Whose Responsibility Is It to Protect People’s Human Rights And To What Extent Are They Effective?Jonathan ChowWord Count 2258Human Rights are values which keep society safe, fair, equal, and just, protecting the disenfranchised, the vulnerable and the marginalised. The goal of human rights is to protect everyone. And if so whose responsibility is it to uphold these morals, If UN is the answer to the call to action then how effective are they Globally and LocallyGlobal PerspectiveThe United Nations is an organisation for all people around the world, embracing the core premise of promoting respect for human rights. Their agenda includes the prevention of serious human rights violations with fast response to curb abuses, promote consistent accountability with full implementation of obligations throughout the UN system. Membered States have the primary responsibility to protect human rights within their own populations, although UN field officers can provide technical assistance, promoting the rule of law with minimal ground brutality.  The UN Charter also gives the Security Council power to investigate and mediate peacekeeping envoys to observe places of crisis; they can also issue a ceasefire mandate or apply enforcement measures like economic sanctions, arms embargoes, financial penalties and restrictions, travel bans, the severance of diplomatic relations, a blockade, or engage in collective military action.Although the UN Human Rights Commission looks ideal on paper, sadly in practice, critics feel that the committee has fallen short in advancing human rights for all the represented countries.  The following are some reasons why they are ineffective. The Committee is made up of eighteen “experts” who may not be totally objective or even accountable as they may represent their country’s own self-interests. The Committee’s lack of communication also compromise their ability to follow up long term on investigations, nor come up with objective feasible solutions or corrective policing measures.  Although the UN Human Right Commission was established to address potential complaints from any individual member country, based on an investigation (by Robertson, Geoffrey. 2006. Crimes Against Humanity. New York: The New Press. Ch. 1, pp. 1-40.) “In its twenty years of service, they have only registered 765 complaints.  They have looked into 199 cases and expressed views without demanding action from the guilty states involved, and in only 15 percent, have states made some form of remedy”There are no hearings nor a judicial body to cross-examine witnesses. Investigations exist on paper, put forth by NGOs and they do not have trained, objective third parties to present the extent of human rights infringement.  The Committee depends on the UN Secretariat for its budget and structure, therefore, they are not independent enough to avoid conflicts of interests. They do not have the free reign to confront member states forcefully on failed issues.  Their Covenant on Civil and Political Rights focuses on state duties towards individuals and does not necessarily address the breach of individual rights by the state.  They have no real power to protect an individual’s rights, nor can it even pressure member countries to abide by their Covenant duties. Without independent fact-finding capacity, they cannot effectively monitor state activities nor are the Human Rights Commission’s reports exhaustive enough to back or enforce a mandate of corrective measures or course of action.  Progress meetings take place behind closed doors, without accountability measures.Future Scenario/Course of ActionThe results of the U.S. presidential election, Brexit, or other upcoming European elections, it is evident that there is an uprising of bitter sentiments on various domestic concerns rather than external issues of human rights of vulnerable people outside the US or Europe. Donald Trump won on the populist rhetoric of threats and promises: mass deportations, a ban on some Muslims entering the country, the reintroduction of torture. The Brexit campaign created suspicions of migrants and refugees, and that has ignited a fever of intolerance and fear across Europe.  Trump has shown a disinterest in global development or poverty reduction except if there are gains for the domestic market. Europe is struggling for fair and global development but it seems that they will protect themselves first before fighting on behalf of other countries’ human rights or sustainable economic well-being. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could possibly represent an opportunity for Europe and China to work more closely but other countries fear that protectionism, isolation, and the deterioration of political relations will impact the security and prosperity in the region. We now see a toughening of migration policy and border control in order to create more jobs, security and revenues for the Americans, British and Europeans. The world issues of sustainable development or human rights will take a back seat, even within the United Nations.Personal ResponseAmnesty International, contends that many human rights breaches aren’t addressed quickly enough or receive too little attention within the UN framework, while too many politically motivated diplomats peddle paperwork diplomacy which detracts from useful dialogue or practical solutions. Member states need to protect the human rights agenda onto governments who ignore human rights violations or get booted out.  