Fundamental rights

Sadia Khan
Islamabad

Human rights are the fundamental rights, which a person is entitled to, simply because he or she is a human being. Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in December 1948 consists of 30 Articles which describe fundamental rights that should be provided by the states to the citizens.
Chapter one of the Constitution of Pakistan contains the basic rights of citizens. It ensures them the freedom of speech, religion, association and press. Constitution also protects the citizens against gender discrimination. It prohibits slavery, forced labour and guarantees the right of citizens to live. Unfortunately in Pakistan regardless of firm constitution, many people are still deprived of their basic rights.
A study of human rights watch 2009 shows that thousands of women are killed every year in Pakistan which deprives them of the right to live. Freedom of press and speech are curbed by the implementation of censorship on press. Often journalists are threatened, targeted and killed for exposing the truth. Since 2001, 61 journalists have been killed in Pakistan. Sectarian killings in the country violate the freedom of religion. Because of the denial of educational rights, the issue of rise in illiteracy rate is faced by Pakistan.
According to Nelson Mandela, “to deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity”. Institutes such as National Human Rights Institute and others have failed to protect the people’s rights; only the awareness of fundamental rights can ensure protection. Rights of every citizen must be guaranteed and protected by the state and their violators must be brought to justice.

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