Human rights advocates agree that, sixty years after its issue, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is still more a dream than reality. Violations exist in every part of the world. For example, Amnesty International’s 2009 World Report and other sources show that individuals are:
- Tortured or abused in at least 81 countries
- Face unfair trials in at least 54 countries
- Restricted in their freedom of expression in at least 77 countries
Not only that, but women and children in particular are marginalized in numerous ways, the press is not free in many countries, and dissenters are silenced, too often permanently. While some gains have been made over the course of the last six decades, human rights violations still plague the world today.
To help inform you of the true situation throughout the world, this section provides examples of violations of six Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR):
ARTICLE 3 — THE RIGHT TO LIVE FREE
“Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”
An estimated 6,500 people were killed in 2007 in armed conflict in Afghanistan—nearly half being noncombatant civilian deaths at the hands of insurgents. Hundreds of civilians were also killed in suicide attacks by armed groups.
In Brazil in 2007, according to official figures, police killed at least 1,260 individuals—the highest total to date. All incidents were officially labeled “acts of resistance” and received little or no investigation.
In Uganda, 1,500 people die each week in the internally displaced person camps. According to the World Health Organization, 500,000 have died in these camps.
Vietnamese authorities forced at least 75,000 drug addicts and prostitutes into 71 overpopulated “rehab” camps, labeling the detainees at “high risk” of contracting HIV/AIDS but providing no treatment.