Thursday, December 11, 2008

Human rights, right here.

Yesterday was the 60th Anniversary of the passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Here is a link to a site reporting on the anniversary, and here is a link to the UN web site including the text of the Declaration. For those who don't know (like me before yesterday), the UDHR was created by the international community in response to the atrocities committed during World War II.

But you may be asking "Well, that's great, but this is the Kansas Defenders blog, right? I thought the Kansas Defenders blog covered more local issues, not issues about international human rights?" Well, take a look at an excerpts of several of the articles of the UDHR:

Article 3
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 5
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10 Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11
Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Does any of this sound familiar to you, Kansas Defenders? It's what you do every day, in state and federal courts, in trials and appeals, from Atchison to Liberal. Although the public may tend to think of "human rights issues" as an international problem issue in other countries, protection of the fundamantal rights as described in the UDHR takes place right here in River City.

Thanks for your daily efforts to secure the "foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world." (UHDR, Preamble)


GK said...

The USA has signed onto the declaration. May be able to make an argument that there is a violation of a Federal Treaty or other Federal Mandate in a few cases. Could be a good way to watch the prosecutor (and maybe the judge) go crazy.

Claudine Dombrowski said...

Suit filed IACHR- Kansas leads the suit (Dombrowski v US)
in honor of new judge- deny basic human rights.