Human Rights

Kingsley Kuku: Human Rights in Developing Countries and Roles of Governments

in Opinion

Equality is a term associated with political campaigns, community-development projects, and international policies. It is a sensitive topic whose importance is often neglected. Consider, for example, how fairness and lack thereof affects people who are mistreated. Sadly, however, this is an all-too-familiar scenario for a lot of individuals in developing countries. That is why the battle for human rights is as strong as ever, and individuals like Kingsley Kuku are relentless in their pursuit of bringing equality to all.

Why developing countries?

The reason why human rights tend to be a topic of concern in developing countries, in particular, is the lack of resources. For example, individuals residing in western regions tend to take basic rights like access to health care and employment for granted. For those residing in certain regions of Africa, South America, and even Asia, such opportunities can be rare. This is where the contest for human rights begins and will continue until the day that everyone is offered the same privileges around the globe.

Solving a Perpetual Problem

Another factor that contributes to this issue is the lack of clear-cut solutions. After all, there are no blueprints that clearly dictate how people can overcome inequality. Instead, it is usually a battle that takes time and a lot of effort. Thus, those involved must recognize that the change they seek may not even happen during their lifetime. Think about Nigeria and its current constitution, per se.

Nigeria, an African country in the Gulf of Guinea, got its independence October 1, 1960. Despite the governmental instability of the 1960’s, Nigeria remained focused on social and economic development. By the time of the fourth republic, the 1999 constitution imposed the country’s fundamental human rights including the right to life, personal liberty, and freedom of expression. In translation, it took 85 years to develop a system where these problems could be addressed and regulated by legislative agencies. So, making a change requires more time than many people will be able to dedicate. That is why it is important to focus on overcoming adversity one day at a time. Kingsley Kuku wrote the “Remaking the Niger Delta: Challenges & Opportunities,” as a form of political engagement and promotion of peace in Nigeria.

Governments Lead the Way

Obviously, a lot of issues about human rights are government-based. Consider one of the many South American countries to better understand this point. In Peru or Colombia, for instance, disappearances and unregulated executions are still happening on a regular basis. The freedom of speech is nowhere near the expected threshold that modern societies set. So, who is in charge and should be blamed for the non-existent equality and malfunctioning institutions? The governments.

Whether it is a country in South America or all the way in Asia, certain things will not differ. One of those similarities tends to be the role of governments as the main proponent for society’s development and prosperity. Most nations rely on their elected officials to make note-worthy choices that will bring upon better living conditions. This is not, however, what always takes place. Over the last few centuries, countless governments failed to lead their people to better living standards. Some are even failing to do that this very moment. Therefore, the question that must be asked is how individuals can facilitate a change and, more importantly, can they? Kingsley Kuku is an example of a facilitator of change, as he engaged in political activism at a young age and led a student group against the militarism of Nigeria.


As Kingsley Kuku, a long-time political and environmental activist, states, every person must hold their governments and fellow citizens accountable, whether this means continuously participating in elections or advocating for candidates on a daily basis. The main goal is to be involved with one’s government and mandate transparency. Similarly, every person must do their part to hold individuals who might be in violation of human rights accountable.

This can be achieved almost effortlessly nowadays. After all, when someone’s human rights are violated, it is generally easy to spot. For instance, it could be the case of a party denying someone access to a facility due to their race or ethnicity. It could also be as simple as someone verbally assaulting an individual without any rational reasoning. To defeat such cases of people’s human rights being infringed upon, all one has to do is speak up. Meaning, stand up for the person who is under attack. Doing so will help the party in question feel protected. And although it will not change the world, it will change the way that this particular party feels about the world.

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