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Human Rights Law: Never In Our Names
Economic Collapse Promotes a Human Rights Crisis
Billions of people are suffering from insecurity, injustice and indignity. This is a human rights crisis.
The crisis is about the shortages of food, jobs, clean water, land and housing and also about growing inequality and insecurity, xenophobia and racism, violence and repression.The solutions will not be found in local institutions and circumstances but rather require worldwide action and supportive interaction.
We need leadership of the kind that moves states from narrow national self-interest to multilateral collaboration, so that the solutions are inclusive, comprehensive, sustainable and respectful of human rights.The current regime of alliances based on economic good is not sufficient for the needs of the future. We must begin to look beyond the economic benefit to the favored few and work for solutions that benefit one and all.
Many argue for the success of lifting millions from poverty as a result of recent economic success around the world. At the same time many are left behind without sharing in the overall success.
Despite sustained economic growth in many parts of Africa, millions of people remain below the poverty line, struggling to meet their basic needs.
In an effort to insure economic success many global financial institutions support legal reform in developing nations. But there has been no corresponding support for the rights of the people in those nations.
According to the UN Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, around two thirds of the world's population have no meaningful access to justice.
The crisis generated today includes problems in access to education, food, housing, and water among other basic necessities. As the distress increases more and more people are pushed into social activities contrary to the public good. The ongoing crisis is one source of the current terrorism around the world as people find themselves in hopeless situations.
Finding solutions to the world's worst conflicts and to the increasing threat of extremist violence through greater respect for human rights is part and parcel of the bigger picture of getting the global economy on its feet.
Governments must find a new course if we are to resolve the issues of the day.
They should expand and support health and educational opportunities; end discrimination; empower women; set universal standards and effective systems to hold corporations accountable for human rights abuses; build open societies where the rule of law is respected, social cohesion is strong, corruption is eradicated and governments can be held to account.Over the course of history most major changes have come from the power of the people. Today may represent the beginning of one more such time. Only time will tell for sure. What is certain today is the current course is doomed to fail. We must find a different global solution to benefit all on the planet if we as humankind are to survive far into the future.
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