The use of cell phones and video can attempt to stop police brutality. Luis Paulino’s August 2012 beating by NYPD officers was captured on video and posted online. The video shows officers throwing Paulino to the ground. Several officers punch him repeatedly. According to Paulino, the officers started in on him after he saw them violently beating another young black man on the sidewalk. In the background, a male can be heard encouraging people to record what was happening and yelling, “He didn’t do nothing!” For Paulino, the video proved to be vindicating. He was initially charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and obstructing a government official, but all charges were dropped. Without the video, “there wouldn’t have been anything but my word against 15 police officers,” Paulino told journalist Soledad O’Brien.
Article 9 of the Declaration of Human Rights states that, “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.”
Photographing things that are plainly visible from public spaces is a “constitutional right” and that this includes “federal buildings, transportation facilities, and police and other government officials carrying out their duties.” People have the right to record anything they see and the police do not have the right to confiscate any video being taken without a warrant.
I believe the use of cell phones and taking videos when events like Paulino’s occur, can attempt to stop brutal acts on citizens from police officers. Do you believe the police authorities should be punished when they are brutally attacking an innocent citizen? Do you believe that by using video and recordings this problem with brutal attacks from law enforcement could become better or come to a full stop?
According to CNN, at least 11 women have died and 62 were hospitalized after undergoing sterilization surgery at a government-run mobile health clinic in India. The women killed and injured were among more than 80 women who had come to a “camp” for sterilization surgery in Bilaspur district in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh. The women were each paid 1,400 rupees ($23) to undergo the procedure. Many of the women underwent surgery on Saturday and then started to develop complications by Monday, with four different hospitals taking in patients. Six of the dozens being treated were in critical condition Tuesday, according to hospital officials.
Human Rights Watch has condemned sterilization drives by Indian health officials to curb population growth. Women are often paid to undergo surgery in unsanitary conditions. The group has urged India to focus more efforts on contraception and male vasectomies, which are far less dangerous procedures. According to CNN affiliate IBN, 83 women had the sterilization surgery in five hours at the mobile clinic.
Article 22 of the Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
Women should be able to have the right to contraception and sanitary clinics where they would receive surgeries. Because these women are limited on funds, they have put their lives in jeopardy just to get paid for a surgery. I believe we need to look closer at areas that don’t have the resources that we do and we should provide them with more of these resources.
Do you also believe that these women in other countries should put their lives at risk, in unsanitary conditions? How do you think other countries around the world can help countries like India with providing more resources for these people?
Currently, there is no country in the world where a woman earns as much as a man for doing the same job. The U.S. is ranked 65th in wage equality among 142 countries. CNN stated in an article called, U.S. is 65th in World on Gender Pay Gap, that “the U.S., for instance, narrowed its wage gap by 1% to 66% in one year “meaning that women earn about two-thirds of what men earn for similar work according to the perception of business leaders.”
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), Women earn more in Denmark. “Denmark is the only place where women earn on average more than men,although the difference is just 2%. But that’s because there are many more women in better paid jobs. However, even in Denmark, when they are both doing the same job, a woman will earn 71% of what a man makes.”
Article 23 of the Declaration of Human Rights states that, “everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.” It seems that this human right for women is not being met in most of the countries around the world. Women should have the same rights as men and that also includes the same salary that men make within the same job.
Some food for thought: What changes can start to made to allow women to earn as much as men in the workforce? Do you believe women should be paid the same salary as men for doing the same job?
Darfur, a region in Sudan the size of France, is home to about 6 million people from nearly 100 tribes. Some nomads. Some farmers. All Muslims. In 1989, General Omar Bashir took control of Sudan by military coup, which then allowed The National Islamic Front government to inflame regional tensions. In a struggle for political control of the area, weapons poured into Darfur. Conflicts increased between African farmers and many nomadic Arab tribes.
In 2003, two Darfuri rebel movements, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), took up arms against the Sudanese government, complaining about the marginalization of the area and the failure to protect sedentary people from attacks by nomads. The government of Sudan responded by unleashing Arab militias known as Janjaweed, or “devils on horseback”. Sudanese forces and Janjaweed militia attacked hundreds of villages throughout Darfur. Over 400 villages were completely destroyed and millions of civilians were forced to flee their homes.
This was a genocide where African farmers and others in Darfur were being displaced and murdered by the Janjaweed. The genocide in Darfur has claimed 400,000 lives and displaced over 2,500,000 people. More than one hundred people continue to die each day; five thousand die every month. The Sudanese government disputes these estimates and denies any connection with the Janjaweed.
Article 5 of the Declaration of Human Rights states that, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” The Janjaweed killed a mass amount of people and tore through there homes, killing whoever they saw and destroying their villages. The Sudanese government has no care for the human rights of others.
Some food for thought, what do you think can be done to help the people who have been affected by this crisis? What actions could the government take to go about helping the families of the citizens who died and also the people who have been misplaced from their homes?
Thousands of protestors came together in the streets of Hong Kong last Tuesday, protesting for full Democracy. Protestors camped out in the middle of the main road that leads to the cities main business district. They want the right to choose their next leader without any interference. The head of government said that China would not give in to their demands. This protest marks the largest one from China since 1997.
The people of Hong Kong were supposed to be able to freely elect their leader for the first time in 2017. It was part of the deal made when Hong Kong reverted back to China. But last month, China said it would allow only Beijing-vetted candidates to participate in the 2017 election.
Two days ago, police hurled 87 tear gas canisters into the crowd. Both Hong Kong and Chinese officials have called the protests illegal.
