By Ambassador Dhano Obongo
June 8, 2016 (SSNA) — Human rights defined as fundamental privileges that persons enjoy and have aim of life. They are God given and not made nor can be nullified by any regime.
Human rights are reinforced by many universal agreements and accords including the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1949. They include features of nationality, movement, religion, information, free speech, belief, association, egalitarianism before law, education, freedom, existence, politics, culture, and economic … just to name a few.
The Scottish scholar, John Locke (1632-1704) defined human rights as total ethical rights or prerogative to life. liberty and property. A recognized expression of human rights is expressed in the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights of which announces that” All men are by nature equally free and independent, have certain inherent rights of which, when they enter a state of society, they cannot by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity.”
Contemporary human rights fear and influences arose toward the end of the twentieth century and rise of the 21st century. This was perhaps because of respond to racial discrimination, ethnicity, war crimes, genocide, and slavery. Character weaknesses in manhood were deterring conditions nurturing the prospect of a just society.
The former Organization of African Unity (OAU), currently known as the African Union (AU), came up with the Continent Charter on Human and People’s Rights. It was meant to support and defend human rights and fundamental liberties in the African Continent. The obligations of the charter comprise the work of the African Commission on Human Rights, which was founded in 1987.Its head office is in Banjui, Gambia. A protocol to the charter was accepted in 1998 whereby an African Court on Human and People’s Rights was established. On January 25, 2005, the protocol came into effect. While South Sudan has not signed and ratified the protocol, some 53 African states have signed and ratified it.
The United Nations office in Geneva, Switzerland will hold the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council meeting on June22, 2016. I believe our Hon. Minister of Justice will participate in the upcoming meeting with some stakeholders as the African Union, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, and the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC). This vital meeting will focus on the human rights status quo in the Republic of South Sudan.
Now the question, I would like to ask ourselves, have we done our homework properly? Because when we are asked hard and tough questions we will be ready to respond to it. This is just a friendly reminder and food for thought.
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