Yea, so I had the weekend off… 😛 I’m doing a mammoth post today, because I can. It comprises of Articles 19 through to 26 and normal transmission will resume tomorrow! Of course this is a bit sad, it means that after this one there is only 2 more posts to go! (yes, that doesn’t quite take me up to the actual Blog Action Day 2013, but I may have some special posts up my sleeve for that!
Article 19 is one of my favourites! It says:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Basically, it’s the one that says “I may not agree with you, but I will fight to the death to allow you do do whatever it is that you are interested in doing. Freedom of expression baby, yea… I used to think a while ago that this one was a frivolous one. I mean, there are people starving to death in the world (we’re gonna go over Article 25 later on) and we are worried if someone painted something offensive to someone else?! But, the more I work in human rights, the more that I see that this one is one of the most important. After all, if you do not have the right to have free access to information, the right to hold an opinion, how can you possibly take part in democracy? and you know how that goes, if there is no democracy.. well then…
Article 20 kinda goes on from there really:
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
You have the right to be in a group of like-minded people, but no one will force you to do that. This one, unsurprisingly, is one that is cracked down upon in the event of most coup d’état. Even a 2bit moron of a dictator is gonna figure out that if your “loyal subjects” are talking to each other, there is gonna be some trouble.
Article 21 (see the link below to the full text, I’m gonna stop copying and pasting them for the next little bit) is all about how you have the right to take part in your government. It really is a no-brainer, like most of the articles, but it is part of the sad state of affairs that we need to actually spell it out.
I’m also gonna gloss over Article 22, mainly because as many things as we do in a mediocre way we do this one well. (well sort of, ok I just totally went against what I started saying, but this is my blog and I can flip flop if I want to) Article 22 is the right to social security, and as much as we complain about the benefit system we have here, at least we have one… so I guess, pat on the back govt, you can tick off Article 22.
Article 23 is about working and unions. Basically, the right to work, and the right to form unions. This would be one to look out for I think. I reckon this would be what you could hook on a gender pay equality lawsuit on if you wanted to. Everyone has the right to equal pay for equal work, and the right to just and favourable renumeration for their work.
Article 24 is the fun one! It says:
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
yay! Everyone has the right to a holiday! Also, limitation of working hours! Unfortunately, as fun as this one is, it is also one that is easily sidetracked. The people who have to work multiple jobs to survive (which yea, totally means that the “favourable renumeration” in article 23 was obviously ignored!) obviously don’t have the right to rest and leisure, and definitely not the reasonable limitation to working hours bit! So I guess, in order to get to the fun one, we have to get Article 23 right first!
Articles 25, 26 and 27 are about the right to health, housing, food, education… and also about how being a mother and a child are special and should be taken care of more carefully. Articles 25 thru 27 forms what are commonly grouped together and called Economic, Social & Cultural Rights or ESCR rights. To many people, these are much more fundamental than the civil and political rights we’ve already gone over. I’m obviously torn and also not really in any position to truly comment. I’m, admittedly, middle class and therefore don’t need the social support that I could’ve had from the government. It does make my life easier knowing that it is there and we don’t have to starve to death if everything does hit the fan, and I guess that makes me a more productive member of society.
Alright, this has been a thoroughly #longread and I will stop now. There’ll be another post mopping up the remaining articles!