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6 Groups of People Who Often Suffer Human Rights Abuses

Updated on December 7, 2015
Human rights abuses.
Human rights abuses.

What are human rights abuses?

When your rights and freedoms are infringed upon, then you are said to have suffered human rights abuses.

Under the constitution of every country, there are certain rights and freedoms and advantages that every citizen is entitled to enjoy. Some of these rights include rights to life, rights to freedom from slavery or servitude, rights to fair hearing in a law court, rights to personal liberty, freedom of speech, etc. However, there are times when a person or group of persons deliberately prevents others from enjoying these rights and freedoms that the constitution gives them. When this happens, these people are said to have suffered from human rights abuses.

These groups of people suffer human rights abuses more than other groups of people

  1. Women: It is common knowledge that women suffer more human rights violations than their male counterparts. In many parts of the world, violence against women is a very common thing. One of the biggest reasons why women tend to suffer more from human rights abuses than men is because they are weaker than men. Many women end up in relationships with men who constantly beat them up for no reasons. Some of these women also get sexually abused by their partners. Women often suffer these abuses from men because they are too weak to defend themselves from the brutality of some men. It is a fact that the chances of a woman being abused by her male partner are extremely higher than the chances of a man being abused by his female partner. It is very rare to see men being beaten up or sexually assaulted by their wives or female partners. In many Islamic countries all over the world, women and girls don’t have the same rights as men. For example, in some of these places, females are denied the right to education. Society tends not to treat women as equally as they treat men – especially in the underdeveloped parts of the world. Women simply aren't given the same opportunities as men.
  2. Children: Just like women, children also suffer greatly from human rights abuses because they are weak. Because of how extremely vulnerable children are, it is very easy for unscrupulous people in society to take advantage of them and abuse them. Children suffer from all sorts of human rights violations such as child labor, child trafficking and domestic slavery. In many parts of the world, young girls and boys below the age of 18 are denied education and are made to engage in all sorts of income generating activities. It is worth noting that many victims of human trafficking are children. These children are taken from their parents or guardians and sold to human traffickers who take them to faraway places where they end up living lives of slavery and servitude. In addition to this, they are also denied basic education.
  3. Foreigners: Another group of people who often fall victims of human rights abuse are immigrants – especially the illegal immigrants. It is a known fact that immigrant workers are often abused and exploited by their employers. On top of this, most of them eventually fall victims of racism, prejudice and xenophobic violence. This is even worse for the illegal immigrants, who because of their illegal status can’t report any acts of violence against them to the authorities for fear of being detained and deported. But according to Amnesty International, all immigrants (irrespective of their legal status), have human rights which need to be respected. One of the fundamental human rights of a person is the right to be free from slavery and servitude. But unfortunately many immigrant workers have this right taken away from them by their employers who enslave them and force them to do certain jobs against their will.
  4. Illiterates: The main reason why illiterates and people with low education tend to suffer from human rights abuses is simply because most of them are ignorant of their rights and how to fight for their rights. This is the reason why the issue of human rights abuse is very common in places where the illiteracy rates are high. If a person doesn’t know his rights, then how can he know when these rights are being trampled upon? Also, how can someone fight for their rights when they are not even aware of them?
  5. Minority groups: A minority group can be defined as a small group of people who are normally singled out from the rest of the society in which they live and discriminated against because of their physical or cultural characteristics. Minority groups suffer a lot from discrimination and unequal treatment by the majority groups in society. The reason why many minority groups in societies suffer human rights abuses is because they normally do not hold positions of power in society and therefore find it very difficult fighting for their rights. There are several kinds of minority groups in societies such as racial minorities, ethnic minorities, religious minorities, political minorities, and sexual minorities (gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender). Even people living with disabilities are also considered to be minorities in society. All these groups of people, because they make a tiny fraction of the population in society, have less power or control over their lives as compared to the dominant or majority groups in society. This easily makes them very vulnerable to human rights abuses. It is worth noting that it is not all the time that the population of the minority groups is smaller than that of the majority or dominant group. A good example is the case of South Africa under the brutal apartheid regime. Blacks were the minority but yet their population was more than the whites.
  6. People in conflict areas: Wherever there is war or conflict, laws don’t work. And wherever laws don’t work, human rights cannot be protected. This is the reason why in places where there are wars, people are killed, tortured, enslaved, assaulted, and robbed indiscriminately and with impunity. No one cares. It is always the survival of the fittest in such conflict areas. All the basic human rights such as right to live, right to education, right to own property, freedom from slavery, etc that people in peaceful societies enjoy cannot be enjoyed by people who find themselves in conflict areas.

Human rights violations.
Human rights violations.

Amnesty International

The Non-profit NGO, Amnesty International was found by Peter Benenson in July 1961 in the United Kingdom. Since its inception, Amnesty International has fought for and protected the rights of millions of people all over the world. According to Amnesty International, their main objective is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated." In 1977, Amnesty was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for its famous campaign against torture. Currently, the organization has over 7 million members and supporters all over the world.

Do you know your basic human rights?

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    • myvenn profile image
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      myvenn 20 months ago from Ghana

      Thank you very much too for reading it. I am really glad that you see the importance of this hub.

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen Szklany Gault 20 months ago from New England

      This is a very important hub and I thank you for writing it.