United Nations Organization : Promoting Equality of States or Inequality?;
United Nations Organization, today, is the most powerful organization across the world constituting nearly all the states as member countries except a few of them. The aims and objectives behind the formation of such a large institution are contained beautifully in the preamble of the UN Charter. The Charter contains all the required provisions which aim to establish world peace and security across the globe. The earlier World Wars (World War I & II) had caused immense destruction all over the world leading to a huge loss of life and property. But before we look forward to the various aspects of the United Nations Organization, it is very important to know the history behind formation of such an organization. After World War I, keeping in mind the huge devastation caused through wars between different nations , some countries took an initiative to form the ‘League of Nations’ which aimed to prevent the further chances of wars between nations across the world or aimed to prevent a second world war. But such an association involved a much less participation of nations than what was required. As we all know, this organization was a very big failure and could not prevent from happening of another big war, World War II which obviously had much more devastating results than World War I. The nuclear attacks over the two major cities of Japan, Hiroshima and Nagasaki had shaken the roots of human life and property over a very large scale. After the war ended, it was highly important to bring an end to such wars for not only few, but all the nations of the world. This necessity of saving human life and property was the most essential priority of nations all across the world, and so the nations decided to combat the failure of the ‘League of Nations’ and the reasons behind such a failure. They came up with the United Nations Organization in the year 1945 which involved a huge participation of the nations as the member states of the organization. The organization functions on its two very important organs namely General Assembly and the Security Council. The General Assembly is an organ of the UNO which holds its meeting of all the member states after a fixed specified period of time. The issues faced by different countries all around the world are debated upon an international platform; the problems as well as solutions to such problems are discussed in the General Assembly. The other organ is called the Security Council which consists of the five permanent members across the world. These member states are permanent members of the Security Council and hence subject to no change in its position. Obviously, the Security Council enjoys more powers and privileges when compared to the General Assembly. Also in the Charter, any decisions taken by the General Assembly are subject to its finalization by the Security Council. Hence, this creates a lot of inequality between the two organs of the same institution. Being members of the international community, in principle, all the states (nations) are equal due to their individual international personality despite the dissimilarity between the states in respect of territories, population, power, civilization, prosperity e.t.c but when we talk about reality, such principles of law and equality fail to establish in practicality. The UN Charter is based on the principle of sovereign equality of states but in reality great powers are unequal to the smaller or less powerful states. When the entire concept is based upon one such important aspect of sovereign equality, even the smaller or less powerful countries of the world must have an equal voice and status on such a big international platform. The special privileges or rights enjoyed by the five permanent members curtail the rights enjoyed by the other states of the world and hence promote inequality among the world’s most powerful states and the less powerful ones. Enjoyment of certain special privileges and rights by these permanent five members compared to the other member states has created an inequality of states all over the world on an international platform. If states do not promote equality on such a big platform, how are other communities all around the world expected to do the same. These international forums must function in order to inspire states and communities all over the world and not in itself create barriers which serve threat to principles of humanity..
Can Law alone combat such situation?:-
The answer is negative. Effectiveness of law depends largely on how much the people are aware of their rights. The family of the victim feels immense sense of shame and avoid going to the Police which is one step towards promotion of such horrendous acts. The mindset should be changed. And, this can be done by the educated and aware folk of the society. We should engage in creating awareness in people regarding their rights.
There is a need to adapt a three-level strategy to mitigate this problem where at the grass root level, the children should be educated by their parents about the good touch and bad touch so that the child can immediately tell their parents openly if any such event took place with them. The confusions in the children’s mind in will only make him hesitant in confronting their parents when such situation occurs. The second level is where the parents need to come into action. They should be careful about their children’s safety and should never leave their kids alone or with people the child doesn’t feel comfortable. The emotional bond and trust between the child and parents should be so strong that they are able to communicate openly with each other. Thus, such problems can be prevented to a great extent solely by having a healthy communication. This has to stop because , every child has a right to live with dignity and happiness.
Child abuse– Silent cries of a Child:-
The sexual crime against children in India has reached to such a point that India now ranks among the Top 5 countries with highest rates of sex crimes against children.“Citing the statistics of the report drafted by the Asian Centre for Human Rights, 48000 child rape cases were reported from 2001 – 2011. The report further stated that between the stated period India saw an increase of 336% of child rape cases”. This is a serious issue. One cannot even imagine the trauma and pain a child has to go through because some people just forget the line between humanity and sheer animalistic behaviour. It is shocking to see that children are not only victimised by strangers, but in majority cases it has been observed that the perpetrators of such activities are their close relatives and neighbours.
