International Human Rights: Assault on Sovereignty of State?


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State, the legal manifestation of a country, is composed of four things i.e. population, territory, government and sovereignty. Sovereignty which is often also termed as suzerainty is the ultimate power of the state in deciding its matters. “Sovereignty” is that feature of state, which distinguishes it from other political and non political associations. Sovereignty has got two aspects, first is the internal sovereignty, which implies that state is the highest and the most powerful association within the country and second aspect is the “external sovereignty”, which implies that a state is independent to decide its internal issues and no foreign power can interfere in its internal matters.

With the end of Second World War, there was a kind of movement in most parts of the western word which tried to place individual above state i.e. to say that they treated individual as the end in itself and not as a means to an end. It was also the period when the organisations like United Nation and international charters like Universal Declaration of Human Rights came into picture which were also the manifestation of the “Pro Human Rights wing”. Specifically, Article 13, 14, 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights try to “subjugate” state power to “individual”. There was also a demand that the United Nations should take action against the erring state under the power enshrined to it under chapter VII of the UN Charter. But this was not utilized to a certain extent till the period of cold war because of the east west rivalry and the veto power vested with super powers of both the blocs.

There has been a long debate among various scholars who proclaim that “International Human Rights Law” is an assault on the sovereignty of an Independent state. The reality is that International Human Rights Law assaults Sovereignty of states in a “selective” manner. There are numerous instances which prove that whenever the “shroud” of “human rights” has been used, it has always been used for some vested benefits. The best example for this argument is Israel, since its inception, Israel has been increasing its territory day by day and in a unjustified manner and over this issue there has been a long war between the Arabs, specifically the Palestinians, and the Israel and in this war Israel has used various means and tactics to curb the voice of Arabs. We all are aware about the gross violations of human rights which are vetted out to the citizens of Palestine and no organisation or country is taking any concrete steps over this gross “violation of International Law”. Numerous times Israel has been condemned by the UN, but nothing more than condemnation, for the past 65 years, Israel has been violating the rights of the citizens of the Palestine, assaulting the sovereignty of Palestine but nothing has been done to stop Israel. The UN has never invoked its power under chapter 7 of the charter against Israel, no sanction has been ever imposed over Israel.

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This all is happening because of the “tacit” support which US is providing to Israel. As Noam Chomsky puts it up “UN is the pet dog of US, it barks when its master asks”. On the other hand, any country or ruler of that country tries to defy the “Sovereignty” of big daddy, that poor country is accused of “human rights violation” or some of other charge, we all know that when in 1991 Saddam Husain attacked Kuwait, he had the tacit support of US and when in 2000, Iraq was attacked by US, with sanctions from UN, Saddam Husain was charged with “violating the human rights of Kuwaitians”. Similarly the case of Libya, Gaddafi was emerging as a strong leader in Africa and he even had started defying US, this was unacceptable to US and making the use of the volatile situation in Libya, there was direct action against Gaddafi on the pretext of “Human Rights Violation”. In fact, there are more cases of human rights violation against Saudi Arabia than any other Middle East country but the US turns a blind eye towards it because Saudi Arabia is its ally. Similarly, in the case of Iran, the US is blaming Iran for “IMMINENT VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE OF WORLD” if it is possessed with “nuclear weapons”, the true reason for this anti Iran stance is the “Oil Factor” and the growing popularity of Iran in the “Muslim world’.

These all instances and many more prove that “Human Rights Violation” is only applicable when US wants and a writer was not wrong when he collective termed all these pretexts as “tools of Neo Imperialism”.

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