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Panel Discussion Report 51: Human Rights in Africa

Overview of the points discussed:

In our panel discussion, we talked about the topic of “Human Rights in Africa”. Our panellists were from four different counties including me. We all talk about general situation of Human Rights in Africa, at same time each of us particularly focused his own country. The situation of human rights in Africa is generally stated to be poor, and it is seen as an area of grave concern according to the UN, governmental, and non-governmental observers before thirty years ago.

Human rights, internationally agreed upon by the United Nations and many other organizations, are YOUR human rights. On December 10, 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For the first time in history, it was officially and globally stated that all human beings have the same fundamental rights, irrespective of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. At that time, there were only four independent African states. Egypt, Ethiopia and Liberia voted in favour of adopting the Declaration, South Africa abstained. During the following decades, almost all African people successfully fought for independence. Colonialism, slavery and apartheid have become history. Today, there are 53 member states of the United Nations in Africa. Most of them have signed and ratified many of the core UN human rights treaties. These treaties and other international instruments allow everybody to claim her or his human rights!

Moreover, we also discussed the Human rights as a legal concept are a relatively recent notion in Africa. The United Nations System, international law and the African Union have certainly all contributed to the establishment of a human rights system in Africa, which has positively and indispensably influenced the advancement of human rights and of justice. However, some of the promises made about such rights being guaranteed under global, continental, regional and national legal instruments have remained unfulfilled. Human Rights Law in Africa covers the activities of the United Nations, the African Union and its predecessor the Organization of African Unity, as well as sub-regional and other inter-governmental organizations and NGOs in the field of human rights in Africa. It also covers the national legal systems of all African countries.

Learning/Reflection of the Panel Discussion

In fact, the panel discussion helped to understand the importance of the human rights in our society. I have learned that human rights are the basic rights and freedom to which all human beings are entitled. These include rights to freedom of expression and movement, quality before the law, the rights to live and rights to education. Furthermore, I knew that it is important to know our human rights and protect them to reduce or avoid the chance of tyranny and such. In my research, I found that they are sixty rights that everyone has and mean that we live in diverse world where everyone is equal and respected

In addition, my expression about human rights was just normal, but now I realized the importance of the human rights in our life.  It is so important because without human rights, we will not have any rights.  Rights to live, rights to express freedom of speech and rights do whatever you want (Not above the law). Without Human rights, human beings could treat each other horribly and get away with it because there are no human rights between them.

In conclusion, in recent decades there has been a marvellous growth in how we think about and apply human rights in Africa. The knowledge of the human rights can empower individuals and offer solutions for specific problems. Values of tolerance, equality and respect can help to reduce friction within society. So, people everywhere should understand what Human rights are. When people better understand Human rights. It will be easier for them to promote justice and the well-being  of society.

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