As we progress further and further into time, it seems that the question or topic of ‘human rights’ continue to gain more and more momentum. Defined as a right that is believed to belong justifiably to every person, the fact that this topic continues to grow in significance around the globe certainly demonstrates how far we have come in terms of the progress of the human species.
But then again, it is not enough. Even though the UN holds certain undeniable rights to be true for all people, when it comes down to it, they have neither the means nor the power to enforce it. Ultimately, it all comes down to individual countries to enforce them, and unsurprisingly, these rights vary vastly from country to country. Everyone agrees that slavery is wrong, but at the same time, it is an issue that still plagues the world, in fact, maybe in a magnitude greater than ever before. In a world where the distinction between social classes are ever changing, the ones trapped in the lower half of the conundrum are the ones that are always forced to wrestle with this issue. Everyone has the right to a fair trial, or the right to be deemed innocent until proven guilty. Basics of a country governed by law right? But why then is it that millions suffer with this exact same issue across the world? Maybe it comes down to the definition, maybe it’s because the concepts of rights are not enforced universally, maybe it’s because governments have the liberty to change these ‘unalienable’ rights on a whim. Whatever it is, human rights, until properly and thoroughly enforced, holds little merit to those it matters the most.
But then again, where do human rights come from? Certainly, all worldviews have a set of instructions that grant people basic rights, but how far can those actually be taken? Certain religions have more depth to the rights that are considered endowed by God, but ultimately, divine rights or not, doesn’t it all come down to us to enforce it? I believe that human rights come from God, but debating about that all day will get us nowhere. Ultimately, it’s the government that has the task to see that everyone obliges to the laws that they have set up to protect these rights that we speak of. In that sense, why should these rights be considered ‘temporary contracts’? Change a law too many times and people will stop following and paying heed to it. Indeed, the concept of ‘human rights’ apply to everyone. Not just an individual country but to the human race in general. Why then, should governments be free to pick and choose the rights that people enjoy within their borders? Either everyone enjoys equal rights regardless of country or social standing, or the whole concept comes shattering down.
I do not ask for a perfect world. Nor do I ask for one without any grief or suffering. The way I see it, that is an unattainable goal. But a world where a human is treated as a human and not property, is that too much to ask for? If so, what is this mirage of progress we chase every day?