of torture of under trials in police custody. They talk about human beings being subjected to medical experimentation without their conscious knowledge. They discuss socially relevant subjects like violence against women, child abuse, trafficking or exploitation of child labour in TW countries. But the lot of the community of eunuchs is largely ignored even by their own. It is also true that at every stage of their existence, their rights to live and work like normal human beings are violated with impunity.
The term eunuch – hijra – that we commonly use to mean a ‘sexless’ person has been defined in the dictionary as a castrated man. A hermaphrodite is a creature possessing both the male and female organs. A transvestite is a person who chooses a sex other than the one he/she is born as. Facts tell us that neutralized neutral-sex persons are a rarity. The hijra population in India has a well-defined group structure and regional affiliations with a group head. Though Balucharaji is their Goddess and they revere Ambe Mata, there are religious demarcations. Most of them identify with the female sex. Within the eunuch community, incest is absent. Most of them have worked as prostitutes at one time or another. Serena Nanda’s research shows that some persons labeled hijra in India are both prostitutes and celebrants of rites of passage.
Some of you may not be aware of Ireland's changes in legislation, outlawing blasphemy. As part of a revision to defamation legislation, the Dail passed legislation creating a new crime of blasphemy. This attack on free speech has gone largely unnoticed.
- Atheists can be prosecuted for saying that God is imaginary. That causes outrage.
- Pagans can be prosecuted for saying they left Christianity because God is violent and bloodthirsty, promotes genocide, and permits slavery.
- Christians can be prosecuted for saying that Allah is a moon god, or for drawing a picture of Mohammed, or for saying that Islam is a violent religion which breeds terrorists.
- Jews can be prosecuted for saying Jesus isn’t the Messiah.
Is it really THAT big a deal?
Ireland’s Blasphemy Bill not only criminalizes free speech, it also gives the police the authority to confiscate anything deemed “blasphemous”. They may enter and search any premises, with force if needed, upon “reasonable suspicion” that such materials are present.
Every living being is entitled to certain Rights and the Government is meant to ensure that the Right of her citizen is protected. “The concept of human rights in relation to the lives of ordinary people refers to the protection and extension of their dignity, integrity and worth as human beings” therefore, Human Rights can be defined as “rights that every human being possesses and is entitled to enjoy simply by virtue of being human” That means as long as human has breath in him, he is entitled to his right no matter the race, colour, tribe or background he is meant to enjoy his fundamental Human Right.
In Africa, especially Nigeria, the right to personal liberty seems the worst affected because wrongful arrest or detention by security personal especially the policemen, abound. The right of Liberty is not guaranteed even though the 1979 Nigerian Constitution states that:
“Every person should be entitled to his personal liberty and no person shall be deprived of such liberty”