Empower Your Voice: Insights of a Development Communication Practitioner on Human Rights

Mr. Nathaniel John Nunez shares his perspectives about what human rights are.

All individuals, regardless of race, gender, religion, or other characteristics, have the inherent right to exercise and enjoy their human rights. These fundamental rights and freedoms must be upheld without any form of discrimination or prejudice.

This includes the right to freedom of expression, freedom of religion, the right to education, the right to work, right to life, right to liberty, and security, the right to equality and non-discrimination, right to work and decent standard of living, and many other universally recognized human rights.  

Human Rights exist, ensuring that all individuals are treated with fairness, respect, and equality and serve as a means of protection against discrimination, oppression, and injustice.  By recognizing and upholding human rights, societies can prevent the abuse of power and the importance of promoting peace and stability in society.  

Nathaniel John Nuñez, a Development Communication Practitioner stated that “Human rights are usually synonymous with equality. All humans are entitled to the same rights. And by all, it encompasses all human beings. Regardless of anything. However, in the lens of Development particularly in Development Communication, human rights are not always synonymous with equality. But rather with equity. Equity at its core is about, providing, taking, giving, and experiencing what one needs. Or in simpler terms, equity is about being entitled to what you need rather than what you are simply entitled to.”  

He added that in the perspective of Development Communication the leniency to equity and to being needs-based, allows Development Communication efforts to truly answer the issues of the community. Thus, these efforts as they are based on needs also catalyze change and sustainable development for the community. In the long run, allowing the total flourishing of all humans is their right.  

In conclusion, in the context of human rights, the concepts of equality and equity often stand as pillars of justice and fairness. However, development practitioner Mr. Nathaniel Nuñez argues that in Development Communication, human rights should lean towards equity rather than mere equality. He points out that while human rights traditionally advocate for equal treatment and opportunities for all individuals, regardless of differences, the lens of development communication often emphasizes equity.  

By choosing equity as a guiding principle, practitioners can focus their efforts on meeting the specific needs of communities. This approach goes deeper than basic solutions and aims to empower individuals by understanding and fulfilling their unique needs.  

It’s important to have human rights because human rights give people the power to speak up when they are treated unfairly by society. It also gives people the right to choose how to express themselves and how they want to live in their way. Lastly, it recognizes our rights to make our own decisions about our lives and to realize our full potential as an individual and a human being. 

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