Humanitarian Intervention Is It Needed

Topics: Human rights, United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights Pages: 5 (1565 words) Published: October 25, 2010
A reality for many countries is that intervention can be perplexing and taking accountability for the protection of humanity can mean that ‘the issue must be reframed not as an argument about the right to intervene but about the responsibility to protect’ (Evans and Sahnoun, 2002). ‘There is a duty of mutual aid, and the fact that one cannot do everything does not mean that one should do nothing’ (Smith, 2000). With this being said, the act of forcible intervention is debatable, how does this type of act justify advocating the concern for civilians in other countries? Shouldn’t the countries involved be acting in their own defence? The forcible manner that is imposed on these countries could be damaging and perhaps risking the role of future interventions. The responsibility of the intervening country during a time of imminent threat needs to be examined.

To suggest that humanitarian intervention is black and white would be imposing a view that is simply not true, nor would it be providing a clear equation of the movement itself. A non biased definition of intervention is regarded, ‘a coercive action by an outside party or parties, in the sphere of jurisdiction of a sovereign state, or more broadly of an independent political community’ (Caney, 1997). ‘The responsibility to protect implies a duty to react to situations in which there is compelling need for human protection’, (Evans and Sahnoun, 2002), meaning that we must protect human life and support human rights, perhaps even when there is significant risk for those involved.

International humanitarian law (IHL) essentially promotes peace and justice and protects citizens amongst international communities from human rights violations. Having an IHL sets a standard of rules and helps to prevent international bullying, a trigger for many interventions. These laws help countries promote their national interests, which often assist in the participation of legal institutions and treaties and sets order and predictability in the behaviour of international affairs. These laws are supported by organisations such as the United Nations body, namely the human rights committee, and have shown in the past the use of these authorities aids with the effectiveness and generates an intervention that has a significantly higher chance of success. It is agreed that as a stronger influential country, the United States have the duty to make an effort to prevent violations to human rights and by having a strong United Nations role they can be seen as the dominant international force for deterrence and rescue, which will help many countries assist in the prevention of inhumane crimes.

Human rights represent the humanity and equality in society. ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’ (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948). Human rights recognize claims against humanity which are in connection with anthropology, regardless whether it is recognized by law. These guidelines entitle everyone, despite the ideologies and beliefs of a particular society but can be the symptom and cause behind conflict. This is why it is particularly hard to see how military interventions can be seen as an aid to human rights. Validating this theory though, is seen in the framework of the US Declaration of Independence 1776, which states, ‘Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of inalienable rights, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government’. This affirmation is also reinforced by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, which also expresses, prohibiting the acts that violate or breech human rights to be overturned, summarizing that, ‘freedom is important and tyranny is intolerable’ (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948). This consequently helped imposing the necessary movement, namely humanitarian intervention which protects and supports individuals and communities against these inhumane acts....
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