Academic journal article Development and Society

Toward Human Rights in the Local Community: Multiple Approaches for Implementation*

Academic journal article Development and Society

Toward Human Rights in the Local Community: Multiple Approaches for Implementation*

Article excerpt

This paper attempts to show the significance of the implementation of human rights in the local community. Along with the international and national schemes for the collective guarantee of human rights, the local community should be a significant arena for the carrying out of social efforts to protect and promote human rights in practice. For improving the human rights situation at the local level, multiple approaches are suggested: the widespread promotion of a human rights culture in the community, the offering of human rights education in local schools for children and workplaces for adults, the collective efforts for implementing human rights by members of the local community such as agents of the local government and activists of nongovernmental organizations, and the introduction of local regulations for human rights. These multiple approaches aim to establish a social system for the collective guarantee of human rights at the level of the local community.

Keywords: Human Rights, Human Rights Ordinance, Human Rights Culture, Collective Guarantee of Human Rights, Local Community

Introduction

The development of human rights has been one of the goals for human society in the contemporary era. Since the end of World War II, in particular, there have been continued activities to develop human rights at the international and national levels (Robertson and Merrills, 1996). Among the international community, numerous examples, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenants for Human Rights, demonstrate the achievement of collective efforts for human rights. In addition, international non-governmental organizations have also been working to promote human rights. There are, however, of course, numerous negative elements threatening the international human rights system such as international terrorism, regional conflicts and wars, nationalist uprisings, racial antagonism, and cultural confrontation. Nonetheless, the implementation of human rights has made progress on the global scale for the past several decades.

There has also been overall progress in the implementation of human rights at the national level in many countries. Regardless of the massive disparity among nations, developments in the area of human rights include the introduction of legal systems such as constitutions and bills of rights, and the establishment of governmental organizations dealing with human rights. Progress by the government has been made along with remarkable human rights initiatives issued by non-governmental organizations in civil society. The collective efforts and the national network of NGOs have increased in the last decades, particularly in developing countries. These have no doubt made effective contributions to the implementation of human rights at the national level. Furthermore, cooperation between the governmental and non-governmental organizations has resulted in the improvement of human rights in practice in various sectors of the nation.

Despite the remarkable developments that have been made in the human rights situation at the international and national levels, human rights violations continue to exist in every part of human society. Numerous types of human rights violations occurring in everyday include domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse, brutality toward the elderly, life threats, and various sorts of social discrimination. The victims of these crimes-who have been discriminated against, battered or oppressed by community members-continue to appear everywhere people carry out their daily life such as homes, schools, offices, and local places.

For the purpose of improving human rights in practice, we need to pay more attention to this aspect of human life in every society and then to develop a social system for protecting and promoting human rights in the local community where everyone carries out his/her daily life. Along with the international and national schemes for the development of human rights, collective efforts are needed to establish social systems for human rights in the local community so that all members of human society are aware of their dignity and well-being in everyday life. …

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