According to Article 19 of the Declaration of Human Rights, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
The people of China have the right to protest in the middle of the streets and voice their opinions. Although the government says it is illegal, the act of protesting is not. Some food for thought: Do you believe protesting in the middle of the streets will bring about change? Is forming protests a good way to go about letting your voice be heard?
Uber drivers are protesting in New York City again this month over Uber fares being cut by 20% and having a built in 20% tip which doesn’t allow for customers to give more to the drivers. Uber is a taxi service that uses an app on your phone to request rides and track the vehicles location. Many of the protesters feel like they are not being heard by the company and that they aren’t cared about. Gas and other costs for Uber vehicles have stayed the same while the taxi fare has decreased for the customers. Uber Drivers in New York aren’t the only ones complaining. Drivers in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle have had many complaints as well.
I have used the taxi service, Uber, many times around Atlanta and they offer great deals for first-time users and their cab fares are low compared to other taxi services. After reading this article, I see that more workers not only with this company, but companies everywhere should be treated better. Article 23 of the Declaration of Human Rights states that
- Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
2. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
Employees have their Human Right to be able to protest about working conditions that they believe aren’t fair. Some food for thought: Do you believe people should form protests and declare what they think is right and wrong within the companies they work for? Do you think these people could have gone about expressing themselves a different way?
Last Saturday, September 6th, Egypt’s public prosecutor ordered nine men to be arrested on criminal charges of debauchery. A video of a gay wedding went viral after being put on the internet and throughout social media. The prosecutor accused the men of debauchery, the excessive indulgence of sensual pleasures. Homosexuality is not completely outlawed in Egypt, but people who are gay within Egypt can face criminal charges that claim to protect social morals. The video that went viral shows two men in suits exchanging rings on a boat in the Nile River. The prosecutor stated that the video was a “satanic ceremony” with images that were “shameful, regrettable and anger God.” This is not the first time that homosexuals have been arrested in Egypt. Four men were sentenced to prison in April for social moral charges similar to this case and more than 50 men were arrested in 2001 during a raid on a gay nightclub.
In Article 16 of the Declaration of Human Rights, it states that “Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.” According to this Human Right, Egypt is disregarding this human right against these nine men. The ceremony that occurred on Saturday between these two gay men should have been legal and they should not have been arrested for having a marriage ceremony. These men have the right to be married no matter their gender. I believe that every country around the world needs to realize that people are going to come out more and more and that is that persons own right. It should not be our business to say who someone is allowed to love and if they can love someone from the same sex or not. I think that over time the world needs to see that this is a major human right and anyone has the right to be married to whoever they choose.
Some food for thought, Do you believe that Egypt should have arrested these men for having a marriage ceremony between two gay men? Do you think they could have gone about this a different way? Do you believe this is a major human right?
Three Americans were detained in North Korea this past week and have finally gotten the chance to contact their families and ask Washington to send a high-ranking representative to North Korea to negotiate their freedom. One of the Americans who have been detained, Jeffrey Fowle, does not know what the specific charges against him are or what punishment he will receive. North Korea has stated that Fowle committed hostile acts which violated his status as a tourist. Fowle is suspected of leaving a bible in a nightclub in the city of Chongjin. In North Korea, Christian proselytizing, attempting to convert someone from one religion or belief to another, is illegal and considered a crime. Fowle expects to go to trial in a month. The U.S. has told North Korea repeatedly that they will send its envoy for North Korean human rights issues, Robert King, to Pyongyang to seek a pardon for Fowle and other American detainees, but without success. Article 18 of the Declaration of Human Rights states that, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” Going into North Korea, Fowle has the right to express his belief in religion according to the Human Rights. I believe that he had the right to go into that nightclub and express his beliefs on religion. Although I do not agree with the idea of Fowle trying to convert people to another religion, but that is his freedom of opinion and belief. I also believe he should not have been taken into custody and detained for three months because of expressing this human right. Because of such a little act of expressing his beliefs, Fowle could be facing severe punishment for committing a major crime in North Korea.
Some food for thought on this article, Do you believe that Fowle should have been detained for expressing his opinion with religion and his beliefs? Do you think that with America being a leader and believer in Human Rights, that Americans traveling abroad should be more protected?
James Foley, a freelance journalist, was executed by the Islamic State after being kidnapped. He was covering the Syrian Civil War at the time of his abduction. A video was sent to the United States of Foley’s execution. The U.S. has sent in forces and airstrikes over Syria. Some European countries are sending weapons to those opposing IS fighters. Because of this, IS fighters have kidnapped and held many journalists hostage, stating that if Syria is still being attacked then they will execute more hostages. Germany announced it is sending arms to Kurds fighting the extremists and said Foley’s death played a role in the decision. The video posted online of Foley shows the murder of an innocent human being and the fact that these IS fighters do not care for the rights of humans. Article five in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” James Foley was subjected to torture by his captures and was treated inhumanely for doing his job by being a freelance journalist. He was covering the Syrian War as an innocent human being and he ended up being executed for no reason at all. When it comes down to conflicts within certain countries, I believe that news journalists and any other human being in a foreign country should be allowed to strictly do their job within that country and not be captured and tortured. These are innocent people who are being treated inhumanely and are also being murdered for the sake of doing their job. I believe that there should be more laws put into place that protect people like James Foley whenever they go to a foreign country. It is difficult to enforce these laws when people go into these dangerous countries, but if there is a conflict between countries, the conflict should not involve innocent people. I also believe that countries could go about resolving a conflict in a better way and possibly communicate one on one instead of countries taking people hostage and threatening their lives. After reading about what happened to James Foley, do you think there are better ways countries with conflict could go about resolving these conflicts? Do you think that people like James Foley should offered more protection when entering dangerous areas like Syria?