Wow that is a horrifically bad title, but I guess you’ll start to see a pattern as I get into these!! So, yesterday I made a pledge that I’d blog every day for the next two weeks in the lead-up to Blog Action Day, so here I am on Day 1. (really bad memories of failed holiday diaries have just come to mind, so perhaps this might not go so well, but here I am optimistically on Day 1)
If you are wondering what Blog Action Day is, check out the colourful button to the right of your screen (or the more information links at the bottom)
So here goes…
Disclaimer: I know what a party pooper starting with a disclaimer. But I feel I should. It’s pretty obvious with a quick Google search that I work for Amnesty International, the NZ arm. NONE OF WHAT GOES ON IN THIS BLOG is officially approved. The blog is entitled Ruminations and Ramblings for a reason… they are MY ruminations and MY ramblings… and I work for Amnesty because I am passionate about human rights, it is why there is a lot on human rights on this blog, it is not because these are Amnesty messages (in fact, some are probably dangerously really not Amnesty messages… so take em as you would any blog from any random… these are my opinions and are backed by research where I indicate, or backed by absolutely nothing at all when not.
So as this is day 1, I feel I should start with the history rather than launching right into it. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on the 10th of December 1948. It was largely the result of the collective world not wanting something like the Second World War to happen again. So the United Nations was born, and a few years later the UDHR was born.
Moving on then, the Preamble and Article 1 really sets up the rest of the document. The first Article states:
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
While this is all rather grand, and really a no-brainer, I feel that even at this early stage it sets up a few issues for the rest. If you assume all human beings are “endowed with reason and conscience” then perhaps those that aren’t (for example, those born with a massive neural issue perhaps?) then, does that make them less than human? And if so, does that mean they do not have the same rights as the rest of us?
Yes, I might be trolling here, but it’s a good point, I feel.
Article 2 states:
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
This one, in my mind, is less problematic. In fancy words, all it says is that “everyone” (notwithstanding my first point of who “everyone” is) gets these rights because they do. There is no reason to not have these rights. You have them just because you are human.