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Compare and Contrast the Domestic Implementation Mechanism of Human Rights between Bangladesh and USA.
“Every man holds his property subject to the general right of the community to regulate its use to whatever degree the public welfare may require it.” — Theodore Roosevelt, August 31 Speech at Osawatomie
Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or origin, color, religion, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interconnected, interdependent and indivisible.
Universal human rights are often expressed and guaranteed by law, in the forms of treaties, customary international law, general principles and other sources of international law. International human rights law lay down obligations of Governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to encourage and defend human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups.
Universal and inalienable
The principle of universality of human rights is the comerstone of international human rights law. This principle, as first emphasized in the universal declaration on human rights in 1948, has been reiterated in numerous international human rights conventions, declarations and resolutions. The 1993 Vienna World Conference on human rights noted that it is the duty of States to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems.
Independent and indivisible
All human rights are indivisible, whether they are civil and political rights, such as the right to life, equality before the law and freedom of expression, economic, social and cultural rights, such as the rights to work, social security and education, or collective rights, such as the rights to development and self determination, are indivisible, interrelated and interdependent. The improvement of one right facilitates advancement of the others. Likewise, the deprivation of one right adversely affects the others.
Equal and non-discriminatory
Non-discrimination is a cross-cutting principle in international human rights law. The principle is present in all the major human rights treaties and provides the central theme of some international human rights conventions such as the international convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.
Both Rights and Obligations
Human rights entail both rights and obligations. States assume obligations and duties under international law to respect, to protect and to fulfill human rights. The obligation to respect means that States must refrain from interfering with or curtailing the enjoyment of human rights. The obligation to protect requires States to protect individuals and groups human rights abuses. The obligation to fulfill means that must take positive action to facilitate the enjoyment of basic human rights. At the individual level, while we are entitled our human rights, we should also respect the human rights.
Domestic Implementation Mechanism of Human Rights
It is often difficult to make a clear distinction between ‘supervision’ and ‘implementation’ of human rights, and no consistent international terminology is used. In human rights literature, protection, supervision, monitoring, and implementation are terms often used indiscriminately to cover both the mechanisms established to determine whether the standards are adhered to actual compliance by states with those standards. The tenure ‘supervision’ refers to all procedures that have been instituted at the international level, with the aim of monitoring compliance with human rights standards at the domestic level. The term ‘implementation’ is used here in reference to actual compliance with human rights standards by individual state as well as all initiatives taken by those states themselves, other states and international organs or other bodies to enhance respect for human rights and prevent violations.
Implementation at the Domestic level
The implementation of human rights law depends to a large extent on the political determination and often, as regards economic, cultural and social rights, the economic capacity of states to comply with international standards. Ideally, a co-operative network of non-state actors and international institutions all ensure the effective implementation of the international norms and standards. Implementation entails an array of activities. These include primarily activities to improve compliance by the states themselves, such as enacting national laws or administrative practices to comply with human rights standards, strengthening the judiciary branch of government , educating the population, establishing national human rights institutions, improvement of minimum health standards, improving orison conditions, and increasing participation in government.
Implementation at the international level
Implementation of human rights standards can be a difficult task for developing countries where the scarcity of resources may enforce challenging obstacles to achieve compliance with human rights within a reasonable time. For example, while a state may in theory agree that people have the right to health, housing or other economic standards, it may not have the capacity radically to change everyone’s living conditions in order to bring them up to the level of the norms aspired to Similarly, one’s right to a speedy and fair trial may require that a state increase funding to its judiciary system. Thus, international co-operation is essential to assist countries trustworthiness to international standards. The promotion of human rights standards in another country can take place through a ‘positive’ approach, whereby support is given to the improvements of conditions that facilitate compliance with human rights, or through a reaction to a violation of human rights. Often a differentiated approach is chosen, as this may often be the most effective way to bring about compliance. One sees international treaty organs, other countries and non-governmental organizations all working to promote human rights compliance.
U.S. Implementation Plan
In 2010, the United States participated in the UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. After careful review, the United States accepted in whole or in part of the 228 recommendations it received. In keeping with the United States’ enduring commitment to universal human rights and fundamental freedoms at home and abroad, they have adopted a process for carrying out and reviewing their implementation of the recommendations they accepted.
Working groups are each led by the government department or agency with the greatest subject matter expertise in that area and are composed of members from other relevant departments and agencies. During the coming months and years, we will reach out to civil society through this working group process, both on the individual working group level and collectively, thus continuing the dialogue that was begun in preparation for our initial review.
United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mechanisms
At the spirit of the United Nations monitoring system are the two types of human rights monitoring mechanisms. The so-called conventional mechanisms refer to the specific committees formally established through the principle international human rights treaties. These ‘treaty bodies’ monitor the implementation of the individual conventions by the States parties.
