ISSN 2330-717X

70 Years On: UN Declaration On Human Rights From Lens Of Victimology – OpEd

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) adoption by the General Assembly of the United Nations (GAUN) 70 years ago, nonetheless, is more relevant to the future and today’s society. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedom set forth in this landmark declaration requires major attention.

However, these defining characteristics of the UDHR constitute not only its strength, but also its weaknesses. This important milestone in the UN history is a testament to the commitment of the UN to global rules and values. On this important occasion of the 70th anniversary of UDHR her press statement on 9th December, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said, “the document has gone from being an “aspirational treatise” to a set of standards that has “permeated virtually every area of international law”.

The most meaningful words of UN High Commissioner on the notion of human rights resonates in today’s discourse. In the recent past conflicts, migration related issues, racial polarization and inequalities have played a large role in breakdown of societies. Given the uncertainties, the numbers of people victimized due to hate crimes are unquestionably high. The distrust of reason is perhaps one of the most important traits of such issues.

In fact, one could argue that Victimology, as a subject doesn’t immediately spring to the mind over these issues or as a problem-solving method. There is no doubt of Victimology as a branch of criminal justice studies has been responsible for the expanding knowledge focusing on the victims of crimes.

Perhaps in order to understand the dynamics of victimization, Victimologists offers a more realistic picture about Victimology as a domain of social science. Hence the introduction of victimology was major step forward in strengthening the fundamental principals of the Universal Declaration.

Looking at some characteristics of victimology narratives within the judicial proceedings requires alternative behavioral and forensic science methods to investigate the causes, is a part of a larger study of the victimology specialty. Therefore, the element Forensic victimology, a sub-division of victimology reinforces and is closely linked to criminal justice studies. In this context Forensic victimology analyses victim’s lifestyle and circumstances, the events leading up to their injury, and looks into the precise nature of any harm or loss that he or she had suffered.

While some nations looked for new laws to prohibit hate crime against individuals or groups, others sought the answers in solving this pertaining issuing relating to victimology using home grown methods. Various intervention strategies have been implemented in the recent past. There are various laws, declaration, codified rules and regulation that prevent individual under the international law, but these are working towards penalizing the wrong-doer and not focusing on the overall aspect and perspective of the crime. In the global context, laws that prohibit any type of hate crime against an individual or groups were partially fruitful. Very few countries in European Union, North and South America have focused on implementing laws against hate crime.

However, 45 states in America expanded this law and was major step forward. Unquestionably, the most renowned organizations in the world such as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Criminal Court (ICC), The World Society of Victimology (WSV) holding consultative status with UN and Council of Europe, International Criminal Justice Institutes and other related agencies have been playing a realistic role intervening in furthering of victimology subject. International consensus is growing on human rights and freedom’s discourses that is designed to look beyond the victim stereotype and improves the policies relating to the prevention of crimes as well as to look into the victim themselves.

*Srimal Fernando, Research scholar at Jindal School of International Affairs (JSIA), India and a Global editor of Diplomatic Society for South Africa; and Vipin Vijay Nair is Doctoral Research Scholar at Jindal Institute of Behavioral Sciences (JIBS) and a Research Fellow at Jindal Global Law School (JGLS)

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