This Week’s Human Rights Report

“I’m enraged with emotion, do you fear it’s insincere? I dropped a grenade on the floor, watched it explode had no fear.”

– Arielle London

This past week we have seen horrific stories develop in the news. Every week the news cycle presents stories of systemic failures but this week I’d like to highlight three stories. The first, reports of mass hysterectomies taking place at an ICE detention center in Georgia, USA. The second, the rape and murder of a 5-year old girl in Pakistan. The third, the rape of a mother on a highway in front of her children in Pakistan.

Mass Hysterectomies

Reports are circulating that mass hysterectomies have been taking place at Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia. I first heard heard about this story yesterday in an article written by Complex. Then today Bernie Sanders tweeted an article and comment. And finally I saw the story hit larger global news media outlets such as BBC.

A hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus inside a woman. The uterus, for those who are unaware, is also known as the womb, where a baby grows. So in other words, the reproductive rights of these women were infringed upon in the worst way possible. Removing a woman’s ability to bear children, without her understanding or explicit consent, has got to be one of the most inhumane, cruel and heartbreaking things you can inflict on a female.

Rape & Murder of 5-Year-Old Girl

The rape of a 5-year old girl in Pakistan nearly broke me down to pieces this week. Children’s rights abuses will always be difficult to hear about but as a rape survivor this one hurt me. Even now as I write tears roll down my face. The horror this young life had to endure before going to the other side too soon is so unjust that you can’t fight the tears. The young girl was kidnapped and her body was found 2 days later. She had been raped, hit in the head and burned. The injustice does not stop with this incident as this is not an isolated incident, however, the injustice continues with the fact that rapists go free. Free to live their lives and rape others without fear of consequences.

This has to change.

Motorway Incident

Five days after the rape of the 5-year old girl, a mother was sexually assaulted in front of her children on a highway in Pakistan. She was traveling with her 3 children when she ran out of fuel on the motorway. She called the police for help and while waiting, two men broke her window with sticks and stones and dragged her and her children out. Then the men proceeded to rape her multiple times as her children watched in terror.

Do you see a theme in all of these stories? The rights of women and children are being violated in archaic, perverse, and carefree manners. The system does not punish those who violate the vulnerable, it protects the powerful. Rape not only goes unpunished it is practically sanctioned.

The problem with human rights is that they are more often than not enforced after an abuse has taken place, not before.

We need to do better. We need to do better for ourselves, and we need to do better for the future. Complacency is acceptance, and acceptance is not an option.

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