Environmental & Human Rights
As discussed in my last post, Syria has faced a number of environmental problems. These ranging from deforestation to drought and many others. In a country that is quickly crumbling, these issues only further the destruction of a society and a community. Although many Syrians are trying to flee the country, some are still residing in Syria, and their political and social structure, as well as their environmental are mixing to obliterate a country.
Syria is in need of governmental and environmental funding from outside sources, and do receive aid from various countries and corporations as stated in my previous blogs. Now is the most vital time for Syrians to be receiving aid and money. Some experts speculate that vulnerable or impoverished countries may be less prone to receiving human rights needs.
“‘Human rights violations impede access to basic services — such as education, health care and employment — especially for the poorest and most vulnerable social groups,” Liz Kebby-Jones, senior human rights analyst at Maplecroft, told Devex. “Failure to support inclusive socio-economic growth holds back a country’s ability to realize overall development goals.'” In this dangerous time for Syria, amidst civil war and religious strife, it is impossible for the country to fight back/grow with human rights violations adding to the problem. It is apparent that people are viewing this country as hopeless or a lost cause, but people are still living there-among the droughts and sandstorms and wars- these people need to be helped. Devex also states, “In fact, the top 10 countries where the human rights environment is considered extremely at risk have all experienced sporadic or protracted conflict in recent years”. This is extremely problematic, and suggests that these countries/people are not worth saving or helping.
So what does this say about our organizations and outside societies that could help them? Are we bias to richer/more self sustaining countries? If we only aided to human rights in countries that were well off or not suffering as much as others, we’re essentially waiting for the more needy countries to fail, creating a society of only high performing countries. This is not fair to these struggling countries, especially Syria.
The human rights index also classifies more well performing countries as being more higher risk, this is because countries such as India have, “a low-cost sourcing hub for consumer goods, does not have strong legal and regulatory frameworks, working conditions are often appalling and do not meet health and safety standards”. This promotes poor working conditions for more goods being made, and forces us to question where priorities lay in this situation.
“‘Since 2008, global economic growth and investment has shifted to new markets prompting a demand for low-cost workers, water and land as well as other natural resources,” Lizabeth Campbell, Maplecroft’s head of societal risk and human rights, said, adding that human rights violations are worsening in many of these markets'”
: centered on Europe or the Europeans; especially : reflecting a tendency to interpret the world in terms of European or Anglo-American values and experiences
We cannot compare the needs of countries in relation to wealthier or well off countries. If this is the case, we will never have the urge to help struggling countries, but create a society with essentially similar attributes that reflect the wealthier European countries. Farish Noore says that eurocentrism is, “the emerging perception within the European cultural, historical experience of European identity as good and all other forms as less good or less advanced”. This is view we’re promoting when refusing to help countries who really need the aid. Just because they don’t reflect the ideals and values of European countries, doesn’t mean they’re not meant to be helped, and to prosper. If the whole world looked like the European countries, we would live in a world with much less culture and diversity. We need to view human rights as a communal thing that everyone deserves, not something that has certain aspects that qualify one country to be more worth than others.
Syria in Danger
The perfect example of this, as stated earlier, is Syria. As the country faces droughts, failed crops, civil war, and religious unrest, its citizens are fleeing the country. Without the help of outside aid, this country will be completely taken over by the rebels who are killing to take the land. This may look like a reason to not help aid human rights, but the people living there, who are unable to escape or adapt to a new country need this aid. There is no use in ignoring a countries needs because they are needier than others, it should be more incentive to help them.