To live, humans need more than human rights [Archives:2005/902/Opinion]

December 12 2005

Prof. Dr. Abdulaziz al-Tarb
Despite of the great significance of political and civil life for the life of peoples, humans do not live solely on human rights and peoples would not achieve advancement only by the political and civil rights.

The United Nations General Assembly has defined the human rights status that constitutes the major link of the free and dignified life for the human, through two international conventions:

They are first the international convention on civil and political rights that includes the right to practice, activity and democratic life. The right to freedom, the right to life, the right to security and stability, the right to employment, the right of opinion and the right of woman to participate in the political and public life. It also stipulated the right of the society to take decisions and participate in what is related to their life and future through free and decent elections of local councils, the parliament, the Shoura (Consultancy) council and presidential elections. The international convention also stipulated the right of forming political parties, trade unions and civil society organizations.

The second international convention is that on economic, social and cultural rights, including the rights to work, suitable lodging, wages compatible with the job and cover needs of the family, free education, free medication, the child's right to food and health, employment, promotion and equality, food and liberation from hunger, physical and mental health and the rest during jobs requiring much physical effort.

It is noted that in the Arab world reality, including Yemen, the political parties and organizations devote the greater space of interest and activity to the political and civil rights, neglecting, however, economic rights and their relationship with the people.

The government has to employ its capabilities and efforts and decision in tackling this problem. It has to consider the acquired rights as a legal right to the citizens and should provide necessary services and improve them, although they might not be realized in full. Among the services the government has to adopt offering are improvement of education, medication, public services and improvement of cultural and social infrastructure, particularly if that is accompanied by serious monitoring by the political parties and organizations of civil society, in addition to the parliament and local councils.

Corruption is the first major cause of poverty, therefore to end poverty there must be a severe encounter of corruption. Fighting corruption could be only by discerning governance. Big bribe, small bribe, small corruption and big corruption, are all included in the concept of corruption. It is inevitable to have resources and political will to confront corruption. The question is can we render those ideas and slogans to titles for the upcoming local councils elections? It is particularly so when we consider that experts opinion in this regard is that most of the Arab states have their own monitoring apparatuses but are government-run and provide protection to corruption and corrupters. Therefore it is imperative that those organizations are to be entirely independent. When would we comprehend that corruption is not a natural disaster but rather an organized process?

Dr. Abdulaziz al-Tarib is a professor in political science and economics