Sunday, September 6, 2015

Guest Editorial: Forgive us, little Aylan Kurdi! Human rights could not save him

We are pleased to publish this Guest Editorial by Miguel Calmon Dantas

Doctor in Public Law by Universidade Federal da Bahia and Professor of Constitutional Law

The scenes are still in everyone's memory. The little boy held by police after a failed attempt to find life far from where he was born, because there is no more hope.

Forgive us, little Aylan, because you did not live what could. Because you will not giving all the smiles that could. To have found the dark side of the life so anytime soon.

Many children as Aylan lose their lives every day for a variety of causes: violence, poverty - and with it, hunger and disease - ethnic conflicts, wars and accidents. They had denied access to the most basic right of all, the right to life. Life to them is denied by the violation of other rights, human rights and fundamental rights that they cannot, despite its history, prevail over the most intense violations.

If the twentieth century was the Age of Rights, according to Norberto Bobbio, also experienced unbearable and countless atrocities.

The twenty-first century has witnessed the gradual emergence of a new constitutionalism, global, popular and virtual, turning to claim the effectiveness of human rights and fundamental rights; however, it has been also a century of intolerance and excesses of uncontrolled and ambivalence. A horror century of terrorists and terror of the States. A century of suffering and pain.

The pains of September 11. The pains of Atocha. Suffering from Guantanamo. Suffering from Charlie´s. The suffering that inspired the Arab Spring, the Indignados, Greek workers, all Occupies and even recent demonstrations in Brazil.

The frustration of those who see the persistence of tyrannical governments, the debt collection that oppress millions of national, countries governed not by politics neither by the will of the voters, but by the creditors. The frustration of those who see the increasingly internalized corruption in the res publica management.

All, in a way, feel the pain, frustration and suffering, exacerbated by what happened with the little Aylan, they are prey to despair, conformism and despair. To feel the human and fundamental rights as nothing. The non-human being. The denial of humanity because they are not brought the texts to life, not to be tried and experienced.

Human rights are addressed to all human beings, regardless of particular aspects such as nationality, ethnicity, gender, age. Only the single condition that they all have a single identity: the condition of being human. And out of all the violence that can be committed against a human being, that lead people to flee their homeland, to be outsiders and those who deny or hinder the entry of these refugees are the most serious because it undermines citizenship and solidarity. The right to have rights, in the precious definition of Hannah Arendt, and the right to have the community uphold rights of others, share responsibilities, and feel as the other.

Aylan and his family had the application for admission to Canada as refugees denied. The country closed its border not only for a family. Closed to human rights. Do not close to tourists and to lex mercatoria. There were no Syrians wanting to get in a developed country to explore their wealth or find a place in the sun. There were human beings desperately looking for a place to live. Closing for Aylan and family, leaving them delivered at random, Canada denied the human dimension of human rights. Only after the tragedy, the Canadian government began to investigate what happened so that there was the refusal of the request, granting it to the father, who did not accept more.

For these rights, which crave the dignity and turn to citizenship, founded on solidarity, reached the degree of recognition, many gave their lives. Giving your life, they ensured that the rights could save the life of the same as theirs. Aylan will be next to those who gave their lives for human rights.

At this point, the consolidation of human rights in the global legal civilization, should not be necessary more people lose their life for the rights to express their senses and their needs to be taken seriously. While all the time, not being touched by rights, people are losing their lives. It is clear, then, how uncivilized, in fact, it is our civilization.

So we should all apologize to the little Aylan. That even without being aware, guided by his father's hope, moved everyone, everyone impacted by global media. Seen as another, not as unique as a pair, such as a human. Must have his name in the pantheon of human rights.

To paraphrase of the article 377 of the 1795´s French Constitution, Aylan, seeking life by paths taken by his father, he´s going to be with those who courageously guard and defend human and fundamental rights.

Forgive us, Aylan. Human rights not saved your life. It is that you may have saved human rights, at least as to its universality and indivisibility, calling humanity to the full meaning of human life.

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