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LAW3405 Human Rights Law Oz Assignments Essay
Human rights are the fundamental rights and freedoms which belongs to each member of the society from the time they are born until they die. These rights apply to everyone regardless of their background, gender, education level, what a particular community believes in and how people choose to live their life (Shestack, 2017, p.3). Human rights are not supposed to be taken away though they are sometimes restricted in case a person breaks the law and regulations of the country or is the interest of the national security. Human rights are based on core values such as dignity, fairness, respect, and equality in society. The law protects these core values. The world is industry experiencing a lot of changes, and therefore the public should ensure that it pays a lot of attention to human rights to ensure that members of the community live their best quality lives. However, the spread of this democracy in the world explains the latest situations in countries like Angola which are making broader attempts to ensure that each member of the country has access and protection of their human rights (Donnelly, 2013). This has led reproductive health human rights, and many Angolan people have welcomed the changes in this sector. Angola has been able to make numerous steps to guarantee its population access to maternal care, education on the use of contraceptives to control its population and sexual education to teenagers to control the spread of sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDS and gonorrhea following the legislation of the Reproductive Health Law of 2012. Even though access to reproductive health services has become a fundamental human right in Angola, it is the role of the government and private companies to ensure that they distribute reproductive health services to all its members even the ones in remote areas (Kempadoo, Sanghera & Pattanaik, 2015). However, according to recent research which was conducted it was clearly indicated that violation of human rights is a significant issue which is facing Angola. This paper focuses on human rights issues in Angola, people who are affected by human rights violation and the advocacy actions which have been taken to improve the situation.
Human Rights Issues in Angola
Human rights violation occurs when the state or non-state organization denies people of their political rights and do not allow them to participate political activities so that they can elect their appropriate political leaders who can present them to state. Human rights violation also involves people been denied their freedom to participate in their cultural activities, and they are also denied their economic rights in which only a certain number of people are only allowed to take part in activities which can earn them a living (Hathaway, 2017, p.3). Violation of economic rights occurs mostly due to factors like corruption in which a person has to pay leaders of a particular organization to be able to acquire themselves a chance to work in the organization. Nepotism and racism is another issue in which people in authority only offers job opportunities to their close relative and friends ignoring other potential job applicants. In Angola, the citizen has been denied their rights in a various number of ways (Bunch, 2018, p.11). Angolan citizens have severally been killed by landmines denying them the right to live. It is the role of the government to ensure that its citizens are protected from enemies and ensure that they are saved, however, the government should make sure that it does not harm its people when trying to attack enemies by using the appropriate measures possible. Angola is also faced with hunger which has led to several deaths due to starvation.
Angolan citizens elected a new president Joao Lourenco to present them after their former president ruled ruthlessly. The elections were peacefully, but citizens did not know that it would lead to severe restrictions in which they will not have the freedom of expression and assembly (MacKinnon, 2017, p.133). The election of the former president also pointed to limited access of information due to the government repression in state media and private media outlets by ruling parties which made it impossible for citizens to have adequate information on what is happening in their country. The new elected new president promised to govern all the citizens in the right way possible and solve significant issues which are facing the country which includes corruption and mismanagement of the public funds by top leaders. The security forces in Angola continued to use excessive force and powerful weapon to intimidate peaceful protesters who had to bad intentions but fighting or their human rights. The press has been threatened of their freedom after the new media law was enacted (Brysk, 2013). Angolan media freedom has remained controlled by the state and individual who are highly related to ruling parties. The Angolan government continues to restrict the freedom p expression, and its citizens do not have the right to express their views and opinions on some issues which affect the country. Since the media freedom is restricted in Angola people, do not know much about what happens to their country. Despite the opposition which the country faced in 2016 from journalist’s unions and other groups, the parliament passed laws which restricted freedom of expression.
These laws which were signed by the former president includes television law, broadcast law, press law and code of conduct for journalists. The press law authorizes the ministry of social communication to have control of the general activities which are carried out in the media organization and punish or suspend individuals who violate the law (Sen, 2017, p.221). The law also punishes people who use texts and images which are offensive to the society. Freedom of assembly is another human right which is profoundly violated in Angola. In Angola, citizens are denied the right of having peaceful protests and instead the security forces are given mandate by the state to block the peaceful anti-protests which are conducted by citizens as they try to fight for their rights with excessive intimidation and use of weapons in which sometimes can lead to deaths of citizens and leave other more citizens injured which is against their rights (Forsythe, 2017). Example of these incidences includes a case which happened on February 2016 when police officers blocked a protest which was happening in Luanda and it involved 15 individuals who were calling for the resignation of a minister as he was violating their human rights. The women reproductive rights are also threatened. This is after the government approves the amendment of abortion law making all the abortion carried in the country illegally (Weiss, 2018). This happened even though abortion was allowed for cases like when the woman was raped, or her health condition was in a critical situation. The state opposed the proposal, and these exceptions are excluded from the law making abortion punishable or all people who try to violate it for a period of four to ten years imprisonment. Election violence has also broken the human rights in Angola (Decker et al., 2015, p.186). Election violence has led to death and displacement of people as they run to more secure places which makes them end up been refugees in the neighboring countries. Election violence was experienced in Angola after the general elections which were held in August 2016.
