Posted on August 22, 2019
Despite all the hotspots for major human rights violations we have seen last year, Governments and NGOs meet at the 41st Ordinary Session of the UN Human Rights Council recently celebrated in Geneva. This Council is represented by the High Commissioner for Human Rights who is an independent, authoritative voice to speak out for human rights worldwide.
In this session, for example, States could hear loud and clear all the facts that NGOs described human rights in Venezuela; in response to the grave violations occurred and the absence of any fundamental improvement of the situation in the meantime. Also, how Saudi Arabia is accountable for the extrajudicial killing of a journalist and the arbitrary detention of women human rights defenders.
Important resolutions on the rights of women and girls were signed: violence against women and girls in the world of work, on discrimination against women and girls and the consequences of child, early and forced marriage.
Many challenges are ahead in the struggle to promote and enhance the dignity, freedom, and rights of all human beings. However, significant progress has been made. Nowadays, it is more difficult for Governments being unaware of the international concern about the accountability on human rights.
The following are 10 of the most important human rights achievements accomplished in the last 25 years according to reports of the Human Rights Council of UN:
1.- Economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights and the right to development are recognized as universal, indivisible, and mutually reinforcing rights of all human beings, without distinction.
2.- Human rights have become central to the global conversation regarding peace, security and development.
3.- Additional explicit protections in international law now exist covering children, victims of torture and persons with disabilities. Where there are allegations of breaches, individuals can bring complaints to the international human rights treaty bodies.
4.- Women’s rights are now acknowledged as fundamental human rights. Discrimination and acts of violence against women are at the forefront of the human rights discourse.
5.- There is a global consensus that serious violations of human rights must not go unpunished. Victims have the right to claim justice, including within processes to restore the rule of law following conflicts. The International Criminal Court brings perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity to justice.
6.- There has been a paradigm shift in the recognition of the human rights of people with disabilities, especially and crucially, their right to effective participation in all spheres of life on an equal basis with others.
7.- There is now an international framework that recognizes the challenges facing migrants and their families which guarantees their rights and those of undocumented migrants.
8.- The rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender individuals have been placed on the international agenda.
9.- States and the UN recognize the fundamental role of civil society –NGO´s- in the advancement of human rights. Civil society has been at the forefront of human rights promotion and protection, highlighting problems and proposing solutions, pushing for new standards, contributing to public policies and giving voice to the most vulnerable people.
10.- With the creation in 2016 of the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, as a UN institution, a clear message has been sent that violence and discrimination against people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities cannot be tolerated worldwide.
As we can see, new human rights standards have been established since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was established as a strong response against the human tragedy that II World War left behind. Nowadays, people are aware of their rights and fight for them in any space where it needs to be defended. Definitely, if the struggle for human rights is lead for the people and Governments as well, victory awaits at the end of the road.