From seemingly trivial issues like hate speech to larger issues including denied equal rights to work, minorities around the world have constantly been facing threats regarding their basic rights, and 2019 seems no different. Here is an analysis on the crisis of human rights infringement of this year.
Working alongside Amnesty International in various human rights issues, I’ve seen numerous ethnic, sexual, political and societal minorities around the world. The most recent issue would be the discrimination of migrant domestic workers in Lebanon. In Lebanon migrant workers are trapped in a system called kafala, which binds them to their first employer, preventing them from moving jobs or quitting without the employer’s permission. This has led to a slippery slope of the infringement of human rights of domestic workers, making them work extreme hours and be prone to abuse or unequal treatment. This is an example of discrimination against social minorities and is only one example of what is happening around the world. Amnesty International has called upon members around the world to take action in the form of an online petition, but it has only done so much to wind down the constant maltreatment and abuse.
Another example of a worldwide human rights violation is indeed the prejudices, hate speech, and hate crime against the LGBTQIA+ community. While the US is seen as one of the most tolerating countries to LGBTQIA+ individuals, it is yet to be perfect. Many state laws still legalize discrimination in hiring and housing according to sexuality. The Equality Act is still experiencing a tough time in Congress as we speak. Invalidation of LGBTQIA+ individuals are prevalent and parents are brushing off their children’s coming outs as ‘a phase’. It seems like LGBTQIA+ still has a long way to go even in the seemingly liberal atmosphere of 2019.
Like this, human rights issues are not just a story from far away. The violation of human rights is prevalent around us and it’s just that we do not feel it until we become the victims ourselves. As well as the local and national communities working in collectives to improve the equal treatment of all individuals, the international society should also work at a multilateral level in order to enact binding laws to promote basic human rights.