Individuals Who Are Affected By Human Rights Violation in Angola
Violation of human rights affects all citizens in Angola. For the case of election violence in which people are forced to run away from their homes into neighboring countries children are not able to continue schooling as they are exposed to new environments in which accessing education institutions is a problem, and thus they are denied their right of getting a proper education which can enlighten their future (Forsythe, 2017). The new environment which they settle due to election violence includes refugees’ camps which are overcrowded with poor sanitation exposing them to infections such as cholera. Children are also exposed to other health complications which are related to poor diets because in these places they do not get enough and balanced diets which can have negative impacts on their health (Howard-Hassmann, 2018). Women are the second group of individuals who are profoundly affected by a violation of human rights. Abortion law which was passed in Angola has dramatically changed some women in the country. The law punishes all individuals who try to commit abortion in the country, and it does not include women who are victims of rape or who are faced with complicated health situations regarding their pregnancies. Schoolgirls who get pregnant as a result of being forced to drop out of school to nurse their babies because the state does not allow abortion at all. This affects their education, and they do not pay attention to their studies as they were doing before which leads to failure in their exams (Dwyer, 2016). Women are forced to go through traumatic experiences based on the fact that they are forced to keep babies which they sometimes don’t know their fathers. In case they come from poor backgrounds they are forced to completely drop out of school so that they can work and feed their babies which leads to incidences of early marriages.
Violation of human rights can also lead to the deterioration of the country economy. For the case where people are killed due to the political crisis, business people are not able to carry out their business activities appropriately as they fear for their lives and thus they do not travel to places which are faced with a crisis which significantly can affect the economy of the country (Gasper, 2016). Neighboring countries of Angola finds its challenging to continue with their normal operational management in this country, and thus the revenue of the state has reduced. This makes it very hard for the state to be able to establish a healthy and productive business relationship with other countries and they cannot import good or export well to other countries. The income tax of the state reduces as a tourist do not visit the country as usual because they are afraid of been violated of their rights. In general, all the citizens of Angola are affected by a violation of their human rights, and thus they are not able to carry out their activities regularly (Schoultz, 2014, p.81). This happens because of immediate, intense distress which they have to go through been aware that their human rights are violated, and they cannot do anything to control the situation which makes them feel more helpless and restless. Angolan citizens also have to deal with some trauma responses in which they have to try avoiding topics and locations which reminds them of their problems which can lead to physical withdrawal and increased sleeping and eating as they try to cope with the situation. Due to the hard life situations in which citizens are exposed to, most young people end up engaging themselves into drug abuse which is very dangerous to their health (Bell, 2013, p.15). People also undergo hard financial situations because their economic rights are violated, and they are left with no source of income which they can provide excellent education and medical services to their families which have profoundly contributed to family breakups in Angola.
Advocacy Actions which are taken to Protect Human Rights in Angola
For the government to be able to protect human rights, it should ensure that all citizens receive some degree of decent and treatment which allows them to practice their rights freely. During times of violent conflicts, the government should provide use of safe havens which are used to protect refugees and victims of the war from any surrounding violence in their societies which can significantly help to safeguard human lives (Donnelly, 2013). Peacekeeping can also be used separate disputants and prevent the abuse from occurring again. Educating people about their human rights must be a part of the general education in which people in the society are taught on their rights making them capable of recognizing when they are violated o their rights. The government is charged with the role of ensuring that technical and financial assistance is provided to enhance the understanding and knowledge of human rights. This involves funding the organizations which are charged with the role of educating the community with enough capital so that they can go to remote areas (Evans, 2016, p.89). Members of the security forces should be trained to ensure that they are capable of observing human rights standards for law enforcement. Angolan citizens should expose the individual who violates their rights and publishes their encounters.
In case you come across a person who is violating human rights, it is advisable to take pictures, audios and videos of the violation so that you have enough evidence before forwarding them to the authorities. This is because every person wants to be seen as good and when you expose them to the public, they might deny it which makes it very significant to have evidence against them (Smith, 2016). International war crimes tribunals have also been established to punish individuals who violate human rights. Humanitarian and development assistance can also be used to ease the effects which human rights violation have to individuals (Hehir, 2013, p.137). This action ensures that in time of crisis people can access basic survival needs such as food, shelter, clothes, proper sanitation and healthcare services. This action also supports people who have been displaced from their homes and gives support to rehabilitation centers. This aid helps a country have peaceful development instead of sliding back because of conflicts. The last advocacy action which can be taken to restore human rights is democratization measures (Hafner-Burton, 2013). This action helps regain political rights of citizens making it possible for them to exercise their democratic rights like selecting their favorite political leaders which they are sure can solve various problems which they face. This actions monitors elections to ensure that it is carried out peacefully and no crises arise.
Are These Actions Working or Not
Even though the country is making effort to implement advocacy actions to protect human rights, most of the actions taken do not work. Corruption is the main reason as to why these actions are not working (Thakur, 2013). Most of the people who are responsible of a violation of human rights are top leaders who have a lot of capital, and in case they are reported to the public about the actions they can bribe people who are responsible o protecting human rights and get away free. Another reason these actions are not working is that everyone in the society wants to be seen as perfect and they do not accept their mistakes (Dugard, 2015, p.1240). Even if an ordinary civilian makes a point of forwarding an individual who was trying to violate human rights, the high chances are that the violator will refuse the charges unless there is enough evidence like audio, picture or video taken as they were in action.
Human rights are essential freedoms which each person in the world needs to have and be able to make their own decision. Due to poor leadership techniques, in many countries like Angola, human rights are violated which leaves its citizens traumatized and helpless because they cannot do anything to protect their rights. Individuals in the community are advised never to give bribes or favors as it leads to a violation of their rights. They should also be educated about their rights so that they have adequate information about their human rights and they are in a position to detect when someone is trying to violate their rights. Citizens should report people who work to break their rights to the authorities so that appropriate actions can be taken against them.
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