Who is Responsible?

Simple Answer: All of us!

Human Rights can be seen as a contract between governments and their citizens. The government (state) has the obligation to:

  1. Respect human rights: not to violate or directly stop you from enjoying your right. (this is a negative obligation)
  2. Protect human rights: ensure that everyone including non-state actors do not violate your rights.
  3. Fulfil human rights: to promote a culture of human rights in a society that values, respects and promotes the dignity of its people.

Possessing the abstract right does not guarantee the fulfilment of the actual right. For a human right to be fulfilled, every person within society becomes involved; we move away from the officials who promulgate human rights laws, sign them and ratify them, towards the every day people we encounter, and the civil servants that make up the workings of a society. It is citizens themselves in their representation of the running of a state or society that execute and fulfil human rights in daily life.

This means that we are all responsible in ensuring a just and equal society that respects, protects and more importantly- fulfils every individual’s fundamental rights and freedoms.

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