Should the International Community Intervene in the Nation-State’s Domestic Affairs to Prevent Human Rights Abuses?
The international community usually intervenes in the issue of human rights abuse if a nation fails to ensure human protection. The intervention embodies efforts to reduce human rights violation in the world as well as to ensure that all nations respect their citizens. Criticisms are always high when international community intervenes in nation-state domestic affairs. Such intermediation is considered a direct insult to the sovereignty of a nation (Shawki & Cox, 2009). The primary question that always remains in our minds is if the international community has the right to intervene in the nation-state domestic affairs to prevent human rights abuses.
Several issues must be considered to answer this question effectively. The attention has to be paid to the role that a nation should play in ensuring human rights protection. It is important to know the nation’s role related to this issue because it will enable to evaluate any failures of measures taken to protect its citizens. The advantages and disadvantages of the intervention will be also assessed. The merits and demerits of the protection process will enable to assess the effectiveness of the international community intervention. If the above-mentioned aspects are considered, then the analysis will help to draw a reasonable conclusion.
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The Role of the Nation-State Intervention in Human Rights Protection
The leading question in this section is aimed to determine if the international community intervention is necessary if a nation fails to deliver the roles outlined. Each nation or state is responsible for a certain task related to protection of its citizens’ rights. The role of the nation is determined by the international organizations across the world. In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly, which is headquartered in New York, passed a resolution 48/134 on human rights protection. The resolution gave all the members of the United Nations the responsibility to protect and uphold the rights of all their citizens (Shawki & Cox, 2009). The governments across the world were supposed to ensure that the laws in their countries were inclined toward human rights protection. They were also supposed to establish organs in their respective countries to protect human rights.
The primary role of all nations in protection of human rights is to establish corresponding just laws. Constitution of each country should outline all the rights and freedoms that all citizens have to enjoy anytime (Shawki & Cox, 2009). The regulations should be tailor-made to conform fully to the international rights that ensure healthy and good coexistence of citizens of a particular nation. Thus, the government is responsible for establishing the rights of its citizens by including them in the country’s constitution.
The other role of the nation is to implement those human rights laws. The presence of written laws on how human rights should be protected in a country is not enough to prove that the rights of the citizens are not threatened. Hence, every nation has a duty to meticulously implement those laws. The implementation means establishing frameworks, involving helpful institutions and enabling various organs to facilitate human rights provision (Shawki & Cox, 2009). The main task may involve ensuring that the political system is democratic due to transparent electoral system and other electoral organs. Regardless of the rights involved, every nation has to ensure that such rights are adequately implemented.
Any nation is responsible to guarantee that independent human rights institutions and watchdogs are established in their countries, independently fulfilling their operations without government interference. The UN General Assembly resolution adopted in 1993 made it clear that each nation is supposed to establish a constitutional National Human Rights Commission in their respective countries (Shawki & Cox, 2009). NHRC duties and mandate should be clearly stated in the nation’s constitution to ensure that an optimal level of human rights is achieved in each country. The Human Rights Commission established by the government is supposed to promote, protect and ensure full implementation of the human rights in the country.
The above-mentioned roles define duties and responsibilities of any governments and nations in the world. All nations have an obligation to honour the international laws. However, it remains uncertain who is responsible for identification of failure to honour these international laws. It is also important to find out the one who guides a nation to ensure that the above-mentioned role of human rights protection is observed. Moreover, effective measures should be taken by the international community if a nation turns against its people. Focusing on potential actions of international community to ensure countries do not violate human rights can predetermine passing successful policies.
Intervention by International Community
At times, the government of a certain nation may opt not to protect the rights of its citizens due to its self-interested reasons. When the situation worsens to inhumane levels, where citizens are exposed to total human rights violation, the international community usually intervenes (Samuels, 2007). The intervention is either direct or indirect. The indirect intervention does not unswervingly undermine the sovereignty of a nation. Its methods may include sanctions, cancellation of any humanitarian aid toward a specified country, blacklisting of some top government officials, preventing them from travelling to certain countries, among others. The direct intervention is mostly put in place if the human right violation achieves the extent of extrajudicial killing (Samuels, 2007).
If in any case a country does not adhere to the international human rights obligation, the international community acts as the keeper of the citizens. Such protection of the citizens of a nation is logical only if the government of that nation fails to do so. In this case, the international community acts as the protector by intervening. Nevertheless, it is essential to determine if the intervention is justified and always successful. To answer these questions, we need to assess effectiveness of corresponding interventions.
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Reasons Why Intervention May be Effective or Ineffective
Several reasons make the international intervention very successful as evidenced through the example of many nations. First, the intervention puts pressure on the economy of a country. The government cannot work properly if its economy is not stable. Most interventions are designed such that they economically isolate the said nations from the world economy (Samuels, 2007). That way, the governments are left exposed, being obliged to comply with the necessary human rights protection. The economic isolation is very powerful if all the nations of the international community accept to completely withdraw from cooperation with problematic countries.
The intervention may also be successful if the military action deployed is meant to disarm the respective government to ensure that it does not harm its citizens (Samuels, 2007). Some countries such as Syria have been accused of using chemical weapons to fight against its citizens. Such weapons can be best destroyed and taken out of that government’s possession through the international community intervention.
At times, the international community intervention the state of the nation depends on may be ineffective. The international community may intervene by overthrowing the ruling government, which can provoke even more damaging human rights abuse than it was before (Samuels, 2007). Situation in Libya is a perfect example; today it stands in a solitary state, suffering from unimaginable encroachment of terror groups and other armed organizations. The scale of human rights violations of that country is unimaginable; the situation is worse than after Gaddafi’s regime. It is apparent that the international intervention did not help at all since it failed to consider the state of the country.
When the country involved is superior, the intervention is most likely to fail. For instance, it is hard to force China to give its citizens the freedom of speech and expression. It is a superior country and any intervention by the international community may have minor or no effects (Samuels, 2007). This is similar to what is happening in Ukraine today, where human rights violations are grave. Although the international community has launched a sanction mission toward Russia, there was only minor success.
Intervention may also be ineffective if the international community is not unanimous concerning the issue. If there is a division on whom to support and whom not to support, then those interventions are bound to fail (Samuels, 2007). This case reminds of what is happening in Syria today; the international community cannot decide on how to handle the issue of Syria due to political and egocentric interests of countries involved. Russia supports one side while the United States favours the other side. In such a situation intervention never works.
The above analysis helped to reveal that the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the intervention is mostly based on the approach rather than on the action itself. It is obvious that each nation has an obligation to contribute to protection of human rights. In case it does not fulfil its mission effectively, international community has to be in charge of the situation. This group of world organizations has to play an integral role, protecting citizens from oppression of unfair governments. Thus, it is reasonable to state that international community should always intervene if a nation violates its citizens rights since it is endowed with unique powers, which can help to resolve considerable conflicts within a peculiar nation.
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