The Council needs to respond forcefully to endemic and gross violations.  However, with the way many countries are protecting themselves, I am not sure if UN members will increase their commitment to fulfilling their responsibilities within the UN.National Perspective on UK and CanadaThe United KingdomThe British Human Rights Act allows UK judges to consider legal implications of laws within the European Convention without necessarily requiring the case to be lodged in the European court. In other words, This law has helped  The UK streamline the cost, speeding up the legal process, has brought victory in individual British cases affiliated with the violation of human rights within Healthcare, LGBT rights, Education, Freedom of Speech. Therefore the Human Rights Act has allowed judges in the UK to consider parallel Human Rights laws defined after WW2, without necessarily needing to go to another European jurisdiction to settle the case.A prime example of this would involve the case of Mr and Mrs Driscoll. Mrs Driscoll, a disabled woman had been living with her husband for over 65 years, and after moving to a residential care home, they were separated as Social Welfare deemed her an unfit caretaker of her husband due to her disability. The family launched a campaign with the support of experts and the Elderly Foundations in Human Rights where they complained that a breach into one’s “private and family life, his home and his correspondence” from Article 8 of The Human Rights Act had taken place. Consequently, Mrs Driscoll was reassessed and is now in residence with her husband.A major reason why the  Human Rights Act is disliked comes from conservative groups who believe that a multinational court should not have influence over the ruling of British judges as British values and the British legal system are sovereign and superior enough in dealing with the sentencing or protection of its own British citizens without interference from outsiders.  CanadaThe 1977 Canadian Human Rights Act protects citizens against discrimination of race, age and sexual orientation. Although Canada’s human rights laws are not part of the Constitution, the Supreme Court interprets existing laws according to their intent, so these laws are “quasi-constitutional.”Although this law has been in place, violence against the indigenous women has been ignored. According to Cogan, Marin. “The Vanishing of Canada’s First Nations Women.” Foreign Policy. N.p., 06 July 2016. Web. 25 June 2017. “though Canada’s 718,500 indigenous women make up just 4.3 percent of the country’s female population, they represent around five times as many female homicide victims indigenous women only make up 4.3% of the overall women population”. Non-governmental research estimates that up to 4000 indigenous women have been murdered or have disappeared over the last few decades. With international criticism of Human Rights Organisations and the United Nations Committee on the Discrimination against Women, the Canadian government has finally launched an enquiry in 2016 into how the police or public institutions have not heeded the plight of these vulnerable girls and women.Future Scenarios / Course of ActionCanada has a healthy set up in terms of the laws that address human rights issues, and there are the courts to hear evidence of cases presented by a complainant or defendant.  Over time, historical precedents are continually set, arbitrated over, so that court cases reflect the culture of protecting individual rights. With the legal, judicial and sentencing frameworks working hand in hand as separate entities. Based on the trajectory Canada seems to be following it will go from strength to strength in its protection of human rights for its citizens and residents within its borders or abroad under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.The UK still strives to be a more equal and opportune society, but with Brexit, there may be increasing sentiments of discrimination against immigrants or refugees within its borders. Its legal system for handling human rights violation cases are divided, so progress may slow down in achieving this goal. If the government can settle down will a sustainable and long-term plan for the UK even as it sorts out the implications of Brexit on the political, financial, economics fronts, perhaps they will still be able to maintain its human rights legacy within their legal systems.Personal ResponseIn the future Canada should further strengthen their walls, currently as it stands The Human rights act is only a one way street, The National security service has zero ability to reach out to the public, and due to this variable the effectiveness of the Humans Rights act is solely dependent on the PR with the organizations and general public. Although I do firmly believe that improving PR with the general public will indefinitely benefit the National Security services. But circumstances for everybody are different, and might not have the ability to reach out due to career-ending threats or worse.It’s a tricky situation for the UK currently, with the heated debate about Brexit, the increase of terrorist attacks plaguing the UK, it seems improbable for the UK to make everybody semi-satisfied.Local PerspectiveChina has operated under a single political party since the birth of communist China, called “The Communist Party of China”, although there are other minor parties that are not allowed to challenge CPC policy. This makes China an authoritarian country, where political dissent, or even the slightest hint of public criticism, or silent protesting in a public gathering, is punishable. Punishments are so severe that China is ranked among the lowest for press freedoms and human rights.  