2022: Year of hunger and asylum

2022: Year of hunger and asylum
Columnist Mohamed al Hammadi - Jusoor Post

The year 2022 was not perfect and cannot be celebrated as a successful year for human rights. The world has witnessed human rights violations in various fields, and many times, which makes us reflect on these violations that people face.

The number of refugees has increased, freedoms have declined a lot, wars have expanded while people's sense of security has decreased, human health has deteriorated, and the world's poor are still deprived of medicine.

Wars, climate change, and natural disasters have affected humans. Floods and droughts have increased hunger and displaced millions. The number of people suffering from hunger has risen to 345 million, and the number of displaced people has increased to more than 100 million, compared to about 90 million in 2021.

During this difficult situation, on December 10, the world celebrated the 74th anniversary of the Declaration of the Universal Charter on Human Rights. On this day, people were able to devise a pact through which human rights are respected everywhere, regardless of an individual's race, color, religion, language, and everything that undermines human fraternity.

The above statistics make us wonder about the world's progress in the field of human rights as it celebrates its diamond anniversary next year. Will human rights remain where they are or could they retreat even more than before?

Beautiful is the slogan launched by the United Nations and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights with its celebrations of International Human Rights Day 2022: “Dignity, Freedom and Justice for All”. This is what people need, and certainly the world will consolidate these concepts over the coming months, but it is important that these concepts stem from concern for people and preserving their rights, away from politicization, economic interests, and the conflicts of major powers. People now feel that they are a hostage to these “priorities”, while rights only come afterward.

Despite the great efforts made by the United Nations and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the human rights situation is at the worst due to the lack of cooperation required from states regarding the goals of the United Nations and its High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as the lack of respect by some regimes and countries of the international covenants, treaties and laws that preserve people’s rights, in addition to the insistence of other regimes on politicizing human rights and exploiting its treaties for political and ideological agendas.

It is also important to pay attention to what Volker Türk, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said at the celebration of this occasion: “We must restore the universality and indivisibility of human rights, and we need to find a new energy that motivates young people all over the world.”

The universality of human rights lies in respect for the Universal Declaration, as well as local humanitarian charters, with the need to respect the particularities of societies and their cultures that protect human rights, preserve their dignity, and do not contradict the Universal Declaration.

States should also pay attention to developing plans that motivate youth to serve human causes, and for them to be an essential part of the international human rights system, without contradicting their convictions and aspirations for the future. Without the youth’s faith and enthusiasm for the values and principles of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, these values and principles will lose their vitality and permanence.