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Human Rights, Reality And Facts


Human rights watch is reporting that 178 out of 190 countries in the world guarantee paid maternity leave, by law. In nine countries the legal status of paid maternity leave was unclear. This leaves only three countries in the world that definitively offer no legal guarantee of paid maternity leave: Papua New Guinea, Swaziland—and the United States. Unbelievable. Where we stand? The flag bearer of human rights in the whole world, United States, stands with just two other countries in the world, Papua New Guinea and Swaziland! Shame, Shame, Shame, Shame, Shame! How dare we demand Qaddafi to step down for the violation of human rights? 

International Labor Organization, ILO, in it’s report, has further broken down these statistics. It states that 120 countries provide maternity leave and related health benefits, by law, including most industrialized countries, with the exception of Australia, New Zealand and United States. Report also states, “The countries that provide the most paid maternity leave by law include: the Czech Republic – 28 weeks; Hungary – 24 weeks; Italy – 5 months; Canada – 17 weeks; Spain and Romania – 16 weeks each. Denmark, Norway, and Sweden all provide extensive paid leave which may be taken by either parent, although a portion is reserved for the mother.” In United States, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, provides a total of 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a twelve months period for the birth of a child and care of newborn. Above all, this very limited mandate is for the companies with 50 or more employees. Even the anti-discrimination laws in United States, that protect the pregnant women, women at childbirth and women effected by related conditions, from discrimination like firing from job or prohibiting breaks for breast milk pumping, are applied only to companies with 15 or more employees. While, Libya confirms to the ILO standards, except for the condition that the mother should be working for current employer for at least six months. Libya is also one of the 29 countries that have adopted the absolute prohibition on the dismissal of a worker during maternity leave for any reason. This means that our human rights situation, in some cases, is even worse then the world’s worst human rights violators. Cash and health benefits are also critical. A 1996 report to U.S. congress mentioned that 100% women who were eligible for maternity leave but did not take it, said that they could not afford it. 

ILO is the organization that created the first global standard in 1919 for the protection of working mothers, before and after a childbirth. It was revised in 1952 and now requires a minimum of 12 weeks of paid maternity leave with health benefits, although, the recommendation is 14 weeks. In countries which provide cash benefits through social security, it requires to provide at least two third of her income, with full health benefits. 

Currently 119 countries meet these standards, with 62 of these countries provide 14 weeks or more for paid maternity leave. Only 31 countries provide less then 12 weeks. 

In the mean time, discrimination strongly prevails in most societies, around the world. In 1998, within United States, nearly one out of every three black males, between the age of 20-29, was in prison or jail. First Nations made about the 18% of federal prison population, within Canada in 2000, while they were only 2% of general population. Equality and Human Rights Commission has found the five times more blacks per head of their population are in prisons of England and Wales, as compared to whites. 

In 2007 China’s leading headhunter company reported that the average salary for white-collar men was $6441, while for white-collar women it was  $4201. In accordance with a PwC report published in 2002 women occupied 40% senior management positions in FTSE 350 companies within U.K. When this research was repeated in 2007 this number was found to be down to 22%. In 2009, ILGA published a report based on research carried out by Daniel Ottosson at Södertörn University College, Stockholm, Sweden. This report found that 80% of countries around the world continue to consider homosexuality as illegal, five have death penalty for it and two practice death penalty for homosexuality in some parts of the country. This is termed as state sponsored homophobia and is most common in Islamic states. On February 5, 2005 the IRIN issued a reported titled “Iraq: Male homosexuality still a taboo”. Report stated the honor killings of gay members of family. In August 2009, Human rights watch published a detailed report about torture of gays in Iraq and stated tortures like, blocking men’s anuses with glue and giving laxatives after that. 

South Africa, now, has one of the most progressive constitutions in the world, but, gay unions are still widely considered as un-African and it is reported that 86% of black lesbians from the Western Cape live under the fear of assault. Some other important facts regarding the discrimination are: African Americans are 79% more likely to live in an area where industrial pollution causes various health hazards. Only 24 U.S. states and D.C, include sexual orientation in their hate crime legislation. Two thirds of world’s children who receive less then four years of education are girls. 

A UNICEF report states that the gender based infanticide, abortion, malnutrition and neglect are believed to be the cause of 60 to 100 million women missing from world population. 90 per cent of world’s child domestic workers are girls between the age of 12 to 17 years. Less then 2% of 120-150 million disabled children in the world receive education. In United States, the incidence of AIDS and HIV is twice in deaf community as compared to the other population. Disabled children make up an estimated 20% of institutionalized population in Central and Eastern Europe, Commonwealth of Independent States and Baltic States. In 1997, within Bulgaria, 16% of minority Roma population had not completed the basic education, as compared to three percent in general population. 

So, where is the ideal of “all human beings are created equal? How much more sacrifices and struggle is required to achieve this ideal? Will we ever be able to reach this goal? How many more billions of people will keep suffering from the violation of their basic human rights and will remain the target of discrimination and for how long? It is really sad that there still are so many obstacles in achieving the goal of equality for human beings. Most right wingers still do not perceive this situation as a problem. Unfortunately, the opposition and resistance to the real and solid solutions is still very strong.

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Born in 1964, business owner, from Woodbridge, VA, owns ExcitingAds! Inc. ( and blog ( He was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. His elementary school was ST. Michael's Convent High School, Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated high school from ST. Bonaventure's Convent High School, Hyderabad, Sind, Pakistan. His pre-med college was S. A. L. Govt. College, Mirpurkas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sind, Pakistan in 1990. Earned equivalency certification from Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Philadelphia, PA in 1994.

346 thoughts on “<span>Human Rights, Reality And Facts</span>”

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