Basic Human Rights…what are they? What are your own personal thoughts about the state of human rights in the world today?…by Chuck Duboff

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© Chuck Duboff

“Human Rights: rights which are inherent to all human beings, regardless of nationality, race, sex, ethnic origin, colour, religion, sexual orientation, or any other status.  We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination.”  United Nations.

Questions to ponder:

Ask yourself these questions: do you believe that every human being living on this earth is entitled to basic human rights?  Is there a piece within you which believes that you are more entitled to these rights than others?  Do you look at individuals and say that they are deserving of their less than ideal living conditions and are therefore not as entitled to basic human rights?  Do you believe that basic human rights are bestowed upon all individuals throughout the world, or is there a class of human beings which controls and subjugates others, to their benefit?  Do you ever look down upon others?  Do you generalize and stereotype others and develop a belief that they are less worthy of basic human rights?

Do you believe it is your responsibility to ensure that all citizens of this planet are receiving basic human rights or do you hide your head in the sand and let others do the hard work?

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

  1. We are all free and equal
  2. Don’t discriminate
  3. The right to life
  4. No slavery – past or present.
  5. No torture
  6. We all have the same right to use the law.
  7. We are all protected by the law.
  8. Fair treatment by fair courts
  9. No unfair detainment
  10. The right to trial
  11. Innocent until proven guilty
  12. The right to privacy
  13. Freedom to move
  14. The right to asylum
  15. The right to a nationality
  16. Marriage and family
  17. The right to own things
  18. Free to say what you want
  19. Freedom of thought
  20. Meet where you like
  21. The right to democracy
  22. The right to social security
  23. Worker’s rights
  24. The right to play
  25. A bed and some food
  26. The right to education
  27. Culture and copyright
  28. A free and fair world
  29. Our responsibilities to others
  30. Nobody can take away these rights and freedoms from us.

While reading this list of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, what were your thoughts?  Did any of these rights make you uncomfortable?  Do you believe that our society is making these rights available to all of our citizens?

I asked a wise man, my very good friend, Al Bryski, retired teacher, writer, philosophizer, how he would define Human Rights:

“To me a human right  is the right  for every person, every single one, to have equal rights to choice and opportunity, whether it be the freedom to get a job, to get a partner of one’s choice, the right to   move freely, and the right to work at any job that they, the person,  is qualified for, without threats of harassment, without any abuse, or any threat of being fired. It also means to me the right to freedom of religion and freedom of speech and the right to equal treatment in the due process of law. Summing it up, it is for me treating every person with the dignity and respect they are entitled to.”

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What are you doing to help promote Human Rights?  Are you sitting on the sidelines or are you doing something to make this a healthier world in which we live?

“Poverty is the absence of all human rights. The frustrations, hostility and anger generated by abject poverty cannot sustain peace in any society.”  Muhammad Yunus

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