It can be argued that denial of human rights does not constitute infringement or violation of human rights, since denial can be considered merely an attitude without any active consequence in society. However, it can also be argued, notably in the case of gender discrimination, that denial is in itself an insidious form of violation which is equally harmful to its victims.
Saudi Arabian scholars and religious leaders who, in 1993, set up a human rights committee have been dismissed from their jobs and their group declared illegal and unacceptable under Islam by the country's highest clerical body.
2. Human rights are still not effectively assured in most of the world's countries, and there is nothing to suggest that any steady, undeviating progress is being made towards improvement. Clashes of interest; overriding reasons of state; sudden, sharp changes in the economy and in social relationships; the vicissitudes of national and international policy; inter-group antagonisms; fluctuations in power relationships; the pressures of egoism, intolerance or obscurantism; the pretexts afforded by circumstances - all these are continually responsible for retreats. It would indeed be disastrous if, in the end, these retreats were to be met by the false wisdom or illusory realism of resigned acceptance.
2. Human rights legislation can be as repressive as the criminal law and as inhibiting to free speech as the criminal law.