In democratic societies such as the United States and much of Europe, it is important that human rights are recognized because if they’re not it causes problems such as poverty, crime, broken families, rise in mental health issues and problems in the education system. The government is responsible for creating laws that allow for the fair treatment of individuals so that everyone can get along in the world without too much tension, that may become harmful. Nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups exist for the purpose of giving people an education about what their rights are and about ethical values that promote a better life for all.
Women’s Rights And Democracy
One cannot discuss human rights in a democracy without discussing women’s rights. For centuries in the United States until the 1920s, women could not vote and for many decades there were no strict laws that gave punishment to men who committed domestic violence against women. Sadly in nations within Africa and the Middle East, women still suffer from a lack of basic human rights. As for economic rights for women, they have achieved amazing victories and in fact more women are graduating from college and entering more diverse careers than men. However many women are still denied equal pay for their work and some do not get fair chances at promotion.
How You Can Have Laws Changed in A Democracy
In a democracy people can do a variety of things to have laws changed that they think are unfair to society. Start by identifying the aspects of certain laws or pieces of upcoming legislation that you do not believe in and then you should seek support from individuals and nonprofit organizations who agree with you. You should research the specific laws thoroughly to make sure that they are unconstitutional and once you do this you can locate your representative and state your concerns in a letter or by phone. Attend some sessions concerning the laws you want changed and you can ask others to get involved.
Impact of American Civil Rights Movement
Racial discrimination was a dark stain in America’s history and human rights were violated for hundreds of years prior to the rise of the civil rights movement. The history of racial injustice in America started with involuntary slavery and as slavery became ingrained in American society, the slaves were subjected to harsh treatment. Slave families were also separated during slave auctions and after slavery ended African Americans endured employment discrimination, brutal lynchings and other kinds of in justice. By the 1950s things started to turn around when leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. demanded equal rights and over time new laws were put in place to protect the rights of African Americans, women and other minorities.
What Are Some of The Basic Rights of Those Living in A Democracy?
One of the most important rights in a democracy is the right to fair and free elections. When election fraud occurs in a democracy, the citizens’ rights are violated and this could lead to widespread frustration and even disillusionment with the democratic process. In a democracy the people also have a right to equal participation in the exchange of ideas and the right to petition the government for better laws.
Rights of Former Prisoners
Another part of a fair democracy is the fair treatment of current and former prisoners. One issue in particular is the lack of rights in some states for former prisoners to participate in the voting process. Another issue is the widespread employment discrimination against former prisoners and some human rights advocates say that this discourages former prisoners. When former prisoners experience employment discrimination they’re more likely to reenter the prison system.
What Citizens’ Responsibilities Are
While citizens in a democracy enjoy the rights of fair elections, ability to engage in civil affairs and a free press, they also have responsibilities. These responsibilities include paying taxes, obeying the laws, not infringing upon the liberties of others around them, staying informed on the political issues of the day, serve on a jury if asked and if necessary, perform military service.
Rights of The Homeless
The plight of the homeless is a human rights issue that is still not being addressed in our society and part of this is because of a misconception that many people are homeless due to an unwillingness to work. This is not true because a majority of homeless persons desire employment but in light of the tough economy, it is difficult for them to find work. Social service agencies should make job skills training for the homeless a top priority so that they can have a better life.
A well established democracy must protect the rights of children but in today’s modern world those rights are not always protected. We see this in the complex nature and horrors of child sex trafficking around the world and the numerous cases of child sex abuse within some religious organizations. Another human rights battle regarding children is the basic right to a good education and in the United States in particular, this issue is huge. Our government, educational institutions, religious institutions and regular citizens must do everything possible to ensure children’s well being.
How You Can Advocate for Human Rights
One good method of advocating for human rights is to utilize the media. Write letters to the editors of local newspapers and magazines about issues that concern you, or you can start your own blog to raise awareness of certain human rights issues. Another way to advocate for human rights is to actively seek out opportunities to help those in need. You can do this by volunteering at a homeless shelter, recording stories of veterans who feel ignored by society, and tutoring low income children in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
In conclusion, human rights is a broad issue with many facets. You should learn about what your rights are in the country you live in, so that you will be able to defend them, should the government attempt to violate them.