Role of NGOs in Protecting Human Rights
In recent past, the world politics arena has witnessed an increase in the number of nongovernmental organizations commonly known as NGOs. Even though most states are the protectors of human rights, it is evident that NGOs remain central players in promoting human rights all over the world. In ensuring the governments and rulers do not infringe on the rights of people or a community, these organizations may work or not work with the government of the day in establishing an agenda for action. They mainly seek to have international threshold for the behavior of states through signing of agreements and ensuring that individual parties to the treaty conform to it to the letter.
NGOs also participate in mobilizing public opinion towards a given course. Here, they carry out investigations and give detailed report and recommendations regarding human rights abuses. In most cases, the recommendations favor the victims, who may have been denied their rights in different ways. They may also offer direct support to the victims, in helping them normalize their lives. Lobbying is important because NGOs cannot operate as independent entities because of their mandate. In serving the people effectively, these organizations need governments, politicians, international financial institutions, and the media among others partners. An NGO that has more partners to work with usually has an expanded mandate through increased activities. Currently, we see many NGOs diversify their services through training programs, which aim at respecting the rule of law and responding with humanitarian help when disaster occurs.
NGOs have largely played a role in influencing human rights practices of many states around the world and created global awareness about people’s human rights. While this is the case, agreement on what these organizations do excellently remain a debatable issue even though their impact can be openly seen. It is important to note that the mandate of NGOs can overwhelming especially in cases where human rights abuses form part of a country’s culture. For this reason, NGOs take varying periods to achieve specific goals, depending on the nature of the issue at hand and the government’s willingness to participate in the course of seeking justice for victims of human rights abuses.
Most NGOs have different ways of reaching out to target audience and having their services cover a wider scope. For example, most of these organizations have global websites through which they link to the rest of the world, especially in an information age. These websites further carry documentation of human rights violations in various parts and calls for corrective measures to be taken and all levels, including government and grassroots. For NGOs to succeed, they also need the support of the public and their condemnation of the human rights violations in question. Any effective NGO is that which seeks to have its agenda popular for mass support. In some cases, we have seen NGOs organize mass action by making the public aware of how the government or individual state officers are misusing their power and infringing on the rights of the minority.
NGOs achieve their goals by exerting pressure on governments, which limit human rights. There are numerous international NGOs, which have had impact in fighting for human rights. A good example is Amnesty International, which campaigns for human rights worldwide. It has its presence in more than one hundred and fifty countries, with at least 2.2 million members and subscribers. They carry out research and generate action to end human rights abuses and call for justice for the victims.
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