On International Human Rights Day

(ACJ): The international community faces a real test to prove the feasibility of human rights conventions in light of violating them constantly
  • 2023-12-10

    Michigan - International Human Rights Day marks this year while many countries are witnessing an unprecedented escalation of violations in difficult humanitarian conditions. At the same time, there is a suspicious absence of the role of the international community, which has shown a disappointing inability to help the victims,  especially in terms of implementing human rights due to continued implicit obstruction of international conventions that emphasized the importance of human rights and the necessity of protecting them.

    The American Center for Justice (ACJ) notes on this occasion that millions of individuals suffer from deprivation of basic rights and face serious and dangerous threats, especially in the Palestinian territories, Yemen and Syria. Rather, the violations monitored and followed up show diligence on the part of the perpetrators at the expense of the lives and safety of innocent victims, especially vulnerable groups who are granted special protection in accordance with the rules of international law.

    More than 2.2 million Palestinians inside the Gaza Strip are exposed to crimes of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and forced displacement, with the Israeli war on the Strip continuing for more than 60 days. On Friday evening, the Security Council failed to pass an immediate ceasefire resolution in the Gaza Strip after the United States used its veto, which means America approves of the genocidal crimes carried out by the Israeli army and gives it the green light to continue its crimes.

    As the Israeli military continues its operation, we emphasize that the first and only victims are civilians, for direct targeting of security personnel has been documented, resulting in the killing of more than 21,000 Palestinians, including 9,077 children and 4,645 women, in addition to the injury of 45,920 civilians, not to mention the damage of 131 health facilities, including 23 hospitals, 56 clinics and 51 ambulances. Additionally, 1.9 million Palestinians were displaced from their homes to the southern Gaza Strip under humanitarian conditions that now threaten their existence, with the continued prevention of entry of humanitarian aid except within narrow limits, and the targeting of hospitals, health centers, places of worship, and even United Nations headquarters, such as UNRWA schools, which resulted in increased humanitarian complexity. The Israeli forces also show disregard for all international conventions that stipulate the protection of human rights in times of war and armed conflict. 

    On the other hand, Yemen still suffers from many challenges in terms of protecting human rights and individuals enjoying their rights guaranteed to them by law. The conflict has been continuing for more than nine years, with the intervention of many regional parties and the involvement of many armed groups, especially the Houthi group, in violating the rights of civilians through direct killings, arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearance, unjust trials, and the prosecution of activists, journalists, and opponents, in addition to cutting salaries off in the areas under its control from 2016 to this day. 

    This contributed to the alarming deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the country due to the deprivation of hundreds of thousands of employees of their salaries, in addition to the confiscation of funds, companies and property, which led the businessmen to transfer their business to other countries and left thousands of employees working in those places without work. As a result, the suffering of families doubled.

    Freedom of movement and expression of opinion were also restricted, which contributed to the deterioration of the human rights and humanitarian conditions in the country. Yemen now suffers from many challenges, most notably the failure of the parties to reach a comprehensive peace agreement.

    The same thing is happening in Syria, which has been suffering for more than ten years from serious challenges due to the armed conflict between the regime and the forces affiliated with the opposition and some armed parties. The Syrian people were subjected to horrific and complex violations, including indiscriminate bombing, arbitrary arrests, the forced disappearance of hundreds of thousands of civilians, and internal displacement, which collectively contributed to the complexity of the humanitarian situation and deprived individuals of the enjoyment of their rights referred to by international law in its various agreements.

    The ACJ emphasizes that the International Human Rights Day comes during complex circumstances witnessed by these countries and others, which constitutes a real test of the feasibility of human rights protection agreements in light of the negative role of the international community in obligating those parties that violate the unanimously agreed upon texts that require the protection of individuals.

    The American Center for Justice concludes its statement by noting that the international community is required, a fortiori, on this day to demonstrate its actual role and legal and moral responsibility in protecting human rights by activating the international protection mechanisms stipulated by international law, in addition to exerting all forms of pressure on parties that violate human rights and commit atrocities against individuals to stop their practices, which together constitute full-fledged crimes that require legal accountability