Why is it happening?
Different people have different opinions regarding the massive growth in such crimes. We do not have any particular answer, because let’s be true to ourselves there is no particular reason to determine why some people cannot control their urges and destroy an innocent life just to gain momentary sexual pleasure. Numerous campaigns have been organized time and again in an attempt to make the public aware about the dark shadows roaming in the open streets that have no fear of consequences of their heinous acts.
One problem, but no solution?
“Better late than never”, this statement stands true for our country as a need for a legislation to deal with this situation was finally relaised by our Parliament. Numerous acts and agencies exist today as a part of country’s Child Protection Policies. “Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Bill, 2011′ was passed by our Parliament regarding child abuse on May 22, 2012 as 53% of children in the country suffers from the abuse”. Before the 2012 legislation was introduced the cases of child sexual abuse was prosecuted under the following provisions of the Indian Penal Code namely .
- · I.P.C. (1860) 375- Rape
- · I.P.C. (1860) 354- Outraging the modesty of a woman
- · I.P.C. (1860) 377- Unnatural offences
- · I.P.C. (1860) 511- Attempt
But, the above provisions had various lacunas. For eg: Under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, a male could not be protected against sexual acts. Also, Section 354 of IPC lacks a statutory definition of “modesty” and the penalty is weak and it’s described as a compoundable offence. Further, it fails to protect the “modesty” of a male child.
Global fight against Child abuse
The battle against child abuse is being fought at international level as well. The rights of children have been a sensitive issue in the United Nations Organization and these rights have been protected by the U.N.O. under Articles 34 and 35 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which strives to protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. This includes outlawing the coercion of a child to perform sexual activity, the prostitution of children, and the exploitation of children in creating pornography. It requires the States to prevent the abduction, sale, or trafficking of children. The stated convention has been ratified by 195 States except the United States and South Sudan.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN INDIA & THE INVISIBLE VICTIMS
Last month, India decided to sign an agreement with Bahrain to prevent human trafficking.* Human trafficking is one of the most rampant crimes in a labour-surplus and developing country like India, but we have not yet managed to tackle this issue, because of our lack of knowledge about it.
What is human trafficking, who are its victims, and what can we do fight it? Here are a few points to help us better understand this menace.
What is human trafficking?
The trade of human beings for exploitative purposes including bonded and forced labour, commercial sexual exploitation and illegal organ-trade is called ‘human trafficking”. Given the nature of the crime, it also involves forceful and illegal migration of the victims who are traded.
Who are the victims of human trafficking?
Victims of human trafficking in India live amidst us, in our day-to-day surroundings. The most common victims are:
1. Children and young women brought from rural areas or sometimes even other states, to be engaged as domestic help in households or various small-scale establishments in urban centres. Many of these people eventually get exploited economically, physically and also sexually. 2. Children and adolescents begging or selling knick-knacks on the streets in towns and cities. 3. Women and children sold into commercial sex trade market 4. People lured to foreign countries by fraudulent recruitment agencies with lucrative job offers, to be employed in menial work involving inhuman working conditions. 5. The victims of the illegal organ trade racket.
How do we identify the victims of human trafficking?
In case of children employed in households or establishments in our neighbourhoods, we can stay alert for signs of oppression which make themselves evident in the form of withdrawn and anxious behaviour of the child, physical marks of assault etc. In such instances, we can lodge a complaint with the local police on behalf of these children. We can also approach Childline, the emergency helpline for children in distress, at 1098.
Read more about child labour here .
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of India has also set up a 24*7 helpline number – 011 2436 8638 – which has been exclusively created for complaints regarding “illegal human trafficking especially trafficking of women and children”.
It is easier to detect cases of oppression and exploitation in familiar neighbourhoods. However, we can also contact these helpline numbers in the event of observing suspicious activities involving children and women outside our neighbourhood – for instance, on noticing a grievously injured child begging on the streets, or in trains, if we chance upon a group of girls, women or children with tell-tale signs of anxiety, fear or assault.
These instances are usually not easy to detect and also not easily verifiable. Hence, despite the high frequency of occurrence, the number of cases reported remains extremely low.