Tell me this, what is more important: human rights or human life? How do we distinguish which should come first? Is there even a difference? These are the questions running rampant among the United Kingdom’s government right now. But I believe the real question is: what are human rights without a human to have them? While protection is a human right, it should be categorized separately and raised to the highest importance.
The threat of ISIS is extremely high in the U.K. They are “facing a level of terror threat not seen since the IRA bombings of the 1970s” (CBC News). How do you find a way to enforce human rights without letting security and safety slip through the cracks? Of course human rights should be one of the top concerns of any government, but there is a point when protecting your people has to be prioritized.
The major conflict is that the security forces are doing everything they can to enforce human rights with restricted resources, but criminals and suspected terrorists are sneaking through as soon as the security forces let their guards down. Doesn’t that seem dangerous? That’s why protecting the people should be the U.K’s top priority right now. It may backfire at first, because shelters and food banks will get less attention, but in the long run it will protect the society as a whole, which will make it easier to enforce human rights. And of course I am not saying they should drop everything human rights related and switch gears completely to security, because that would be irrational and inhumane. But maybe if the government paid a little more attention to the safety of their people it would be easier to keep up their human rights as well. Like I said before, protection is a basic human right that needs to be enforced. All the time.
I know that it’s extremely difficult to decide on what is more important in a society. But it all comes down to the fact that people need to be protected. And some may say that shelter is protection. But is it really enough? Can a house protect you from a terrorist attack? Definitely not. But security forces can. Enforcing the law and ensuring safety is ultimately the essential strategy of a society.
So while ISIS is a concerning threat to the U.K, I believe it is important to step up the security game. To be blunt, there is no United Kingdom without the people in it. Protection is a human right, so why not fight for it?
Reuters, Thomson. “ISIS Threat in U.K. High, Says New Terrorism Watchdog.” CBCnews.
CBC/Radio Canada, 26 Feb. 2017. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.
View, Telegraph. “Human Rights Must Not Outweigh Security.” The Telegraph. Telegraph
Media Group, 26 Feb. 2017. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.