The obligation to protect and promote human rights

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By Almameh S Manga

Quick reminder here on the role of the state in the promotion and protection of human rights as well as safeguarding fundamental rights and liberties of all citizens regardless of one`s status in society.

States especially her agents must be reminded that it behoves on them to sincerely assume obligations and duties under international law to respect, to protect and to fulfil human rights.

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Essentially, the obligation to respect means that States must refrain from any form of intrusion or interference with or curtailing the enjoyment of human rights.

Clearly, the obligation to protect requires States to protect individuals and groups against human rights abuses.

The obligation to fulfil means that States must adopt approaches that are positive to the facilitation of incessant enjoyment of basic human rights.

I must emphasise therefore, that no one should be discriminated upon on account of race, colour, ethnicity, religion or political affiliation. Anything along this line, would be incongruent to the salient norms and principles of international human rights law.

The principle of Non-discrimination is cross-cutting in international human rights law.

This principle is alive and well in the wire house of all the major human rights treaties and thus delivers the dominant leitmotif of some of international human rights conventions such as the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

At the level of the individual, I must unequivocally place on record that while we are entitled to enjoy our human rights, it is equally incumbent we also respect the human rights of others.

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