Alrighty, here we are day 2. Articles 3 & 4! In case you didn’t know here they are:
Article 3: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Article 4: No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
Article 3 is a bit problematic if you can’t really define when “life” starts. This is the one that is argued back and forth in the Sexual & Reproductive Rights debate, and probably always will be. No one disagrees that everyone has the right to life, the problem is when you start wading into murky territory of whether “life” means a few cells joined together, an embryo, or a wee person walking around. I personally have no hard and fast opinion on this. As a mother, who has had life in me, I think that I personally could not abort under any circumstances (and I said as much when I was pregnant and going for one scary test after another) however, I also understand that I am not a representative sample of anyone or anything, so there are circumstances that someone else will be in that can make it necessary. So, bit of a cop-out but I’m not going to wade into that debate here.
Article 4 is a bit more interesting in modern human rights terms. Slavery in it’s “traditional” form is all but abolished worldwide. The link below to anti-slavery.org defines what “modern” slavery is quite succinctly actually. The scary thing is that, even today, the slavery that exists is pretty much the same as it was prior to the 19th century. As it says on anti-slavery.org, “we’re not using a metaphor”. There are a variety of laws and international conventions that outlaw slavery and yet there are still millions of people either trapped anew, or worst yet, born into a “slave” caste and have no chance of fighting their way out.
Don’t take my word for it though. Visit Amnesty International’s site and watch a 3 minute video, or scroll to the bottom to read Adina, Husain, Ratna and Jin Lai’s stories.
- The full text of the UDHR if you were interested
- Anti-Slavery.org – a definition of ‘modern’ slavery
- Amnesty International – Human Trafficking is modern slavery