Everyone requires good health care services, food and water, clothing, and a home. By birth, every human has a level of dignity and humanity they enjoy when these needs are included in their basic human rights. Unfortunately, millions of people still lack these necessities, including veterans. In recent studies, it was discovered that homeless veterans were heavily represented in the homeless population in many developing countries worldwide. Furthermore, many Veterans have been documented to suffer from various mental and psychological illnesses for which they do not receive adequate care. Most importantly, veteran discrimination in the workplace has become the norm. This type of discrimination stems from prejudice and bias, and it harms veterans’ overall quality of life.
The Importance of Protecting Veteran Rights
It is critical for states and non-state actors to rise and provide as much protection as each veteran would require to enjoy the dignity of his human person and realize his basic human rights. Below are the benefits of protecting the rights of veterans:
Meeting Basic Needs
Everyone has the right to basic societal needs, including the right to life, from birth. On the other hand, the right to life cannot be fully realized without the enforcement of other basic economic rights such as the right to food and water, medical care, housing, and employment. These rights should be protected for a person to function properly as a human.
Shield from Prejudice and Bias
When veterans face discrimination and abuse, it’s unjust in comparison to what they’ve given up for the safety and well-being of their country; it also directly impacts their quality of life. It limits their ability to take advantage of the normal life opportunities and privileges that civilians enjoy.
Equal Opportunities for Employment
The ability to work and earn a living enables people to thrive in their society. Understanding that the work environment can be downright oppressive sometimes, veterans are subjected to endure these abuses and insufficient opportunities. The law can establish a framework for how workers should be treated and promote equality to protect their rights.
Sense of Identity
When people feel forgotten and abandoned by society, their instinct is to revert to an identity incompatible with peace and community. Because many war veterans derive their identity and relevance from the war, they start to look for a sense of belonging in their new civilian life. As a result, when their rights are preserved, they do not experience an identity issue.
Prevention of Security Risks
When their rights are protected and strictly enforced, it keeps war veterans in the minds of the leaders of the new post-conflict state. Many governments have abandoned their war veterans, recalling them only when they pose a security risk. When their rights are violated, they risk becoming a welfare-dependent population unable to support themselves. When welfare is no longer available or is insufficient, war veterans, for example, can pose a security risk, as in Zimbabwe.
The i mportance of these rights cannot be overemphasized, so it’s important for the government, individuals, and other bodies to protect veteran rights.