Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan
Human Rights are not a recent invention. Discussion of rights and responsibilities has been an important part of all societies around the globe. Human rights are the basic rights and freedom to which all human beings are entitled. These rights include rights to freedom of expression and movement, equality before the law, the rights to live, right to education, religion, to own property, etc.
UAE Constitution is the custodian of all kinds of human rights. It assures respect for the safety of every individual. It ensures equality and social justice. It establishes the fundamental freedoms of all individuals. It prohibits torment and arbitrary detention and respects civil liberties, including freedom of expression and freedom of religion.”
Every year on Dec. 10, Human Rights Day is celebrated in honor of the date of passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights enacted by the United Nations in 1948. Human rights are much more than well-meaning aspirations set to legal language. It is a code of living in any civilized society. It is a legal shelter/ umbrella which tend to protect the weaker factions of the society against all kinds of injustice. It gives inspirations to its people at large. It assures social justice. It is important for society to live human rights through its practices, behavior, and attitudes. UAE has its own unique culture, heritage and system of governance which is participatory and friendly which takes care about all these principles of human rights in true sense. It has its own functional model for socio-economic growth which has already transformed its society and system and achieved miraculous results in all respects.
To live human rights values means to support the oppressed, embrace the excluded, advocate for the voiceless, and celebrate the diversity of our community because it is the prerequisite of greater socio-economic prosperity, human dignity, interfaith harmony and the last but not the least to build a strong nation. UAE despite recent biased propaganda and prejudiced reports and inaccurate resolution has par-excellence record of “Human Right” protection in its true letters and spirits.
Answering questions about the European Parliament’s recent resolution criticising the UAE’s human rights record in Federal National Council session, Dr Anwar Gargash said the country was under attack from certain parties and the next two years would be crucial. “Today there is targeted movement against the UAE,” he said. The report on which the resolution was based was neither accurate nor credible, he added. He said “What the country has done to protect human rights over the last 40 years was pioneering for its nationals and in living standards for expatriates.” He elaborated “The country’s laws prove that human rights are respected and it does not trespass on human rights.” He explained “The points were general and did not reflect reality,” said Dr Gargash. “There is a lot of doubt over credibility of the report of EU.”
He further explained that on topics such as the detention of scores of people allegedly linked to the Islamist group Al Islah and the closure of the Abu Dhabi office of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, a pro-democracy think tank, he said the resolution was based on reports from media and small organisations with their own agendas. He said the ministry had made several diplomatic responses which included an official response to the EU Parliament detailing the steps the UAE had taken to combat human trafficking.
There are 1,400 media companies here and in the free zones which never published any incident of human right abuse in the country. UAE has been ideal destination of overseas workers since its inception which shows its high standards towards human rights protection. UAE has been ideal place for foreign direct investments which verifies the implementation of the golden principles of free association, fair-play, equal opportunity and the last but not the least, legal guarantee. UAE has been hub for international tourists. Every years a record number of tourists pay visit to UAE in which majority comes of different countries of European Union which upholds UAE claim of best human right practices in the country.
Not a single ethnic or sectarian incident was reported ever since its inception which highlights its strong commitment towards a tolerant society, interfaith harmony spirits and rule of the law in the country. Most recently, UAE was elected on to the UN Human Rights Council which shows that international agencies and country acknowledge its transparent policies of human rights.
Previously Dr Gargash categorically rejected the statement by the European Parliament and termed it biased and prejudiced which threw unsubstantiated accusations without viewing the facts on the ground that have been proven by international organisations regarding human rights, especially in the area of foreign workers and the overall social welfare and empowerment of women,.
Respect for the rights of others is the essence of social responsibility and mutual obligation, so desirable in any state. The UAE is already party to numerous international human rights instruments that confirm the official commitment to promote and protect rights and all these reports and resolutions are baseless, inaccurate and prejudiced.