As an authoritarian state, China seizes mass censorship of unapproved ideologies.Currently, under the rule of Xi Jinping, the CCP is trying to change their authoritarian outlook. But Human Rights Group’s report abuses have still remained the same in China. Currently, China has signed over 20 international treaties on human rights. However, China has sidestepped many of these international norms, and the government’s attitude on the matter has largely gone unchanged and unchallenged although, in 2016, China has seen a few improvements, i.e the acceptance of the LGBT community in China, the retrying of court cases, and the reduced rate of pretrial detention. but still, the most frequent victims of human rights violations are critics of the government. The state has been known to harass, imprison and torture opposition members of the state in many cases.Future Scenarios / Course of ActionThere seem to be improvements in economic opportunities in China; there are now more wealthy people and as long as they abide by the law and by the party line (http://www.cnbc.com/2016/02/24/china-has-more-billionaires-than-us-report.html, not making public grievances against the government even if they suffer as a victim, and getting involved in collusion. China still has a long way to go in improving its human rights and hopefully, as China steps upon the world stage to make alliances with other progressive western countries with better human rights records, China will change but that remains to be seenPersonal ResponseBased on the above, It would seem that China would need a Democratic overtake to even considering most of the Human Right Values that many current western countries hold, becausePersonal PerspectivesI find it difficult for myself to comprehend how simply alone we are, the people, the officials, the higher-ups whose duty is to provide equal opportunity for all is honestly doing an abysmal job to protect our human rights, It’s honestly a shame how we talk so boldly about new frontiers and strides taken to create equal opportunities, yet somehow simultaneously take three steps back. Since Trump’s inauguration in the White house race relationships between Islamic and Americans has worsened, to a point where people are openly admitting Islamophobic, Xenophobic, and Homophobic.BibliographyGunther, Marc. “Whose Job Is It to Protect Human Rights?” Social Impact. Guardian News and Media, 03 Dec. 2014. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/dec/03/un-human-rights-business-government-policies”Human Rights Protection.” Beyond Intractability. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/human-rights-protect”Human Rights Basics.” Human Rights Basics. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.http://www.theadvocatesforhumanrights.org/human_rights_basics From The Objective Standard, Vol. 7, No. 1. https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2012-spring/individualism-collectivism/”Protect Human Rights.” United Nations. United Nations, n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.http://www.un.org/en/sections/what-we-do/protect-human-rights/”Success in Peacekeeping. United Nations Peacekeeping.” United Nations. United Nations, n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/operations/success.shtmlTo The Point: India Will Still Be Poorest Economy In 2025, Says TN Ninan9 Oct 2015https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izjIk8N_v8gGovernment of Canada, Department of Justice, Electronic Communications. “Rights and Freedoms in Canada.” Government of Canada, Department of Justice, Electronic Communications. N.p., 15 Dec. 2016. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/csj-sjc/just/06.htmlLibadmin. “The Human Rights Act.” Liberty Human Rights. N.p., 27 May 2015. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.https://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/human-rights/what-are-human-rights/human-rights-actKeyText: Eight Reasons Why the UN Human Rights Committee Is Ineffective.” KeyText: Eight Reasons Why the UN Human Rights Committee Is Ineffective. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.https://clg.portalxm.com/library/keytext.cfm?keytext_id=122The AtlanticMatt Fordhttps://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/01/china-lawyer-crackdown-arrest/424005/Human Rights Watchhttps://www.hrw.org/world-report/2017/country-chapters/canadaForeign Policyhttp://foreignpolicy.com/2016/07/06/the-vanishing-of-canadas-first-nations-women-harper-trudeau-violence-highway-of-tears-indigenous/

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