What is Criminalization of Human Rights

          The St. Francis College Honors Program, in collaboration with SFC International and the Human Rights Lecture Series, is honored to present the Dr. Frank Greene Honors Lecture on “The Criminalization of Human Rights,” to be delivered by Philip Alston, JSD, John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law at New York University School of Law. Dr. Philip Alston is John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law at New York University School of Law. As both a scholar and practitioner, his current work focuses on the human rights dimensions of issues such as neoliberal economic policies, climate change, artificial intelligence and poverty elimination. Among many UN roles over the past decades, he was the UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Special Adviser to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Millennium Development Goals and Chairperson and Rapporteur of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

          Freemuslim’s director, Mujtaba Akhwand, is honored to attend the educational series to gain depth in topic of criminalization of human rights. Thousands of NGOs work tirelessly to advocate for human rights, justice and a society where people coexist peacefully but sometimes even this attempt to do the right thing is so criminalized in the society or by the government that it is treated as something that is illegal or forbidden. In some countries, ruling government may have standards set in place that does not align with the international norm. For example; in Afghanistan, self-claimed Islamist group of Taliban continue to limit education for girls and women rights in general. Their actions are not Islamic nor do Muslims agree with  Taliban ruling. If it is not Islamic and it is not internationally acceptable, then why is it that human rights organizations are unable to achieve women rights? Any advocacy for human rights in countries like Afghanistan faces tens of roadblocks and are unable to reach any tangible results due to how wrong it looks to advocate for other’s rights. In societies that human value is degraded to a commodity and people are treated in a modern slavery mechanism, any work affiliated with human rights is also degraded and seen unworthy.

          Freemuslim asks governments to facilitate platforms for advocates for human rights to voice their concerns and offer constructive suggestion for betterment of the society. Limiting people, their mind, their likes and dislikes is like governing a geographical boundary with thousands of robots instead of countries where healthy competition makes businesses better, people coexist regardless of obstacles on the way and practice their free will. We also ask those who disagree with something in their countries and need to protest it, do so peacefully. It is important to achieve goals in peace and by peace.