OK, a little back grounder on for my thoughts on human rights, and why we wave the banner around but no one does anything about it. I am taking this course, as part of my degree in Criminology, and it deals specificity with all subject matter under the umbrella of human rights. We will cover, once the course is completed, everything from domestic and local issues, all the way up to international and global issues that concerns us today, and from the past. The mesh of political views, to cultural dynamics, are the themes that are a constant so far in this course. But this course is more than covering current events, and history texts, it is all about the ideas and solutions that could change the world in the near future.
War is a nasty business, right? When we talk about human rights, it is usually in the shadow of war. Ware is when man kind is at its worse. War teaches that all rules can be thrown out, or ignored, and these times of conflict bring the opportunity of creating exceptions to the rules of human rights, circumventing them in order to wreck complete havoc towards the enemy. However, when the conflict is over, and the wounds begin to heal, the world cries out for accountability, so the Untied National was born, and later on, the World Criminal Court. Venues that try to convict those people who started these terrible things that they did during those conflicts, and hold them to accountability. But the system is weak and, yes, it is very politely motivated.
Sovereignty (hey, I got the “g” in the right spot) is the key issue when thinking globally. Would we ever consider the UN police marching down the streets of Washington D.C., poised to arrest President George W. Bush for possible war crimes? No way because the U.S. Would not tolerate it, and they have the means of making sure they are in total control of their sovereignty, not the U.N.. It is not the U.N.’s place to do this anyway. But for a class debate, this makes for some very interesting lectures. What right does a nation have for sending in it’s “special” forces to capture and detain a suspect of war crimes inside another country? I can write about this for hours…
In my class, there is a great mix of students from just about every walk of life from around the glob. We have students from just about all of the major organized religions, and about five students who are from the Middle Eastern areas, including Israel. Last week’s class lecture was the best yet. Although the principles of human rights seems obvious, the world that we live in is far to complicated to have every nation adopt in its laws these basic tenants. However, having such a diverse class means that the discussions are as diverse too, so when discussions start tackling issues such as international human rights laws, the brain power really start to crank up among the students.
I am look forward to next class. I think as we dive deeper into the murky world of human rights, my level of enlightenment will also increase.
Sadly, this will be my official last class of Criminology. I only have two courses after this, and they are electives. I will miss these classes after I graduate.