Vulnerable deserve dignity

Vulnerable deserve dignity

Human dignity is the main philosophical foundation of human rights.

Photo credit: File

Human dignity is the main philosophical foundation of human rights, as expressed in documents such as the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and many others.

The concept is meant to distinguish human beings from other creatures, notably animals. It underlines the uniqueness of human beings, above all their free will, individual autonomy, and capability to live independently.  It is the experience of absolute powerlessness which creates the feeling among the vulnerable of certain gross human rights violations to have lost their dignity and humanity

Politicians, especially in Kenya, have a habit of having their names on government-funded projects or those they financed. This is a scheme many use to curry favour with the electorate. It is, however, unfortunate that, in the 21st Century, a leader entrusted with the mandate of protecting the dignity of his people would steal it by ‘forcing’ his subjects to stay in a house he generously constructed for them but has to keep reminding them that he helped them.

A lawmaker took to her Facebook account to showcase her good deed to her constituents. She posted a picture of the previous shabby structure and the new one that she constructed, captioning the post: “This inspires me, transforming the lives of my people.” On the fisher board, the mud-walled new house had been branded with her name and words to the effect that she “funded” its construction.

The government, through the ‘Big Four Agenda’ promised Kenyans affordable housing and that is what ought to be delivered. Kenyans should be cautious of the elite who, in a bid to win their votes, could present to them as favours what they deserve.

Let our consciousness be clear and judge our leaders objectively. That will help us to avoid the Emmanuel Kant categorical imperative supreme principle of morality, which deems it morally wrong to treat persons merely as a means to an end.