Before I begin, let me make something clear. Limitations to human rights aren’t the same thing as the violation of human rights. When human rights have been violated, it means they’ve been broken or ignored. When human rights have been limited, it means that a restriction or a boundary has been put on them. It could be caused by something or circumstances. Although they have different definitions, the violation and limitations of human rights are closely related.
Can the violation of human rights be for our good at times? No, of course not!!!!! The violation of human rights threatens our very existence as human beings. Can a limitation to human rights be for our good at times? Yeah, it can. Our rights can be limited at times for our own good. The worldwide lockdown imposed on us, as a result of the covid 19 pandemic is a good example of our rights being limited for our own good.
Hello and welcome to the second post I’ll be writing, on human rights. Today, I’ll be giving us some of the limitations that I believe limits, the rights of individuals in our society.
State of emergency.
A state of emergency is a situation in which a government is empowered to be able to execute through policies that it would normally not be permitted to do, for the safety and protection of their citizens. A government can declare such a state during a natural disaster, civil unrest, medical pandemic or epidemic or other biosecurity risk etc. Source:Wikipedia
Now when we look at the state of emergency in a nation, we see that it may suspend not only the normal activities of the arms of government but that of the citizens also. The lockdown due to the covid 19 pandemic this year is an example of such state of emergency, which occurred for months and is still occuring in different countries of the world. Due to the pandemic, our rights to movement and right to assemble has been limited. And just like I said earlier, this limitation is for the good of the people. If limitations aren’t put on this rights, it will result in the wide spread of the virus, thereby leading to loss of lives and a drastic reduction in population.
In the case of war, people are forced out of their homes to refugee camps in order to seek safety. Their right to family life and privacy will be limited here but at least, their right to life will be protected.
Like I said earlier, some of the limitations to human rights can just be for our own good. The state of emergency is a very good example, in the sense that some of our rights are limited in order to ensure our safety and protect our right to life. But at the same time, certain outcomes due to the state of emergency can threaten our rights. Such outcomes may include; Police harassment/brutality, people may be rendered homeless, increase in social vices as people may commit all sorts of crimes e.g. rape, robbery etc.
Illiteracy and ignorance.
Illiteracy is defined as the inability of an individual to read and write. Ignorance is the condition of being uninformed or uneducated. I believe that these two are the major limitations to human rights. You can only defend and uphold your rights if you understand and know what they are all about. A saying goes, “ignorance is a disease”. You cannot claim rights you don’t know. There are many people in the society today who don’t even know they have rights. They don’t know their rights and so they won’t even know if their rights are being limited or violated.
If I could give a possible solution to this, i would say that more awareness on human rights should be given in the society. There are people out there who don’t even know that a document like the UDHR (universal declaration of human rights) exists. Just like I said in my last post, advocacy through print and electronic media goes a long way to create awareness. In our own little way, we should make it our duty from time to time, to educate people on human rights.
A military dictatorship is a dictatorship in which the military exerts complete and substantial control over political authority, and the dictator is often a high ranked military officer. Most military dictatorships are formed after a coup d’`etat has overthrown the previous government. A coup d’`etat is the removal of an existing government from power, usually through violent means. Typically, it is an illegal unconstitutional seizure of power by a dictator, political faction or the military. Source:Wikipedia
This is a type of government where absolute sovereignty is allotted to the military. In this system of government, the constitution is suspended, the fundamental human rights of individuals are limited and violated and the military rules by decrees passed by it.
In a case like this, some people are tortured to death for crimes they didn’t commit, some are put in prison without fair trial, some are denied their freedom of fair hearing in court etc. The rights of individuals here are not only limited but also violated as well. In a system like this, the freedom of speech, right to assemble, freedom from fear, freedom from discrimination and many more are denied to the people.
Customs and traditions.
Sometimes, some of the practices we engage in as a result of our customs and traditions, may just be what can limit and violate our rights. In the olden days, some of our ancient practices violated some of our rights like; right to life, right to privacy, freedom from fear, freedom of speech and many more. For example, back then it was believed in a particular culture, that when a master/mistress dies, his/her slave is to be buried with them. This did not only limit and violate that slave’s freedom of speech but also violated his right to life.
Another example I’ll give, is the ancient practice in a particular culture, whereby the widow of a dead man has to drink the water used to bath her husband’s dead body and has to shave her entire hair. I can’t even bear to think how the woman must feel after doing all this. This clearly violates the right to privacy and good health.
I’ll be pausing here today. So far so good, I’ve given four factors that I believe limits the rights of individuals in the society. There are many more limitations, but I’ll just be giving only four today. I’ll really appreciate it if you all could give me other factors that you believe, limits the rights of people in the society. Feel free to throw in your contributions in the comment box and watch out for my next post on human rights. Till then guys✌️