Maharashtra State BoardHSC Arts 12th Board Exam
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Human Rights and Humanitarian Intervention

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notes

Human Rights and Humanitarian intervention:

There was an increasing awareness about human rights and also a rise in intervention for humanitarian purposes.

The process of disintegration of states and the creation of new states was not always peaceful. In Yugoslavia, for example, there was a lot of bloodshed in Bosnia Herzegovina between different ethnic groups. Conflicts also occurred in Chechnya, East Timor, and Eritrea. It is in response to such situations that people started to be concerned about the violation of human rights. The United Nations, an important global organization would intervene in countries to prevent conflict from escalating. This was one of the main tasks of UN Peacekeeping.

The conflict was initially between the Yugoslav Army units in Bosnia which later transformed into the Army of Republic Srpska (VRS) on the one side and the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ARBH) which was largely composed of Bosniaks and the Croat forces in the Croatian Defense Council on the other side. Tensions between Croats and Bosniaks increased throughout late 1992, resulting in the Croat-Bosniak War that escalated in early 1993. The Bosnian War was characterized by bitter fighting, indiscriminate shelling of cities and towns, ethnic cleansing, and systematic mass rape, mainly perpetrated by Serb, and to a lesser extent, Croat and Bosniak forces. Events such as the Siege of Sarajevo and the Srebenica Massacre later became iconic of the conflict.

In the post-cold war era, the United Nations continued to intervene in conflict situations to bring about a peaceful resolution of the dispute. But now the rationale for intervention was not just to stop the ongoing war but also prevent the reoccurrence of conflicts in the future, maintain peace, and protect the human rights of the affected people. The United Nations intervened in Cambodia, Somalia, and Yugoslavia for this purpose.

The increasing awareness about human rights and their protection in international law gave rise to a new phenomenon for the protection of rights in the form of 'humanitarian intervention'. The 1990s are sometimes seen as the golden age of humanitarian intervention.

Human Rights in the Post-Cold War World:

Since 1990, there was a dramatic rise in the number of states ratifying the six main human rights conventions and covenants. Over 170 countries participated in the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights, which met in Vienna where they reaffirmed their commitment to protecting human rights.

This was followed by the creation of the office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Its main task was to war but also prevent the reoccurrence of conflicts in the future, maintain peace, and protect the human rights of the affected people. The United Nations intervened in Cambodia, Somalia, and Yugoslavia for this purpose.

The increasing awareness about human rights and their protection in international law gave rise to a new phenomenon for the protection of rights in the form of 'humanitarian intervention'. The 1990s are sometimes seen as the golden age of humanitarian intervention. Coordinate the UN human rights initiatives and establish universal respect for human rights.

NGOs have been a crucial factor in the 1990s spread of human rights ideas. Organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Medicines Sans Frontiers, and Oxfam work directly in conflict zones and have campaigned to promote the observance of human rights treaties and humanitarian law.

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