The preservation of human rights and human dignity in practice

human rights and dignity to all of us

We live in an age in which humanitarian crisis around the world belong to the daily agenda. Political and military conflicts have created the worst human tragedies attacking the weakest of the weakest, those who cannot defend themselves. The majority of these troubling scenes occur in many countries around the world particularly the Middle East. The source of the most recent and the most alarming human crisis since World War II has been the ongoing war in Syria. Since the beginning of the war in 2011 almost half of the population in Syria has been displaced to different parts of Syria´s neighboring countries: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

Theoretically speaking, there has been a lot of research conducted about this war. But in practice, less has been done to stop the mass killing and eradication of human lives.

Living in Lebanon at present, I´m witnessing displaced Syrians on a daily basis, some of them even close to my housing. My stay here for the past seven weeks has offered me a first-hand exposure in the field and allowed me to gain an authentic insight into the area and its challenges. The way these forcefully displaced Syrians are treated is just undignified. In fact millions of people around the world are treated this way.

In the 21st century we speak about values and high moral standards. Yet, we are still passive observers of the worst tragedies since World War II. Not to mention the countless wars during the whole period of human history.

It seems that the historical occurrences of war, like in the former Republic of Yugoslavia, Vietnam, the Gulf crisis, have completely vanished from the global discourse and the human collective memory. There is a sentence pointed out frequently: “Who do not learn from history is doomed to repeat it.”(George Santayana)

Mankind has not learned the lessons from history where the same history repeats itself as many conflicts of present modernity have shown us. How can one explain the continuation of additional wars in which human beings have been massacred? How is it possible that the people of this globe are not affected by the current situation in Syria, not to mention that these people showed more willingness to avoid the recurrence of another human catastrophe?

It is unbelievable what mankind is capable of doing. The most famous remark by Thomas Hobbes on human viciousness says: Homo Hominis Lupus est. In the animal world, the wolf is characterized as cruel and predaceous. These are characteristics which are in certain situations within the nature of human beings as well, probably in their most barbaric manifestations, such as in Syria.

Apparently there is something wrong in the way we deal with human life. Something has to be changed. The global public has to start to be more committed to the safeguarding of human life and its integrity, and to solve the situation that has been ongoing for almost half a decade. It is the international community´s responsibility toward global treaties to establish a frame to protect the civil and political rights of those who are powerless. The ethical and moral responsibility to grant protection clearly failed in Syria.

-By our regional intern at the World Youth Alliance, Middle East Office, Jennifer Miftaroska.

Written by Jennifer Miftaroska, a current regional intern at the WYA Middle East office in Lebanon.