Over the years, the United Nations has also developed an independent and ad hoc system of fact-finding outside the treaty framework, which is referred to as extra-conventional mechanisms or ‘Special Producers’. Independent experts report in their personal capacity as special reporters or as members of working groups<href=”#_ftn2″ name=”_ftnref2″ title=””>. Treaty bodies have been set up for the six core United Nations human rights treaties to monitor States parties efforts to implement the provisions of the international instruments.
Compare and Contrasts of Human Rights
Human Rights in Bangladesh
In 2005, Bangladesh experienced an unprecedented period of continuous political instability. On August 17, 2005, four hundred bombs exploded in all but one of the nation’s sixty-four districts. As a result of this instability and its national security repercussions, Bangladesh already questionable human rights have deteriorated.
Bangladeshi security forces have been persistently criticized by Amnesty International and Human rights Watch due to grave abuses of human rights. These include extrajudicial summary executions, excessive use of force and the use of custodial torture. Reporters and defenders of human rights are harassed and intimated by the authorities. Since 2003, legislative barriers to prosecution and transparency have afforded security services immunity from accountability to the general public. Hindu and Ahmedi Muslim minorities human rights are in a compromised.
State and corruption is still a major problem, such that Transparency International has listed Bangladesh as the most corrupt country in the world for five co consecutive years.
Human Rights in the United States
Human rights in the United States are legally protected by the constitution of the United States, including the amendments, state constitution, conferred by treaty, and enacted legislatively through Congress, state legislatures, and state referenda and citizen’s initiatives. Federal courts in the United States have jurisdiction over international human rights laws as a federal question, arising under international law, which is part of the law of the United States<href=”#_ftn6″ name=”_ftnref6″ title=””>.
According to Human Rights: The Essential reference, “The Declaration of independence was the first civic document that met a modern definition of human rights. ‘ The Constitution recognizes a number of inalienable human rights, including freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, the right to keep and bear arms, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, and the right to a fair trial by jury.
Constitutional amendments have been enacted as the needs of the society evolved. The Ninth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment recognize that not all human rights have yet been enumerated. The Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act are examples of human rights that were enumerated by Congress well after the Constitution writing. The scope of legal protections of human rights by the US government is defined by case law, particularly by the precedent of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Human rights are universal: Does Bangladesh have the vision, the courage and the political will to make as complete a commitment to human rights today as it did at independence, four decades ago? In 1971, the people of this country fought not just for religious, but also for those who were not. In 1971, they fought to remove discrimination not just against their ethnicity, but against their gender. In 1971, they fought for all.
But rights for all are not what Bangladeshis got. The rana Plaza disaster and the outbreak of Islamist violence are part of a concatenation of ills, fed corruption, political expediency and contempt for universal human rights. When only my rights count, not your, no human right is safe.
Establishing Effective Accountability Mechanism for Human Rights Violations
Rule of law and institutional reform cannot start with a “clean slate”. Understanding the patterns of past human rights violations and ending impunity for the worst violations are indispensable for successful transformative processes. At the core of any effort to establish accountability are three indispensable and interlinked rights: the right to truth, the right to justice, and the right to an effective remedy and reparation. In order to implement these rights, a comprehensive strategy is required that involves governments and civil society and addresses gaps of knowledge, capacity and political commitment.
Genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other gross violations of human rights undermine the fabric of entire societies. They can destabilize States and whole regions, threatening international peace and security. In the aftermath of such terrible events, it is essential to establish the truth about the international crimes and gross violations that took place. A people’s knowledge of the history of its oppression is part of its heritage. Knowing the truth allows victims and relatives to gain a sense of closure and restores a measure of dignity.
Justice is the indispensable companion of truth. Accountability for crimes and gross violations, including individual accountability under criminal law, is to key reinstate public trust in justice and security institutions to rebuild the rule of law and sustainable peace. At the same time, we need to pay more attention to the victims. Everyone is aware of the tremendous physical, psychological and material price victims of armed conflict pay. However, efforts to end impunity have, unfortunately, not been accompanied by equally strong efforts to address the plight of victims. There is a clear need to rectify this imbalance so that victims can obtain effective remedies and reparation for the harm they suffered.
5. Amnesty International (http://web.amnesty.org/report2004/bgd-summary-eng)
7. http://ww1.transparency.org/cpi/2005/cpi2005_infocus. html
8. Brennan, William, J., ed. Schwartz, Bernard, The Burger Court: counter-revolution or confirmation?, Oxford University Press US, 1998, ISBN 0-19-512259-3, page 10
A New York governor who became the 26th U.S. president, Theodore Roosevelt is remembered for his foreign policy, corporate reforms and ecological preservation.
Amnesty International (http://web.amnesty.org/report 2004/bgd-summary-eng)
Brennan, William, J., ed. Schwartz, Bernard, The Burger Court: counter-revolution or confirmation?, Oxford University Press US, 1998, ISBN 0-19-512259-3, page 10